Art Buzz February 28, 2012: Jiri Kuchar: 16 paintings by Nazi era artist purchased by Adolf Hitler found in Czech Republic by Art historian



16 paintings by Nazi era artist purchased by Adolf Hitler found in Czech Republic

Paintings Hitler bought found in Czech Republic

Source: AP, 2-28-12

The art works, which Hitler bought in Germany during World War II, had been moved to Czechoslovakia after it was occupied by the Nazis to prevent them being damaged by Allied attacks.

On Monday, author Jiri Kuchar put seven of the paintings on display for reporters at the convent in Doksany in northern Czech Republic where he had identified them. Today, he said, they are probably worth about 50 million koruna ($2.7 million).

“Nobody believed me it could be true,” Kuchar said of his findings. The author, who calls himself “an amateur and enthusiast,” has written about his findings.

Kuchar said Hitler bought the 16 paintings _ by German artists such as Franz Eichhorst, Paul Herrmann, Sepp Hilz, Friedrich W. Kalb, Oscar Oestreicher, Edmund Steppes and Armin Reumann _ in 1942 and 1943 at the Great German art exhibitions that were held annually in Munich from 1937 to 1944.

The German institute whose database includes the works and their buyers _ Zentralinstitut fur Kunstgeschichte in Munich _ confirmed Hitler’s ownership to The Associated Press. Its art experts said Tuesday that while “interesting,” the collection is of “low” value.

As a former artist, Hitler was an art lover and collector. Countless paintings, many done by major European painters, were seized by the Nazis during the Second World War.

At one point, Hitler’s private collection, known as the “Linz Collection,” included almost 5,000 works, and the Nazis had once planned to create a museum for them in Linz, Austria.

In addition to the seven works identified at the convent, Kuchar found seven more that Hitler had once owned at the northern Czech chateau of Zakupy, and one each at the Military History Institute in Prague and the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague.

Some contain obvious signs of Nazi propaganda, the author said.

During the occupation, it is believed that the 16 works were part of Hitler’s collection of more than 70 pieces of contemporary German art that the Third Reich stored at a monastery in the southern Czech town of Vyssi Brod, together with larger collections of valuable paintings stolen from Jewish families in Europe….READ MORE