Hitler's phone sold for $243,000

Nazi leader's personal telephone sold at auction in Maryland for $243,000.

Ben Ariel ,

Red rotary telephone (illustration)
Red rotary telephone (illustration)

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's personal telephone, which he used to dictate many of his World War II commands, was sold on Sunday at an auction for $243,000, AFP reports.

Originally a black Bakelite phone, later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler's name, it was found in the Nazi leader's Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime's defeat.

The auction house Alexander Historical Auctions, which did not reveal the winning bidder's identity, had estimated its worth between $200,000 and $300,000. The starting bid was set at $100,000.

The Maryland company auctioned off more than a thousand items, including the phone and a porcelain sculpture of an Alsatian dog for $24,300.

Both winners bid by telephone.

The rotary telephone is more than 70 years old, and is embossed with a swastika and the eagle symbolic of the Third Reich, according to AFP.

Alexander House dubbed the phone as "arguably the most destructive 'weapon' of all time, which sent millions to their deaths."

It said Hitler used it to give most of his orders during the last two years of World War II.

The British officer who pulled the phone from the bunker's ruins is Ralph Rayner, whose son Ranulf inherited the phone after Ralph's death in 1977.

Items associated with the Nazi leader have several times gone on auctions in recent years. In 2015, 14 original works of art by Hitler went up for auction in southern Germany.

Last year, a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" owned by the Nazi leader himself and found in his Munich apartment sold for $20,655 in the United States.

New copies of Mein Kampf were printed in Germany last year for the first time since World War II.

According to figures released last month, the annotated edition of Hitler’s book became a bestseller and sold 85,000 copies in 2016.