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Paintings by 19-year-old Hitler up for auction

Work by a formerly struggling artist – and later an international warlord – is set to fetch €175,000.

A SELECTION of watercolour paintings by a little-known 19-year-old Austrian artist called Adolf Hitler are expected to fetch up to €175,000 when they go under the hammer later this month.

The 17 paintings, dating from 1908 when Hitler was a struggling bohemian in Vienna who had twice been refused entry into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, are being auctioned at the end of the month in Shropshire, having been discovered by a lawyer who bought the rural estate of a north Austrian farmer only to discover the paintings in the house’s cupboards.

It is said that Hitler had lived off an orphan’s allowance while painting the streetscapes in Austria, which he would offer to paint on demand for tourists in an attempt to raise some cash.

Subjects of the paintings include alpine huts, lakes, farmyards, factories and villages.

Paintings by 19-year-old Hitler up for auction
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The auction is being held in the relative anonymity of Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire, it is understood, because most auction houses refuse to be associated with the sale of work with such an ignoble history – and because many of them are owned by Jews.

“Across many countries in Europe such as France and Austria you can’t sell them by law as they believe it’s glorifying Nazis,” the auctioneer selling the paintings, Richard Westwood-Brookes, told the Daily Telegraph.

“eBay in those countries won’t accept anything to do with him, so they have to be sold outside the countries.”

15 of Hitler’s other paintings were sold for about £95,000 (€111,000) last year, according to the Shropshire Star. The new paintings are generally hoped to earn at least £6,000 (€7,060) each.

Other lots being auctioned include cutlery engraved with the names of Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun.

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Gavan Reilly

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