Check Mates

Hitler and Lenin's Chess Match Up for Auction

If the scene depicted in a recently revealed etching is any indication, Hitler and Lenin may have faced one another in a game of chess nearly a century ago. The alleged when-Adolf-met-Vladimir work is signed by Emma Lowenstramm and the back of the work features pencil markings identified as the two controversial historical leaders’ signatures. The piece, up for auction at Mullock’s Specialist Auctioneers & Valuers in England, is estimated at $63,000 to $95,000, as is the chess set Hitler and Lenin supposedly used for the game. The 300-page dossier accompanying the work reveals that the father of the current owner of the etching, Felix Edenhofer, received the work from his grandmother, the Lowenstramms’ housekeeper. She was allegedly given the picture amongst other items from the Jewish family. That obviously eyebrow-raising reveal is amplified by the dossier’s claims that Lowenstramm, allegedly Hitler’s personal art instructor, made the etching in Vienna in 1909 from her home, a retreat for “free political thinkers.” Though the depiction does not appear to match the Nazi and Communist leaders’ respective ages at the time at which it was reportedly drawn, the auction’s curator explains it’s “a piece of art, and not a photograph,” but is still not certain of its authenticity.