26 November 2019
Interest in National Socialist-era German militaria remains high, so here we are taking a look at a few Hitler-related auctions.
First of all, Eva Braun’s silk knickers were up for grabs at Humbert and Ellis. The pair of pants, complete with Eva Braun’s initials, came from the collection of a European collector and sold for £3,700 to a telephone bidder. The same buyer also bagged her lace nightdress for £2,600. In the Humbert and Ellis, of Towcester, auction in September, there was also a bracelet once owned by Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring’s wife, Emmy. Gold plated, dated 1938, with a central swastika-festooned locket containing a mugshot of the Führer, it sold for £1,850.
Slightly more affordable, and certainly a lot more fun, was a roll of toilet paper where each sheet contains a caricature of Third Reich figures. Produced in the late 1930s, it was discovered in a barn in Herefordshire. Each of the 20 sheets has an individual drawing and caption, including one of Hitler with the witty line: ‘Now I’m brownshirt all over.’ Chorley’s Auctioneer Thomas Jenner-Fust, said, “It's rather thin war-issue paper and wouldn't stand up to much. It came from a house in Herefordshire but unfortunately the family had no idea where it came from. It’s not complete, there are about 20 sheets and the end sheet has a tear mark across it. It sold for £160 but with the buyers premium that's about £198 - so about £10 per sheet.” Thomas added, “That has to be a world record for toilet paper. You could say we were flushed with success.”
On a more serious note, Hitler’s top hat, cigar box and a silver covered edition of Mein Kampf were recently up for sale at a Hermann Historica auction. The top hat, complete with an ‘AH’ monogram, sold for £42,847 while Mein Kampf made £111,429. The buyer, Abdalla Chatila, a Swiss-based entrepreneur, spent around £513,000 on 10 items and subsequently donated all of them to an Israeli fundraiser to fight anti-Semitism. Abdalla told a Swiss newspaper: ‘Far-right populism and anti-Semitism are spreading all over Europe and the world. I did not want these objects to fall into the wrong hands and to be used by people with dishonest intentions.’
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association (EJA), stated, “In a cynical world... such a noble act of kindness, generosity and solidarity.”
He also said Abdalla Chatila would join a visit by 100 European parliament members to the site of World War II death camp Auschwitz in January, where he will receive an award. The Hermann Historica auction featured 147 items specifically related to Nazi Germany, among more than 800 German historical collectibles from 1919 onwards.
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