After World War II, a photo album was found in a locked drawer in Eva Braun’s bedroom in the Fuhrer’s Bunker. A photographer took it home as a souvenir. It is for sale on auction now, 72 years later.
The album is full of pictures of Hitler and his officials in lighter moments during the war.
One image shows Hitler in a Chaplin-styled pose, saluting the photographer outside of his Burghof headquarters. Two of the pictures show him smiling in front of a group of children.
Another picture shows Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, giving a cold smile to the camera. Josef Goebbels, the architect of the Holocaust, is shown in another image being cheered by a crowd. Herman Goering is photographed getting into a car.
Edward Dean is the British photographer who took the album from the Berlin bunker just a few weeks after Hitler and Braun had committed suicide.
A Russian soldier pried the drawer open with his bayonet. The drawer contained a broken bottle of perfume and some underwear besides the photo album. 70 years later, the album cover still smells of perfume.
The album contains 73 informal photos. They must have been taken by someone close to Hitler, like a bodyguard or even Braun herself – she does not appear in any of the photos.
Whoever the photographer is, they had access to photograph the Fuhrer’s desk, his office in the Reich Chancellery, and his personal airplane.
Another picture shows Hitler deep in thought on the veranda of the Berghof as he contemplates some papers.
In the 80s, Dean sold the album to a collector. That individual kept the album for thirty years before selling it to another collector. That collector is now selling the album at auction.
C&T Auctions, in Ashford, Kent, are estimating the value of the album to be £18,500.
Tim Harper works for C&T Auctions. He said that they are 100% certain that the album was recovered from the Fuhrer’s bunker in Berlin in 1945.
The auction house says there is no question that the album was in the bunker with Braun at the end of the war.
There are few items on the open market today that were in the Fuhrer’s bunker. There is provenance back to the liberation of Berlin. Photographs of Hitler are even more rare as the Nazi party tightly controlled his image.
All of this makes the album exceedingly rare. The binding is in very good condition and features a stylized Swastika as was common on SS album covers.
The fact that the album was found in Braun’s bedroom lends legitimacy to the idea that the album belonged to her.
None of the pictures have ever been published before. They all appear to be privately taken, The Telegraph reported.
Harper is expecting the album to sell to “someone who wants a powerful and visual statement from history.”
The album is 13 inches by 9 inches. It will be sold on March 15th.