The globe with which Adolf Hitler may well have plotted his conquests and strategies has surfaced for the first time in more than 62 years, and will be sold at auction next month. It was liberated – or stolen, depending on your point of view – from the Fuhrer's mountain hideaway by a US soldier in May 1945.
Chief Warrant Officer John Barsamian entered Hitler's Bavarian retreat in Berchtesgaden, known as the Eagle's Nest, after other US troops had already extensively looted the property, even stripping leather from the chairs. But there, on a desk, was the globe. Mr Barsamian commandeered it and shipped it home to California. It has remained in his possession ever since, sitting beside an upright piano in his basement. Only his family and a few close friends knew it existed.
Now, at 91, Mr Barsamian is ready to sell. He has passed it to Greg Martin Auctions of San Francisco, in whose forthcoming sale it is Lot 1569. In the catalogue it is described as being 41 inches around, 18 inches high, and standing on a simple wooden base dated 10 January 1941. It has a little damage, sustained in the bombing of the Eagle's Nest.
Intriguingly, there are also a few lines on the sphere, drawn in red, blue and green ink. Some of these are across the Atlantic Ocean, raising the prospect that it was on this globe that someone plotted a possible invasion of the United States. The estimate, which includes supporting documents, is a remarkably low one of $15,000-$20,000.Reuse content