Hundreds of photographs of Adolf Hitler are expected to fetch a six-figure sum when they go under the hammer, an auctioneer said. The photographs, along with negatives, were taken by the Nazi leader's personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann during the party's rise to powers before the Second World War.
Believed to have been passed on by the photographer himself, they will go under the hammer at a sale in January. Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert, of J.P.Humbert Auctioneers
, said they were a previously-unseen view of Hitler during his rise to power.
"We've got somewhere around 800 negatives and maybe 600 stills, some from these negatives and other stills that don't have a negative that they were developed from," he said.
"They were all taken by Hitler's personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, who was part of the Nazi propaganda machine."
He said the photos are all pre-Second World War, with images captured at "party days", including one at Nuremburg in 1934.
There are also photographs of Paul von Hindenburg, president from 1925 until his death in 1934 when Hitler took over as head of state."There's also images of a meeting with Mussolini in Munich and the winter and summmer Olympics of 1936 and also more sinister images of Hitler attending an SS officers training school," Mr Humbert said.
"It's all effectively the Nazi Party plotting and gaining strength and all the way Henrich Hoffmann is taking up close and personal pictures.These are not shots from the crowd, these are amazingly high resolution for the time stills in black and white.They are absolutely fresh to the market, they are privately entered by a gentleman who was left them by another elderly gentleman who I understand used to live in Germany. They have come direct from Heinrich Hoffmann - whilst some of the negatives have been developed into stills, the ones we have got were printed in the 1930s, these have never been seen before. These are effectively views of Hitler that are unseen and unpublished."
The pictures are due to go under the hammer at a sale at the auction house's showroom in Towcester, Northamptonshire, on January 18. They are expected to attract interest from across the world, with bids reaching six figures.
Mr Humbert added: "Various experts have looked at these and there are rumblings that maybe there could be a six-figure sum achieved. They will be split into consecutive lots as there's just too many of them.It really is a sinister but intriguing social history of the rise of the Nazi Party, never before been seen."
Heinrich Hoffmann, who worked as a photographer in Munich from 1908, joined the NSDAP - referred to as the Nazi Party - in 1920. He was chosen by Hitler as his official photographer, and his photographs were published as postage stamps, postcards, posters and picture books, for which both he and Hitler received royalties from all uses of Hitler's image. In 1933 Hoffmann was elected to the Reichstag and in 1938 Hitler appointed him a 'Professor'.
During the Third Reich he also wrote many books on Hitler. Hoffmann was arrested by the Americans in May 1945 and after the war was tried and sentenced to four years for Nazi profiteering. A large archive of his photographs was seized by the United States government during the Allied occupation of Germany , now held by the National Archives and Records Administration.