Eva Braun's personal photo album up for auction

Hilter reading in Berghof (C&T Auctions)
Hilter reading in Berghof (C&T Auctions)

A photo album belonging to Adolf Hilter's wife, Eva Braun, has gone on sale seven decades after the couple's deaths.

The album contains 73 photographs taken by someone close to the fascist dictator - auctioneers speculate some of the photographs may have been taken by Braun, as she doesn't appear in any of them, and others by a personal security guard.

One photo shows Hitler reading documents alone at the Berghof residence - his holiday home in the Bavarian Alps. Another shows Secret Service Chief Heinrich Himmler smiling at the camera. Himmler was a senior Nazi, and is considered one of those most responsible for the Holocaust.

A uniformed Himmler smiles as he walks (C&T Auctions)
A uniformed Himmler smiles as he walks (C&T Auctions)

Under Himmler's facilitation of concentration camps, 6 million Jews, up to 500,000 Romani and millions of others - including Russian prisoners of war, ethnic Poles, Serbs, the disabled and homosexuals - were killed.

The personal nature of the photos means they are extremely rare. Photos of senior Nazis were strictly controlled, and those seen in the Braun album were not released to the public.

Fascist dictator Adolf Hitler (C&T Auctions)
Fascist dictator Adolf Hitler (C&T Auctions)

The album was found in a drawer next to Braun's dressing table in the Berlin bunker where she and Hitler committed suicide when it became clear that the war was lost.

They married just 40 hours before their deaths, but had been long-term companions.

A 1945 newspaper account of the raid of Hitler's bunker says when they raided Braun's bedroom, they found one of her drawers was jammed, so a Russian soldier used his bayonet to force it open.

The album cover, decorated with Nazi symbolism  (C&T Auctions)
The album cover, decorated with Nazi symbolism (C&T Auctions)

"In it they found a broken perfume spray, a fragment of women's underclothing and a photograph album with a swastika stencilled on a red and black background. The binding was threaded with red, black and white silk cord, the colours of the German flag", the article reads.

The album was seized by British war photographer Edward Dean, who was among the first people to enter the bunker. He kept it for himself until 1980, when he sold it to a collector. Another collector later purchased it, before putting it up for auction.

Tim Harper, of C&T Auctions, says: 'We can say with 100 percent certainty that this album was recovered from Hitler's bunker in Berlin in 1945.

"The album is in very good condition. It has a stylised Swastika built into the binding, a very typical SS album cover.

"We know Braun owned it and that it belonged to her because of where it was found, in her bedroom."

The same auction will see the sale of a 'wedding edition' of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. The auction house says it was given to members of the armed forces when they got married.

C&T Auctions has estimated the album will sell for between NZ$21,500 and $31,800 (£12,500 - £18,500).