Jerusalem: A painting by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, which may have belonged to Jewish-Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, will be up for auction next month in London raising speculations that the two may have known each other during their early days in Vienna.
The watercolour depicting a church and mountains signed, ‘A Hitler, 1910’, with ‘Sigmund Freud, Vienna’, written on the back of the painting will be up for sale at a starting price of GBP 10,000.
"Both men were in Vienna at the same time and we know Hitler was selling his paintings, so it is quite possible that Freud had one on the wall", Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock`s Specialist Auctioneers told Britain`s Telegraph yesterday.
"We will never know for certain whether this was Freud`s, but it raises the tantalising prospect that the two men might have met," he said.
The strange coincidence has led the painting`s owners to conclude that it may have hung on the wall of Freud`s Vienna office where he lived and worked until he fled to London after Germany took over Austria in 1938, daily Ha`aretz reported.
The painting was brought to Italy after World War II where it was taken by an American soldier who later claimed that he was told the painting was hanging in Freud`s clinic, the daily said. Freud was a Jewish-Austrian neurologist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry.
If the painting is indeed the work of Hitler and was on the wall of the famous psychiatrist then the two may have known each other or met during their early days in Vienna.
Both of them lived in Vienna around 1910 when Hitler was trying to make a living as a painter.
"The possibility that this watercolour once hung on the walls of Freud`s consulting rooms in Vienna may seem on the face of it completely bizarre," Brookes said.