The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 28, 2014


Signed Hitler photo rescued from Fuhrer's Berlin bunker in sale at the Auction Centre
Now mounted in a hallmarked silver frame, the original photograph is signed by Hitler and inscribed “Landsberg 1925”.
CHESHIRE.- Legendary war correspondent William Forrest was there filing eyewitness accounts when Hitler’s dive bombers flattened Guernica in 1937 in support of Franco’s Fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

He was there too when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, his reports consistently making the front page of the News Chronicle.

As the paper’s chief war correspondent, he covered the retreat at Dunkirk; the Eighth Army’s desert campaign (he was wounded in Tobruk) and the landings in Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. And he was there to witness the crossing of the Rhine and the fall of Berlin.

Now a unique memento of his career – a signed photograph of Adolf Hitler, recovered from the ruins of the Führerbunker – has surfaced to be sold in a Cheshire auction next month.

Forrest was the first war correspondent, perhaps among the first outside Hitler’s closest entourage, to set foot in the Führerbunker, the fortified air-raid shelter in the Reich Chancellery after it had been overrun by the Red Army.

Hitler and Eva Braun had committed suicide on April 30 and their bodies burned in the Reich Chancellery garden. Goebbles’ children had been poisoned and he and his wife also took their own lives.

In Forrest’s own words, in a signed statement to be sold with the photograph, he states: “in that capacity [the News Chronicle’s chief war correspondent] I went into Berlin at the end of the war with the first British troops.

“My reports from Berlin at that time can be seen in the files of the News Chronicle at the British Museum's Newspaper Library at Colindale, London. This signed photograph of Hitler was discovered by me in the ruins of the bunker and has been in my possession ever since.”

Now mounted in a hallmarked silver frame, the original photograph is signed by Hitler and inscribed “Landsberg 1925”. It is estimated at £12,000-£18,000 in a sale at The Auction Centre in Runcorn on Saturday September 13.

The year before the photograph was taken, Hitler had been sentenced to five years in Landsberg prison for treason following the so-called Munich “Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to seize control of the German government by force.

He spent his time there writing his autobiography, ‘Mein Kampf’ (‘My Struggle’) and was released that December, following political pressure from supporters of his Nazi Party. The new year proved to be key in Hitler’s rise to power.

Early in 1925 he persuaded the Bavarian Prime Minister to lift the ban on Nazi Party activities and on February 27, he gave a two-hour speech to thousands of cheering supporters in the first public meeting since the putsch, re-establishing the party with him as Führer. The first edition of Mein Kampf’ was also published.

Scott William Forrest (1902-1996) left school at 15 and was offered a job running copy at the Glasgow Herald. Because of the shortage of journalists in 1917, he went straight to the sub-editors’ desk. He was awarded the OBE in 1946 and was still writing and doing broadcasts for the BBC in his eighties.

For further information, please contact auctioneer Michael Bain, telephone 01928 579796 or enquiries@theauctioncentre.co.uk.





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