WASHINGTON — A Maryland auction house will hold an auction March 17 and March 18 for more than 1,000 World War II historical items, including Adolf Hitler’s own copy of “Mein Kampf.”
Hitler’s copy was captured by members of an American field artillery unit attached to the 45th Infantry Division, who found it in Hitler’s Munich apartment. Eleven officers signed the first page of the book documenting their find: “From Adolf Hitler’s apartment in Munich on May 2, 1945.”
Chesapeake City-based Alexander Historical Auctions says the 1927 edition of Hitler’s manifesto is bound in red leather with the title in gold print on its spine. It was kept by a soldier’s daughter until a few years ago.
The current seller is identified only as an East Coast collector/dealer. Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos says the auction price is estimated at $15,000 to $17,000, though it is expected to go higher.
Other items being auctioned include German U-boat documents, including items seized from U-249, the first German submarine to surrender directly to the Allies at the end of the war.
Panagopulos says preserving such items is important, especially in light of their terrible history.
The auction also includes a file on Dutch civilians who turned in Jews for bounty payments, and concentration camp letters and documents.
Past auctions held by Alexander Historical Auctions have included Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural top hat, a watch John F. Kennedy gave to Marilyn Monroe, Al Capone’s pistol and Dwight Eisenhower’s four-star general’s helmet.