A 16-inch-tall portrait of the notorious Adolf Hitler with his very own signature is scheduled to go down the gavel in September 13 at Runcorn, Cheshire. The portrait is expected to fetch the price of £18,000.
According to reports, the portrait of the notorious German dictator was found among the rubble of his Berlin bunker by late war correspondent William Forrest. Forrest was the first newspaperman to investigate his bunker just days after the Fuehrer and his long time mistress and wife Eva Braun killed themselves through cyanide poisoning in 1945. It was lying among the rubble of the dictator’s Berlin bunker, his last hideout before his death.
Reports further accounted that the portrait was taken just after Adolf Hitler’s release from prison in 1929. It could be remembered that Hitler had a 5-year stint inside a prison house for high treason. This was in connection to the attempted coup in Bavaria in those times.
Aside from his signature, the portrait also bore the inscription Landsberg, 1925 pertaining to the prison house he was detained. It was in this jail that Hitler wrote his book Mein Kampf.
It is believed that the dictator had kept the portrait and placed it on prominent display in his Berlin bunker as a reminder of the struggles he had gone through.
Reportedly, Mr. Forrest, then a correspondent for the News Chronicle and was with the British troops who went inside Berlin at the end of WWII, spotted the portrait on the floor among the rubble of the bunker. He, then, took it as a souvenir of the winding down war.
The portrait of the infamous dictator comes with a typewritten letter with signature made by Mr. Forrest himself explaining as to how the picture had come into his possession. The letter is with value, too, as William Forrest was one of 20th century’s greatest war correspondents. He covered Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, the invasion of Poland by the Germans in 1939 as well as major operations like D-Day in WWII.
Mr. Forrest received an OBE in journalism for his works and continued to work as a newspaperman until the 1980s. He passed away in 1996 at the ripe old age of 94.