The 10 most expensive pieces of Nazi memorabilia
We look at 10 of the most expensive pieces of Nazi memorabilia ever auctioned
The 10 most expensive pieces of Nazi memorabilia
The Nazis grew from their early beginnings as a group of right wing thugs based in Munich to become the most reviled and hated regime of the 20th century.
Their insidious smothering of the freethinking Germany of that era marked the beginning of one of the most painful periods of European history – leading to the murder of six million Jews and a war that lasted six years and claimed the lives of around 75 million people.
Nazi memorabilia is a contentious issue. Many countries have banned its sale and possession. It should, however, be noted that the largest buyer is the Jewish community – to ensure that the memory of the holocaust never fades, and the events of the past are never repeated.
Worthy of mention: Mussolini’s suitcase - $6,325
By April 1945, the game was up for Mussolini, and the fascist leader attempted to flee to Spain. However, he was recognised by communist partisans, executed and hung from the roof of a Milanese petrol station. This suitcase, which he was carrying with him when he was apprehended, sold for $6,325 at Heritage Auctions in 2011. It was consigned by the family of a member of the Italian Allied government during the war – who apparently used to wear it as a Halloween costume.
10) Third Reich autographs - $19,000
A 1926 photograph and collection of signatures from nine members of the fledgling NSDAP, including Hitler, Goebbels, Goring and Himmler, sold for $19,000 at Alexander Historical Auctions in Connecticut in June 2010.
9) Hitler’s tea tray - $46,334
Albert Speer, the architect of the third Reich, presented a 3,000 piece silver set to Hitler on his 50th birthday on April 20, 1939 – from where this tray originates. It sold for £28,000 ($46,334) at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in 2012.
8) Hitler’s “lost” ring - $55,000
Karl Berthold, a goldsmith and high-ranking Nazi, designed this ostentatious piece of jewellery – which sold at Alexander Historical Auctions in September 2013 for $55,000. Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos described it as “testament to the excesses of the Third Reich”.
7) Hitler-signed copy of Mein Kampf - $69,564
This autographed copy of Mein Kampf sold at Mullock’s Auctioneers in Shropshire, UK in 2013, where it achieved a figure of £42,000 ($69,564). The signature is dated March 5, 1945 – a time when the dictator was sheltering from the advancing Russians in his bunker in Berlin. Just a few weeks later, on April 30, he shot himself.
6) Hitler’s globe - $82,740
The globe was discovered in the ruins of Hitler’s Bavarian chalet, known as the Eagle’s Nest, at Obersalzberg in southern Germany in 1945 by a US soldier - who brought it home to America. It went on to make $82,740 at Greg Martin Auctions in San Francisco in 2007.
5) Hitler’s personalised rifle - $140,025
A Krieghoff Drilling rifle/shotgun, engraved with the initials AH, sold in an online auction at gunbroker.com – achieving $140,025 in 2006. The gun was allegedly presented to the dictator by its manufacturer in 1934 in an attempt to curry favour for a military contract.
It was seized from Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest chalet by US troops in May 1945 – with the soldier who took the weapon keeping it under his bed during the following decades.
4) Hitler’s paintings - $143,358
A set of 15 paintings from Hitler’s unsuccessful career as an artist made a combined £97,672 ($143,358) at Mullock’s in 2009. One particular work, dating to 1910, is believed to be a self-portrait. Signed "A.H.", it features an indistinct figure sat on a bridge - believed to be Hitler himself.
3) Joseph Mengele’s diaries - $245,000
This collection of diaries, written by Josef Mengele while in hiding in South America in the 1960s and 1970s, sold at Alexander Historical Auctions in 2011 for $245,000. They were bought by an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who is a dedicated collector of Nazi memorabilia.
2) Hitler’s desk - $423,000
The desk where Hitler signed the Munich Pact sold for $423,000 at Alexander Historical Auctions in 2011. The UK's failed act of appeasement with Germany permitted the annexation of the border of Czechoslovakia in 1938 – which led to British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s famous “Peace for our time” speech. Less than a year later the world was at war.
1) Hitler’s 1935 Mercedes Benz 770K - $8m
Hitler’s armoured 1935 Mercedes Benz 770 Kompresser Cabriolet was sold to a Russian businessman in 2009 as part of a package that included six other Mercedes Benz 770s owned by the Nazi party. The Cabriolet alone is thought to have accounted for $8m of the $16m deal.
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