MONTREAL (Reuters) – Four sketches by Adolf Hitler and two Christmas cards signed by the Nazi dictator were sold to a single buyer for an undisclosed sum, an auctioneer said on Wednesday, at an auction in Canada that drew protests.
Iegor de Saint Hippolyte, who led the private auction in Montreal Tuesday evening, would not confirm a media report citing witnesses who said the items were sold for C$32,400 ($26,800).
“I can say it’s the same person that was able to obtain everything, so the collection will stay together,” he told Reuters. He declined to identify the buyer or seller, or their nationalities.
The Canadian Jewish Congress called the sale offensive and deplored the fact that Hitler’s four architectural sketches and greeting cards were auctioned alongside works by artists such as Andy Warhol.
De Saint Hippolyte defended his role in the auction, saying his duty is to preserve objects of historical interest. “They are extremely important items for history so there was much interest,” he said.
Hitler, German chancellor from 1933 to 1945, unleashed World War II when his armies invaded Poland in 1939. His racial policies led to the Holocaust, the organized massacre of some 6 million European Jews, largely at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
The four architectural sketches auctioned in Montreal are in charcoal, colored pencil and ink. One includes corrections Hitler is believed to have made to the design for an opera house in Linz, Austria, near where he was born, De Saint Hippolyte said.
The opera house was designed by Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer, who became Germany’s wartime armaments minister. Speer was tried at Nuremberg after the war and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The two Christmas cards are dated 1935 and 1938, and bear Hitler’s personal seal and signature.