14 May 2004
WELLINGTON – A religious book once owned by Adolf Hitler and a typed thank-you card bearing his signature sold for record prices at an auction in Auckland, New Zealand.
Auctioneers Dunbar Sloane said the book “God’s Work and Luther’s Teaching” was sold for USD 5,140, (EUR4346) far more than the expected price of USD 726.
The card, expected to sell for USD 1,814, went for 3,930.
Both items went to a collector on New Zealand’s South Island who did not want his identity disclosed.
The items were sold Thursday by former British Royal Navy officer Neil Duff who took them from the German dictator’s office while he was serving with the Allied Naval Commission in Berlin at the end of World War II.
Duff, 84, has lived in New Zealand with his Belgian-born wife, Josiane, for the past 30 years.
Duff said he took the items as a Russian admiral showed him round Hitler’s headquarters.
“It was poetic justice really,” he said. “I had been right through the war and I thought, ‘Oh how the mighty are fallen.'”
He said the high prices the items fetched surprised him and he plans a South Island tour with the proceeds.
Subject: German news