Adolf Hitler’s personal telephone, which the Führer used to dictate many of his commands in the last two years of the second world war, will be put up for sale this weekend, a US auction house has said.
Originally a black Bakelite phone that was 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.
Auction house Alexander Historical Auctions estimates its worth at between $200,000 (£161,000) and $300,000.
On Sunday, the company in Maryland will auction more than a thousand items – including the Siemens rotary telephone embossed with a swastika and eagle symbolic of the Third Reich.
Alexander House said the phone – which Hitler received from the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s armed forces – was “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time, which sent millions to their deaths”.
Russian officers gave the device to British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a tour of the bunker shortly after Germany’s surrender. Rayner’s son inherited the phone and is selling it, its paint now peeling to reveal its original synthetic black resin surface.
“It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history,” the auction house said in a statement.