Unseen Hitler photos sold at British auction

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A collection of previously unseen photographs of Adolf Hitler, including one of him meeting Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, sold in Britain for 30,000 pounds (35,800 euros or 47,900 dollars), an auctioneer said Wednesday.

The 600 pictures and 800 negatives were taken by Hitler's personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann during the Nazi party's rise to power before World War II, and had been privately owned for decades until now.

They include shots of Hitler attending a training school for SS officers and giving the Nazi salute from his car during a rally at Nuremburg, said auctioneer Jonathan Humbert, based in the central English town of Towcester.

Hitler is also shown meeting Mussolini in Munich and at the 1936 Olympics in the photographs, which sold on Tuesday night.

"I was astonished by the interest we had in the photographs, even from Germany," Humbert said.

"They provided a never seen before insight into the rise of the Nazi party, and some personal views of Hitler himself."

Hoffmann joined the Nazi party in 1920 and was selected by Hitler as his official photographer, with his images published as postage stamps, postcards, posters and picture books.

He introduced Hitler to his photographic assistant Eva Braun, the woman who would eventually become the Nazi leader's mistress.

US forces arrested Hoffmann in 1945 and seized a large archive of his photographs. Hoffmann was sentenced to four years in jail for profiteering and died in 1957.

Separately, a set of dentures belonging to Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill are due to go to on sale at Bonhams auction house in London on Wednesday with an estimated price of 12,000 pounds.

© 2011 AFP

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