Two portraits, depicting Adolf Hitler's parents Klara and Alois, are due to go up for auction Monday. The one-of-a-kind portraits, which had been owned by an originally French family, surfaced in Orange County when they contacted a military antiques dealer. Allegedly the same ones that hung in Hitler's mountain home, the Berghof, the works were somewhat well-known even before their rediscovery.
According to the dealer, "These portraits are very famous images from the Third Reich period, having appeared on postcards, on Klara Hitler's gravestone, as well as in a period-catalog of art owned by Hitler" that is held in the US Library of Congress.
The paintings had been photographed during the period, which helped to authenticate them, according to Los Angeles' KTLA 5. The works' distinctive brush strokes are depicted in two particularly detailed photographs, and are said to match those of the paintings. Get a closer look in the video below.
When the future dictator's lineage came under scrutiny in his early career, Alois' parentage was a major point of contention. The argument over the identity of Alois' father (Adolf's grandfather) gave rise to the speculation, common during and after the war, that the Hitlers may have been part Jewish. The claim that Alois' mother bore him illegitimately with the son of her Jewish employers is rejected by most historians today, but nevertheless thrust Alois' memory into a historically important spotlight.