A painting taken from the wall of Adolf Hitler’s headquarters in the Bavarian Alps by a U.S. soldier is up for auction in the U.K. later this month.
The oil painting by Ernst Friedrich was recovered from Hitler’s Berghof residence in May 1945 by Sgt. Herson Whitley of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division. “He obtained it by taking it off a wall in Hitlers [sic] retreat in Berchtesgaden at the end of the war,” explained Whitley’s daughter, in a letter that accompanies the painting. “Note there is a crack along the upper corner which my father said occurred during shipping it home from Europe.”
Measuring 18 inches by 13 inches, the artwork depicts Wawel castle and cathedral in Krakow, Poland. The painting, which has a pre-sale estimate of $7,777 to $12,962, will be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, U.K., on Aug. 20.
Whitley was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Croix de Guerre for his wartime service.
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The painting by Ernst Friedrich (Henry Aldridge and Son)