CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md., July 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On July 28-29, 2022, Maryland auctioneers Alexander Historical Auctions, known internationally for their sale of historical military objects, will be offering the bronze desk set and blotter used by Adolf Hitler during the signing of the Munich Pact on September 30, 1938. The agreement, signed by Germany, Great Britain, France, and Italy, ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Germany for what British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain promised would be "peace in our time." Hitler was instead emboldened, and a year later he would invade Poland – and bring on World War II. It would also lead to Chamberlain’s ousting and the installation of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.
The massive bronze piece was recovered from the flooded basement of Hitler’s Munich headquarters by Lt. John McConn who had been ordered with his men to protect the large quantity of stolen art hidden there on Hitler’s orders earlier in the war.
The sale will also include an ornately-engraved gold watch presented to Adolf Hitler in 1933 by top Nazi Party members. The watch is estimated to bring over $2,000,000.
The reversible watch is engraved with a Nazi eagle and swastika, along with the dates of Hitler’s birth, his appointment as Chancellor, and the date of elections which gave Hitler complete control of the country. No other watch owned by Hitler has ever come to market. The Huber watch with LeCoultre movement was discovered by a French soldier who was among the first to reach the dictator’s vacation retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany, on May 4, 1945. The watch remained in the soldier’s family for decades until it was sold to another family member in the 1980s.
The auction will also offer a second military watch of great notoriety. On September 12, 1943 German commandos led by Major Otto Skorzeny freed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from imprisonment on an Italian mountaintop, where he was being held pending trial. Mussolini thanked the commandos with gifts of engraved gold Swiss watches. While under Allied arrest, Skorzeny was convinced by American secret military agents that he could trade his watch for a route to freedom – information on which was desired by the agents. In the end, Skorzeny escaped, and an agent kept his Mussolini watch. It is offered with an estimate of $15,000.
Other important lots in the 1,600 lot sale include Hitler’s signed declaration that he would remain in Berlin until the end; an original script from Orson Welles’ famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast that terrified the East Coast; Alfred Hitchcock’s signed copy of his script for "Strangers On a Train"; an excessively rare letter and envelope signed by Mao Zedong; and historic groupings of maps and documents from the captain of HMS AJAX, describing the battle leading to the sinking of the German battleship GRAF SPEE in December, 1939.
Bidding will be available live, by telephone, and at the auctioneer’s web site.
SOURCE Alexander Historical Auctions LLC