|Goebbels' early letters, to be sold at Alexander Autograph, show controlling behavior |
A pre-World War II document by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Alexander Historical Auctions plans to sell the collection of Goebbels' writings Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, in Stamford. AP Photo/Alexander Autograph.
By: John Christoffersen, Associated Press
NEW HAVEN (AP).- The love letters, school papers and dramatic works of college-age Joseph Goebbels reveal a romantic young man beginning to show signs of anti-Semitism and egotistical and controlling behavior, according to a Connecticut auction house selling the pre-war writings Adolf Hitler's right-hand man.
Alexander Historical Auctions plans to sell the collection on Sept. 27 in Stamford, saying it may prove invaluable in providing historical and psychological insights.
"It sums up the formative years of the number two man in the Third Reich, who was responsible for motivating the masses in Germany to back Hitler," said Bill Panagopulos, the company's president. "In my opinion, it shows how this rather simple, shy and love-struck college student really just became radicalized."
The thousands of pages include Goebbels' college dissertation, report cards, dozens of poems, school essays and letters from family members, friends and girlfriends.
"You really get a feel for what's going on in his head," Panagopulos said. "There's a lot of information if somebody wants to dig into the mind of this man who grew into a lunatic."
In an early sign of his ego, Goebbels would sign some of his materials with numerous signatures. Toward the later years of the collection, Goebbels is starting to show anti-Semitic tendencies, Panagopulos said. He added that the auction house has only translated about 10 percent of the papers and has had a tough time with Goebbels' handwriting.
The sale sparked concerns by a leader of a Holocaust survivors group who criticized the auction house's sale last year of the journals written by Nazi death camp doctor Josef Mengele.
"Alexander Auction House is making a business out of selling Nazi artifacts and memorabilia," said Menachem Rosensaft, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. "They clearly have the legal right to profit here from such materials. I leave it to others to determine the morality of it all."
Rosensaft said such materials belong in an archive for historians to study. He expressed concerns that at an auction the materials could wind up in the wrong hands and be used as a shrine to the Nazi leader.
Panagopulos said museums often depend on donations made by people buying items at auction. He said neo-Nazis don't collect the material.
Addressing another concern of Rosensaft's, that there is a cottage industry of creating fake Nazi memorabilia, Panagopulos said most of the Goebbels documents up for sale have been available to experts, scholars and researchers for years and no one has questioned their authenticity. He called their provenance "ironclad."
He said his own morals should not be questioned, noting that his father's hometown in Greece was largely wiped out in an act of German retribution.
The collection, which spans the period up to shortly before he joined the Nazi party in 1924, is expected to sell for more than $200,000, Panagopulos said. It includes more than 100 letters written between Goebbels and Anka Stalherm, the first great love of his life, and show his desire to control others, he said. Letters from other girlfriends include a pair of sisters he seduced at the same time.
In a letter to his teacher after his sister died, he thanks his teacher for condolences but adds that his loss is minor compared to losses suffered by "our fatherland."
Goebbels and his wife killed their six children with cyanide before killing themselves the day after Hitler's suicide.
Panagopulos said the sale is on behalf of a Swiss company and would not benefit any relatives of Goebbels, but he said his auction house does not identify consignors. He said the company received the materials from a man who obtained them from an earlier owner who won the rights to the writings in a 1950s court case with Goebbels' sister.
The auction house last year said it sold the journals written by Mengele, drawing criticism from Rosensaft who said the business was profiting off the sale of materials by one of the worst mass murderers in history. Alexander officials said the Jewish buyer wanted to remain anonymous and is building a collection for a museum.
Panagopulos said at the time his profit would be $15,000 to $20,000 and that he would make a donation to a war memorial. He said Mengele's journals have historical value and that many auction houses deal with Nazi-related items and the buyers are reputable.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
September 24, 2012
Impressionism and Fashion: The Musée d'Orsay looks at the way people dressed
"Steve McQueen: King of Cool" photographs by John Dominis on view at Atlas Gallery
Glass House launches fall season with exhibition of works by Frank Stella
N.C. Museum of Art presents exhibition of Edvard Munch prints from MoMA
A diamond fit for a queen: Christie's Geneva to offer the Archduke Joseph diamond
Neglect ruins Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos' legendary collection of shoes
"Peter Lely: The Draughtsman and His Collection" opens at the Courtauld Gallery
iGavel online fall auction of important Asian, ancient & ethnographic works of art goes live October 9-24
The Musée de l'Elysée presents different approaches to collecting photography
Sotheby's enters joint venture agreement with Beijing GeHua Art Company
Anju Dodiya returns to familiar ground in new exhibition at Gallery Chemould
RISD Museum presents America in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now
Goebbels' early letters, to be sold at Alexander Autograph, show controlling behavior
Acker Merrall & Condit sale achieves a spectacular total of over US$7.9 million
Dallas Contemporary announces exhibition of photographers Inez & Vinoodh
Feeding, Fleeing, Fighting, Reproduction: Pamela Rosenkranz' solo show opens at Kunsthalle Basel
Karen Kilimnik & Kim Gordon exhibit at 303 Gallery
Anja Kirschner & David Panos present "Ultimate Substance" at Vienna's Secession
Breathtaking works by the royal silversmith to the Maharaos of Kutch for sale at Bonhams
Corporal Jones' "Dad's Army" van to headline Bonhams museum collection sale
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Egypt conservationists to sue over 'botched' Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun mask repair
2.- Scrolls scorched by Vesuvius may be read again thanks to 21st century technology
3.- Italian government seizes more than 5,000 looted antiquities in record 45-million-euro haul
4.- Remains of at least five people found in Alexander the Great-era tomb in Amphipolis
5.- Munich poised to lift ban on Holocaust memorial project known as Stolpersteine
6.- Rare coin records smashed by Heritage Auctions at Florida United Numismatists Convention
7.- Bonhams to offer Alan Turing's hidden manuscript on the foundations of mathematics and computer science
8.- Jane Wilson, painter of luminous landscapes, dies at the age of 90 in New York
9.- First exhibition in the UK to examine Rubens influence on art history opens in London
10.- Paul Simonon presents a series of new paintings at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|