KENT, England (Reuters) - An album containing never-before-seen candid photos of German Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler and party members will be auctioned on Wednesday, according to the auction house.
The photo album found in April 1945 in the bedroom of Hitler’s longtime companion Eva Braun could fetch up to more than more than 15 thousand pounds sterling (roughly $18,340 dollars), said C&T Auctions consultant Tim Harper.
“The pictures are very personal,” said Harper, who noted the item is currently owned by an unnamed collector.
The auction will take place at Royal Tunbridge Wells, a town in Kent, England.
Harper explained that Hitler kept tight control over what information could be released publicly in order to protect his image, and that of the Nazi party.
“Hitler’s image, particularly his photographs, were controlled. They had to be approved,” Harper explained.
Gesturing toward the album, Harper said, “The shots you are seeing in this album are natural, relaxed, a number of them are amusing and almost certainly they would not have been allowed to be published. They are quite revealing.”
The photo album includes images of Hitler alongside other leading members of the Nazi party such as Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler.
It also features photos of Hitler traveling in his motorcade past crowds of people cheering and saluting them. One of the images shows Hitler smiling next to a group of cheerful children. Photos of the Swastika symbol are seen in many of the photographs.
“They had to be taken by someone who had clearance to get close to the Fuehrer and close to that inner circle,” Harper said.
The album was discovered by British photographer Edward Dean who and English broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, both of whom entered Hitler’s bunker in April 1945.
“A Russian soldier, very obligingly took them round and they broke into a room which was Eva Braun’s bedroom and the Russian soldier prized open her draw and got the album from there,” Harper said.
Reporting by Alex Fraser and Francis MacGuire in London; editing by Diane Craft