Adolf Hitler’s personal travelling telephone is up for sale at a Maryland auction house this weekend, along with hundreds of photos, posters, documents and other Nazi-era memorabilia from world war II.
The phone is considered a “weapon of mass destruction” by Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City.
It was used extensively by Hitler during world war II to conduct the business of genocide and war.
Some believe that Hitler’s red phone, responsible for directing the destruction of a continent and the deaths of tens of millions of people belongs in a museum.
Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner, the first British officer to enter Hitler’s bunker, was gifted the phone as a souvenir by the Russian Red Army, who had earlier captured Hitler’s last command HQ.
His son is now selling the red phone.
It is estimated to fetch over the $300,000 asking price at auction.
The artifacts include documents signed by the fascist leader before he committed suicide on April 30, 1945, in a Berlin underground bunker as Russian troops advanced. Also for sale are medals, an Italian language copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” manifesto and papers with the signature of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s right-hand man charged with running the infamous extermination camps that killed millions of European Jews, along with opponents of the Nazi regime.
But perhaps the most notorious item is the late fuhrer’s red phone, which is featured on the auction house’s sale catalog cover. The asking price for the phone — given by Russian soldiers to the late British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a visit to the bunker and being sold by Rayner’s son — is $200,000 to $300,000.
Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City told NBC Washington that the seller and auction house hope Hitler’s traveling phone winds up in a museum, where people who see it “really understand what extreme fascist thinking can bring about.”
According to the auction catalog, the phone went everywhere with Hitler as he directed the fighting during the last two years of World War II.
“It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history to annihilate countless innocents, lay waste to hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, and in the end, destroy his own country and people…with effects that still menacingly reverberate today,” the catalog text says. “This was not a staid office telephone used to solicit contributions to the party, or to answer polite calls at the Berghof…this was Hitler’s mobile device of destruction, used in vehicles, trains, his field headquarters, at the Wolf’s Lair…and in the last desperate days deep beneath Berlin. While Hitler vehicles, tunics, accessories, tableware, and other personal items are readily available, an item of this importance with such solid provenance is offered perhaps once in a lifetime.”
Many items in the catalog are relics of American and British forces as they fought the Nazis and their allies. The list includes photos of famed Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, who led a daring bombing raid on Tokyo; a photo of the crew of the Memphis Belle, whose bombing raids leveled German arms factories and shipyards; and memorabilia of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and helped end the war in the Pacific.