The telephone, described by auctioneer Bill Panagopulos as „the most destructive weapon of all time,” was used by Hitler to issue orders resulting in the deaths of tens of millions, both on the front and in concentration camps throughout Europe.
The telephone, engraved with a swastika and Hitler’s name, was given to Brigadier Ralph Rayner who had been sent to shattered Berlin to establish communications with the victorious Russians. Rayner, the first British officer to reach the city, was given a tour of Hitler’s bunker and was presented with Hitler’s telephone as a souvenir. He was also given a porcelain Alsatian figure which had been gifted to Hitler by ruthless SS chief Heinrich Himmler. The figure was made by slave laborers at Dachau. It also is being offered in the sale.
Both items have remained in Rayner’s family until now. Film of the telephone may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUoynfNkArM.
A number of items taken by an American tank commander from Hitler’s bombed-out summer home at Berchtesgaden are also to come to the block. Of great interest is Hitler’s own copy of his political manifesto „Mein Kampf,” his plan for the domination of Germany and the destruction of the Jews. The soldier also found a key to Hitler’s quarters, and a silver table platter, both of which will also be offered in the sale.
An especially evocative item is a blast-damaged clock found in the ruins of Hiroshima. The casing of the clock is warped and twisted, and gears from within are actually heat-fused to the base of the clock. The glass face is melted, and the hands of the clock are frozen in time — witness to the destruction wrought by the atomic bomb.
Other notable items to be offered include:
A map of „Utah Beach” used during the invasion of Normandy
The last American flag to leave Wake Island. The island was valiantly defended by Marines until it was finally captured by the Japanese
Hermann Goring’s eyeglasses and cased monocle
A torch from the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Combat helmet of Gen. William H. H. Morris who relieved Bastogne
Bidding will be available live, by telephone, and at the bidding websites:
Alexander Historical Auctions may be reached at 203-276-1570, email: [email protected]