TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Adolf Hilter is one of the most infamous figures in modern history, but did you know he was a failed artist? His paintings and drawings can pull in big bucks from history buffs and collectors, and six sketches by the Nazi leader are now up for auction.
While the sketches have been authenticated, there is some debate as to whether they are real. John Whitworth, owner of Affiliated Auctions, said the signature, style and subpar artistic talent of the pieces are all strong features that point to their validity.
One sketch doesn't not look like much, and most artists would consider it to be the work of an amateur, but a closer look reveals the reason why it has a price tag of between $2,000 and $4,000 -- a signature of A. Hitler at the bottom.
“Anytime that you get into the World War II memorabilia situation, you’re going to always have the controversial Third Reich aspect,” Whitworth said.
IMAGES: Art sketched by Adolph Hitler
Years before Adolf Hitler authorized the killing of an estimated 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, he was a failed artist. Whitworth has six of his works that will soon be up for sale. Most of the sketches are of wooded landscapes, but two are portraits, one of which is believed to be of Hitler's niece.
“These are some kind of obscure, you know, more personal," Whitworth said. "Poorly done is always the case -- poorly done sketches by him.”
Despite the controversial figure behind the artwork, there’s little controversy over their sale, primarily because of their historical and educational value.
Barbara Goldstein, founder of the Holocaust Education Resource Council in Tallahassee, touches on Hitler's early life often in educational seminars.
She said the sketches could spark a person's interest to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.
“It might even open some more doors and some minds of saying, 'Wow, this is something Hitler did. What happened to him?'” Goldstein said.
The sketches will go up for auction March 8. The Tallahassee auction house believes it will likely be international buyers who take the sketches home.