A series of candid photos of Adolf Hitler sold for £34,000 to an unidentified bidder in an auction held this week in Royal Tunbridge Wells.
The photos belonged to Eva Braun, the dictator's long-time companion and briefly his wife. They were discovered in April 1945 in Hitler’s Berlin bunker among Braun’s other possessions.
The album includes 73 photos of Hitler in casual contexts, like on a walk with his dog, reading on a veranda of the Berghof and meeting schoolchildren. It also contains photos of other Nazi officials including Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Goering and Josef Goebbels. Braun did not appear in any of the photos, leading to speculation that it was she who took the photos.
A Russian soldier originally found the album in one of Braun’s bedroom drawers shortly after Braun and Hitler committed suicide in the bunker. It then changed hands to Edward Dean, a British Fleet Street photographer, who auctioned it in Warwickshire.
The album’s last owner was a man named R. A. Palmer who had it in his possession for more than 30 years and wished to open a military museum with other historical items he’d obtained. However, he died before the museum came to fruition and the auction house bought the album directly from his family.
The auction item also came with relevant newspaper clippings and an account from Dean, detailing his journey and experiences through Russian lines to Berlin, the bunker and Buchenwald.
The album has a cloth binding and depicts a stylised swastika in red and grey on the cover.
“Very few significant artefacts liberated from the Fuhrer Bunker in 1945 exist today in the open market, especially with such concrete provenance dating all the way back to the time of liberation,” C&T Auctions said.