These two life-sized cats look distinctly sinister, just like the man believed to have been their owner – Hitler’s Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering.
The Gestapo-founding Nazi leader reputedly used the pair of carved oak cats as book-ends for leather-bound volumes including the Fuhrer’s Mein Kampf.
But the malevolent moggies were “liberated” by RAF Squadron Leader Geoffrey “Butch” Butcher after the British Army seized the Luftwaffe air base at Jever in Germany in 1945.
Following the war, the CO of No 6 Air School brought the “trophy” cats back to England, and now they’re expected to fetch £600 to £800 when they go under the hammer at auction.
Sqdn Ldr Butcher served as a chief flying instructor and was posted to South Africa where he trained RAF airmen before they returned to fight the war against the Luftwaffe in Europe.
Auctioneer Malcolm Claridge, who will sell the cats at Dreweatts militaria sale in Bristol on March 28, said: “They are a very distinctive pair of Black Forest-style cat book-ends which Sqdn Ldr Butcher reputedly ‘liberated’ from one of Goering’s homes.
“The cats are life-sized and they certainly share a rather distinctive menacing facial expression.”
Goering, who founded Hitler’s Gestapo secret police was a prime architect of the Nazi Holocaust. He took his own life aged 53 by swallowing a cyanide capsule after he was sentence
The bookends will be sold at Dreweatts’ militaria sale in Bristol on March 28th.