Jiri Kuchar, amateur art historian, stands in front of paintings by Franz Eichhorst, left, and Friedrich Wilhelm Kalb, right, in a convent in Doksany, Czech Republic. Kuchar claims he found 16 paintings by German artists in various Czech institutions that Adolf Hitler personally purchased during WWII. AP Photo/Petr David Josek.
A five-year search by a Czech author has discovered that 16 paintings in the Czech Republic were once owned by Adolf Hitler. The art works, which Hitler bought in Germany during World War II, had been moved to Czechoslovakia after it was occupied by the Nazis to prevent them being damaged by Allied attacks.
On Monday, author Jiri Kuchar put seven of the paintings on display for reporters at the convent in Doksany in northern Czech Republic where he had identified them. Today, he said, they are probably worth about 50 million koruna ($2.7 million). “Nobody believed me it could be true,” Kuchar said of his findings.
The author, who calls himself “an amateur and enthusiast,” has written about his findings. Kuchar said Hitler bought the 16 paintings — by German artists such as Franz Eichhorst, Paul Herrmann, Sepp Hilz, Friedrich W. Kalb, Oscar Oestreicher, Edmund Steppes and Armin Reumann — in 1942 and 1943 at the Great German art exhibitions that were held annually in Munich from 1937 to 1944.
The German institute whose database includes the works and their buyers — Zentralinstitut fur Kunstgeschichte in Munich — confirmed Hitler’s ownership to The Associated Press. Its art experts said Tuesday that while “interesting,” the collection is of “low” value. As a former artist, Hitler was an art lover and collector. Countless paintings, many done by major European painters, were seized by the Nazis during the Second World War.
At one point, Hitler’s private collection, known as the “Linz Collection,” included almost 5,000 works, and the Nazis had once planned to create a museum for them in Linz, Austria.
You can read the full article via ArtDaily here.
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