Adolf’s Hitler’s watch sold in controversial auction for almost £1million

·1-min read
The watch (pictured) is embalzoned with a swastika and the initials AH  (Alexander Historical Auctions)
The watch (pictured) is embalzoned with a swastika and the initials AH (Alexander Historical Auctions)

A watch believed to have been owned by Adolf Hitler has been sold for $1.1m (£900,000) to an anonymous bidder at an auction in the US.

The Huber timepiece, dating from the 1930s, features engravings of a swastika and the initials AH.

But the auction has been labelled “abhorrent” in an open letter signed by 34 Jewish leaders.

“This auction, whether unwittingly or not, is doing two things: one, giving succour to those who idealise what the Nazi party stood for. Two: Offering buyers the chance to titillate a guest or loved one with an item belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA).

However, Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland said its aim is to preserve history.

They added that most of their collectors kept the items in private collections or donated them to Holocaust museums around the world.

"If you destroy history, there is no proof that it happened," said Mindy Greenstein, senior vice president at Alexander Historical Auctions.

"Whether good or bad history, it must be preserved."

The catalogue description for the watch says it was given to the Nazi leader as a birthday present in 1933, the year he was named chancellor of Germany.

It said the watch was seized as “spoils of war” when around 30 French soldiers stormed Hitler’s Berghof retreat in the mountains of Bavaria.

It was then resold and handed down through the generations.

Other items auctioned included Wehrmacht toilet paper, cutlery and champagne glasses belonging to senior Nazi figures.

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