A never-before-seen painting of Nazi leader Hermann Goering has been discovered and is now up for auction. The oil painting, painted by Jewish artist Imre Goth, enraged the Nazi commander since it showed who he truly was — a morphine addict.
Goering reportedly became addicted to morphine during his service in World War I.
The painting shows the Nazi Luftwaffe commander sitting in a chair, while his pupils appear dilated and his stare seems empty. Goering originally commissioned Imre to create portraits of him and his actress girlfriend Emmy Sonnemann in 1934. Goering requested a heroic image that was in line with his fellow Nazi leaders, but Goth maintained that he could only paint what he was seeing.
Goth chose not to paint a “dishonest” portrayal of the Hitler’s right-hand man. The Nazi commander was portrayed in a much truer light instead.
A documentary on the life of Hermann Goering can be seen below:
Goering was reportedly upset with Goth’s painting, which forced Goth to leave Germany and take refuge in Britain. While there, he was interned in a camp located on the Isle of Man. With his painting of the Nazi commander in hand, he decided to hand it over to his friend Sylvia Reed.
Goth requested that the painting be destroyed before she died.
However, Reed made the choice of preserving the painting for future generations to see. The painting was kept in hiding for close to 30 years.
The Daily Mail released the details of the note that Reed wrote alongside Goth’s portrait:
At the time Imre Goth got on well with Goering due to their mutual interest in aircraft and flying…all went well until the portrait of Goering was finished. Goering felt that the eyes betrayed the fact that he was taking morphine and he demanded that Goth should change them. Goth said he could only paint what he saw and left immediately.
The portrait of Herman Goering will now be up for auction at a war memorabilia sale, which will be held in Ludlow, Shropshire on February 14. The reserve price is listed at £8,000, although the painting’s price is noted to be as high as £50,000.
When Goth was given permission to live outside of the Isle of Man camp, he stayed in the UK until his passing in 1982. Before his exiled stay in the UK, he was known for his paintings that were featured on the covers of German magazines in the 1930’s and in art galleries.
Goth was 89-years-old at the time of his death. He lived from 1893 until 1982.