Lloyd George’s signed Hitler pic is up for auction
GIFT TO FORMER PM EXPECTED TO MAKE £20,000
A SIGNED photograph of Adolf Hitler given to former Prime Minister David Lloyd George personally by the Nazi leader is to go under the hammer.
Hitler gave Lloyd George the picture, which is dated September 4, 1936, when he visited him at his villa in the Bavarian Alps at Berchtesgaden – just two weeks after the infamous Berlin Olympics.
During the 1930s Lloyd George was regarded as pro-German and after the visit the Welshman described Hitler in glowing terms.
Lloyd George’s visit to the Berghof has been seen as an exercise in folly and the former Great War Prime Minister and Liberal leader painted as a self-deluded victim of Nazi propaganda.
He had a one-to-one meeting with Hitler on September 4 and the following afternoon joined him and other guests for tea, which is where the photograph was presented.
The half-length silver print portrait is inscribed: “Mister Lloyd George, zur freundlichen Erinnerung an seinen Beitrag in meinen Deutschland in umsichtiger Vorahnung, Adolf Hitler, Berchtesgaden den 4 /Sept. 1936.”
This translates to: “Mister Lloyd George, in kind remembrance of his contribution to my Germany with circumspect presentiment, Adolf Hitler, Berchtesgaden, 4th September 1936.”
Auctioneer Chris Albury said: “This is one of the most historically charged autograph items we have ever handled in 30 years.
“It is mind-boggling to us now to think that the meeting between David Lloyd George and Adolf Hitler ever took place at all.
“That Lloyd George was keen to be given this signed presentation photograph of the Fuhrer to commemorate the occasion is even more spine-tingling.
“And to see and handle the photograph in the flesh is very eerie, the whole arc of the horror of Hitler’s rise to power seeming to be encapsulated in this one item, with the additional sense of dread and foreboding for the war that was coming.”
Mr Albury said that the photograph had been discovered among the books and effects of a deceased London book dealer.
“When I handled the initial enquiry I didn’t for a minute believe this would turn out to be genuine but when I was sent a high resolution image by email, I almost fell off my chair,” he said.
“The writing was definitely ink and the hand was unmistakably that of the dictator himself.
“A few weeks later with the photograph in my hands I was able to confirm that it was indeed authentic and worth an estimated £15,000 to £20,000.
“We suspect that Lloyd George’s widow disposed of this rather embarrassing heirloom when she sold all sorts of items into the London trade in the 1960s since when it seems to have been kept out of sight.”
Mr Albury said the meeting was remarkable because of Lloyd L George’s role in signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the reparations imposed on a defeated Germany after t the First World War.
“It is a wonder that the t two statesmen could ever sit down to tea and coffee, cold ham and hard-boiled eggs together,” he said.
“Lloyd George was not a Nazi but was convinced t that Germany and Britain should be allies and he w was clearly bewitched by H Hitler’s strong personality as a leader who made t things happen.
“How much Hitler admired Lloyd George is more ambiguous and hindsight would suggest that this was a very successful PR exercise by Hitler with Lloyd George simply a puppet whose strings he pulled.
“Hitler’s slightly enigmatic inscription on the photograph translates as ‘Mr Lloyd George, in kind remembrance of his contribution to my Germany with circumspect presentiment, Adolf Hitler’.
“What exactly Hitler meant Lloyd George to understand by that and what he actually meant by it is a matter for historians to discuss and argue about and adds to the fascination of this unique item.”
The photograph will go under the hammer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester, Gloucestershire on November 9 with an estimated sale price of between £15,000 and £20,000.
● Hitler gave this signed photograph to Welsh former Prime Minister David Lloyd George, pictured inset, in 1936