SOLANA BEACH, CA.-
Two long missing portraits of Alois and Klara Hitler will soon be put up for auction in Solana Beach, Calif. These original portraits of German Dictator Adolf Hilters parents had hung in a former Hitler-owned residence in Bavaria, Germany and have been lost since the end of the Second World War.
The portraits, which only recently have been made public, are currently owned by a French family that now lives in Orange, Calif.
"These portraits are not rare - they are one of kind. They're the only two that exist," said Craig Gottlieb of Craig Gottlieb Military Antiques
. I got a phone call from the family who has owned them since the 1980's.
Period photographs from the Berghof, one of the Nazi leaders more well-known residences, show the two portraits hanging in one of Hitlers rooms. Gottlieb notes that black and white photographs taken of the portraits during the time show great detail when it comes to their craftsmanship, confirming that these are the same ones.
"The photographs of the portraits that I found show they matched brush stroke for brush stroke," Gottlieb said. "They are authentic. I would stake my entire reputation on it."
The pair of portraits of Alois and Klara Hitler will go up for auction on the Craig Gottlieb Military Antiques Website beginning on September 1, with the auction closing on September 17. Gottlieb estimates that the portraits could sell for $100,000 or more.
When it's the collector's one opportunity or the museum's one opportunity, sky is the limit, said Gottlieb, who is also helping to auction a desk set owned by Adolf Hitler on which the Munich Pact of 1938 was signed.
Alois and Klara Hitler, as well as Hitlers baby brother Edmund are buried in Leonding, Austria, where the future German dictator lived as a child. Alois Hitler, who was an Austrian customs official, died in 1903, while Klara Hitler died of breast cancer in 1907. Adolf Hitler, along with his mistress Eva Braun, committed suicide in the final days of World War II in Berlin.
The Berghof was bombed just 12 days before the end of World War II by the British, and retreating SS troops set fire to the villa just four days after Hitlers death. The American 3rd Infantry Division along with the French 2nd Armoured Division arrived in Berchtesgaden, the location of the Berghof, on May 4, 1945. The Berghof was plundered of many Hitler artifacts, including a Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders that reportedly sat on the dictators desk. The Führer Globe, as it is known, was bought by Bob Pritikin, an entrepreneur from San Francisco, for $100,000 in 2007.