(1889 - 1945) Fuhrer of Germany and Nazi Party leader, Hitler's bloody rise to power, his military seizure of most of Europe and North Africa and his genocidal racial policies culminated in suicide in his Berlin bunker as Russian troops approached. ORIGINAL SIGNED ARTWORK GIVEN TO HERMANN ESSER Original signed piece of art by Hitler, an 8.5 x 2.25 in. (open) handmade greeting card, addressed within to early NSDAP member and editor of the 'Volkischer Beobachter' Hermann Esser, in red ink. The card is illustrated with a hand-executed watercolor image with gilt paint highlights, depicting a mustachioed figure, possibly Hitler himself but perhaps recipient Esser, dressed in a mountaineering outfit with binoculars and a rifle, surrounded by deer, birds and a rabbit, and with a cherub serving the figure a plate of food at right. Hitler signs opposite the illustration in black ink, adding the date '1./Jan. 1939'. The piece has been expertly inlaid in a taupe card mount, else very good. Near identical sketches using the same artistic style and with the same somewhat awkward figures are credited to Hitler in the book 'Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress' by Nerin E. Gun, published in London, 1968, and they appear again in a Sunday Times (London) article at about the same time. Author Gun, an ex-inmate of Dachau, translated the surviving fragments of Eva Braun's diaries for printing and published them in various languages as part of his biography of Eva Braun . For his research, he stayed close to the Braun family in Ruhpolding. In the view of historian and biographer Heike B. Gortemaker, Gun's work was 'the only serious biography' of Eva Braun. It was likely from the family that Gun received the examples of Hitler's art illustrated in his biography. HERMAN ESSER (1900–1981) was a very early member of the Nazi Party. A journalist, Esser was the editor of the Nazi paper, Volkischer Beobachter, and a Nazi member of the Reichstag. In the early history of the party, he was a de facto deputy of Adolf Hitler. He would later be ostracized by the party for his sexual peccadilloes.