A painting that Nazi leader Hermann Goering felt exposed a morphine addiction is going on the auction block next month, according to the UK’s Daily Maily. The never-before-seen portrait was done by Imre Goth in the 1930s and so enraged Goering that Goth had to flee the country.
Goth, who was Jewish, never lost possession of the painting, and on his death 30 years ago he gave it to his friend Sylvia Reed on condition she destroy it upon her own death. But she never did.
Goering commissioned the Hungarian-born artist – whose work appeared in a number of popular German magazines – to paint portraits of him and his actress girlfriend in 1934, at the height of the Nazi rise to power.
But Goering, who had developed an addiction to morphine during the First World War, was worried that the painting showed the effects the drug was having on his body.
A note from Mrs Reed which accompanies the picture reads: “Goering commissioned him to paint pictures of friends and particularly of an actress he was having an affair with at the time, and then asked him to paint his portrait as he wished to give it as present to his girlfriend.
“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.”