Rare color photographs of the Adolf Hitler have surfaced and will be put on the auction block at Dreweatts in London Sept. 20.
Although the images aren’t the first of their kind, they are extremely rare, said Randy Bytwerk, a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. Bytwerk created and maintains the German Propaganda Archive.
“We’re so used to seeing Hitler in black and white, that it’s startling to see the color,” Bytwerk said.
One photograph shows the dictator in a striking blue suit and signature glare surrounded by four men who are wearing traditional Bavarian hunting attire.
“This one is peculiar,” Bytwerk said. “It’s not the type of thing you’d see in Nazi Germany, with Hitler just posing in a blue suit. I don’t know why they took it.”
He said the other pictures fell more in line with the German style of propaganda.
One photograph, which according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail was taken in 1932, shows Hitler being welcomed at his Eagle’s Nest mountaintop retreat by the Sturmabteilung, the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party.
”This is typical Hitler,” said Bytwerk. “He’s charging to the forefront, saying, ‘I’m in charge!’”
Another shows the chancellor shaking the hand of a rosy-cheeked girl, who was a member of the League of German Maidens, the girls faction of the Hitler Youth movement, handing Hitler flowers.
Her blond hair and blue eyes, Hitler’s Aryan ideal, are hard to miss in the photograph.
“We have so many black-and-white photographs just like this one, so it is very striking to see one in color,” Bytwerk said.
According to the daily mail, Dreweatt’s plans to sell the photographs as part of a larger military memorabilia auction.
The photographs are bound into three books of cigarette card images, which were taken between 1932 and 1935, according to the Daily Mail, and are expected to set off a bidding war.