A copy of Adolf Hitler’s infamous Mein Kampf owned by the dictator himself has reportedly sold for over $20,000, an auction house has said.
The book, written by the leader of the Third Reich during his time in jail, was sold at the Alexander Historical Auction in Chesapeake City – alongside a thousand other World War Two items.
Mein Kampf, first published in 1924, was Hitler’s political manifesto, filled with an arsenal of hate-filled diatribes towards Jews – including his plans to exterminate them.
It was sold for $20,655 – or, just over £14,000 – to an American buyer. There were more than ten bidders, on phone and online, according to the Local.
Bill Panagopulos, owner and auctioneer of Alexander Historical Auctions, told ABC he understands the controversy around the item, but added it’s not a reason to get rid of it. “Why is it important to preserve history?” he said.
“The good and the bad, so that we don’t repeat the sins of the past. It’s important that we have them and keep them in front of us.”
"This book has generated a lot of controversy especially in light of present-day comparisons of certain political candidates with Hitler and suggestions that their political beliefs are in line with his. I'm not going to comment on that but it's surprising the number of comments we've received along those lines.”
ABC adds that the book was found by members of an American field artillery unit, and after it was discovered, 11 officers signed the first page: “From Adolf Hitler’s apartment on May 2, 1945”.
The book was considered a failure when it was first released but went on to sell 5.2m copies between the Nazis rise to power in 1933 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 – a sign of the power of indoctrination.
After the Second World War, the Allied forces gave the copyright over to the state of Bavaria, which banned the reproduction of the book.