LOS ANGELES – Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is considered one of the most racist and heinous screeds in modern history, but an auctioneer says two rare, early editions signed by Hitler could sell Thursday for more than $20,000 at an online auction.
Nate Sanders, owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles, said Hitler gave the books to Josef Bauer, an early follower who participated in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich.
Hitler was arrested and jailed for the attempt to seize power. While behind bars, he dictated “Mein Kampf” – two volumes of autobiography and anti-Semitic manifesto – to Rudolf Hess to raise money for his criminal defense. Hess later served as Hitler’s deputy.
The fly leaves of the books feature Hitler’s signature with best wishes to his friend for the Christmas season.
Sanders said volumes of “Mein Kampf” from the 1930s are common because they were popular wedding gifts in Nazi Germany. However, a copy signed by the author is rare, he said.
Selling Nazi memorabilia is prohibited in many European countries that experienced the horrors of World War II.
Sanders, however, defends collecting items connected with the Nazi regime, saying most collectors are military history aficionados.
“The same people who collect Adolf Hitler (items) collect George Washington, or World War II, or George Patton,” said Sanders, who is Jewish. “You have the whole gamut. There’s white supremacist collectors of Hitler, and there’s Jewish collectors of Hitler” items.