Painting Stolen Off Hitler's Wall Is Being Auctioned Off

It was swiped by an American soldier in 1945
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2016 4:35 PM CDT
A painting stolen from Adolf Hitler's headquarters at the end of WWII is being auctioned off this month.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – At the end of World War II, American Sgt. Herson Whitley reached Adolf Hitler's headquarters in the Bavarian Alps and swiped an oil painting off the wall, Fox News reports. According to the Mirror, Whitley was part of a race by Allied troops to reach Hitler's Eagle's Nest first and claim some of the booty. Seventy-one years later, the painting stolen by Whitley is being put up for auction. The artwork is an oil painting of Wawel castle and cathedral in Poland by Ernst Friedrich. It's unclear how Hitler obtained the painting, but the fact that he did is said to have made it 40 times more valuable.

The painting is being sold by a collector who bought it off Whitley's family. The auction package includes Whitley's letters, medals, and dog tags from the war. “To be offering a piece of World War II history of this caliber that hung in the residence of Adolf Hitler that was recovered by a decorated war hero with such superb provenance represents a rare opportunity for a collector," an auctioneer tells Fox News. The painting is scheduled to be auctioned off Aug. 20 in the UK. (Read more Adolf Hitler stories.)

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