The Shmooze

Rudolf Hess Painting To Be Auctioned Off

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

This is turning out to be a banner season for emerging German artists. First, as the Forward reported, a British auction house put recently discovered paintings by Adolf Hitler up for sale. Now comes word that a canvas by Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy leader in the Nazi party, will go under the hammer at a UK auction house on Saturday.

According to the UK Telegraph, Hess gave the landscape portrait to Roland Davis, an airman who guarded him after WWII, as “a keepsake”. The pair “became friends” during Hess’ imprisonment at Spandau Prison in Berlin, the newspaper reports.

The painting is just one piece in a large collection of wartime memorabilia that Davis’ son is selling through Unique Auctions in Lincoln, UK. “The collection could be sold as individual items, but Mr Davis Jr wanted to keep it together,” said Terry Woodcock, the auctioneer. “It’s probably one of the best collections of one man to do with Germany that I’ve seen.”

Davis, the airman, “became very friendly with [Hess] because he was in charge for the English forces that were looking after him, he was chief prison warden,” Woodcock told the newspaper.

Along with the painting, signed by Hess and “thought to be of a Bavarian scene from his childhood,” the collection includes a helmet, gas mask, flight records and medals. The collection is listed at about $785-$1,250, but is expected to fetch more, the Telegraph said.

Hess joined the fledgling Nazi Party in 1921, according to the JewishVirtualLibrary web site. Hitler named him third deputy of the Reich in 1939, placing him directly below Nazi leader Hermann Göring in line of succession.

Hess was arrested after an ill-advised solo airplane flight to Scotland. He remained a prisoner and at the war crimes trials held at Nürnberg in 1945-46, he was convicted as a war criminal. Sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau, he was its sole inmate from 1966 until his suicide in 1987.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Berlin, Davis, Hitler, Rudolf Hess, Spandau, Woodcock

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels.
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.