A number of Adolf Hitler’s personal items—including a 1940 field tunic, trousers, neckties, a pillowcase, and his dog license—have together commanded at least half a million euros during a recent auction.
Hitler’s tunic went for €275,000 (US$312,000), his necktie for €18,000 ($20,500), while the 1929 dog license went for €3,800 ($4,300)—all way above their reserve prices.
The auction was run by Munich-based Hermann Historica, which operates in conjunction with legal requirements as specified by the German government concerning items from the Nazi era.
The long list of items comes from the collection of Dr. John Lattimer, who started collecting the personal effects while he was the official Allied medical doctor assigned to the top German prisoners on trial at Nuremberg after the war’s end.
Latimer acquired personal effects from the executed prisoners’ belongings, and bits of the ropes used to hang most of the men. These pieces of rope were also auctioned off.
However, it was Latimer’s collection of personal effects from Hitler—many acquired directly from his personal valet, Heinz Linge, and others of Hitler’s personal entourage—which drew the highest prices.
For example, a receipt from the Munich city tax office for Hitler’s payment of dog licensing fees for 1929 took €3,800 (reserve price €1,500), while two of his neckties, a white silk scarf, a bow tie, and a pair of socks went for €18,000 (reserve price €500).
Signed photographs went for between €2,100 and €4,400, while some personal business cards signed by Hitler fetched €5,300.
Two sketches by Hitler—one of a planned private theater in Berlin, and another for a library in Linz, went for €4,000 and €3,400 respectively.
A large linen tablecloth from the Berghof, Hitler’s house in the Alps, described as a “white linen damask with subtle, interwoven floral decor, in one corner an embroidered private monogram ‘AH’” went for €2,800, while napkins from the Berghof table service, described as “cream-colored linen, in one corner a national eagle embroidered in relief with monogram ‘AH’” went for between €1,250 and €1,500 (reserve prices €400).
A pillowcase from the Berghof, described as “fine, cream-colored silk damask (stained), the front with a raised embroidered monogram ‘AH’ in neo-Gothic style,” went for €1,300.
Hitler’s 1940 field grey tunic, worn during the campaign in France, still showing the holes where he wore his party badge and Iron Cross, went for €275,000 (reserve price €30,000).
A pair of Hitler’s long black trousers went for €62,000 (reserve price €3,000), and his raincoat went for €38,000 (reserve price €2,500).
Other items included many of Luftwaffe chief’s Hermann Göring’s personal effects, including a “two-color silver rotary pencil with Christmas dedication” from 1935 (sold for €5,000), his “beaver fur Stetson hat” (€3,400), his “grey silk tie and grey silk stockings” (€600), and his “luxurious leather gloves” (€1,150).
In addition, two of Eva Braun’s dresses went for €2,700 and €2,900 respectively.