Oskar Schindler Letter Among WWII Memorabilia to be Auctioned in April

 
Photo-Alexander Historical Auctions.
Photo-Alexander Historical Auctions.
 
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There is also an extremely rare letter from industrialist Oskar Schindler, the man who put his own life at risk by rescuing hundreds of Jews in Poland.

Some very unusual items recently turned up at Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland, USA. This particular auction house is well known for selling military memorabilia, but among the 1,500 items going up for sale on April 30 and May 1 there is one particularly controversial document: a handwritten letter by Adolf Hitler.

Apr. 24, 1945, THE ONLY SURVIVING DOCUMENT CONFIRMING THAT HITLER HAD DECIDED TO REMAIN IN BERLIN- Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
Apr. 24, 1945, THE ONLY SURVIVING DOCUMENT CONFIRMING THAT HITLER HAD DECIDED TO REMAIN IN BERLIN- Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

The letter is addressed to Field Marshal Ferdinand Schorner, and in it Hitler rejects the latter’s pleas to flee Berlin. The letter, written in German, says, “I shall remain in Berlin…in the decisive battle for Germany, and to set a good example to all those remaining.”

This text, Hitler’s reply to Schorner, was dictated and typed for Hitler’s reading and approval, and the sent to the Fuhrerbunker radio room for transmission. Addressed directly to Schorner, it reads, in part: “FRR – Radio Message!…Personal!…By Officer Only!…I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honorable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany: Photo-Alexander Historical Auctions.
This text, Hitler’s reply to Schorner, was dictated and typed for Hitler’s reading and approval, and the sent to the Fuhrerbunker radio room for transmission. Addressed directly to Schorner, it reads, in part: “FRR – Radio Message!…Personal!…By Officer Only!…I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honorable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany: Photo-Alexander Historical Auctions.

This document is particularly unusual because, as auctioneer Bill Panagopulos puts it, “It is the only such written statement known in which Hitler declares his resolve to die in Berlin.” Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker, together with his lover Eva Braun, by first taking cyanide and then shooting himself.

Hitler in 1942 with his long-time lover, Eva Braun, whom he married on 29 April 1945, the day before they both committed suicide.
Hitler in 1942 with his long-time lover, Eva Braun, whom he married on 29 April 1945, the day before they both committed suicide.

Other items in the sale include the very first military telegram sent during World War II. This is a handwritten note, sent by a German Officer a matter of minutes after crossing the border into Poland.

German troops parade through Warsaw, Poland. September 1939
German troops parade through Warsaw, Poland. September 1939

There are also notes taken by the chief German peace negotiator, Hans-George Von Friedeburg, which he sent to the German President Grossadmiral Karl Donitz. In them, he sets forth the demand for General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unconditional surrender on behalf of the Allied powers. However, Donitz instead had to negotiate Germany’s surrender to the Allies. 

Historic partial signed document, an annotated working draft letter sent to “All Party and State Services in Austria” creating the “Centre for Jewish Emigration in Vienna” …an agency created by SS-Obersturmfuhrer Adolf Eichmann sent from Berlin specifically for that task-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
Historic partial signed document, an annotated working draft letter sent to “All Party and State Services in Austria” creating the “Centre for Jewish Emigration in Vienna” …an agency created by SS-Obersturmfuhrer Adolf Eichmann sent from Berlin specifically for that task-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

One chilling document details Adolf Eichmann’s setting up an agency for the forced emigration of Jews. This agency turned out to be a forerunner of the terrible Holocaust which was to follow shortly afterwards.

Adolf Eichmann’s extension of arrest hearing. Date 9 March 1961
Adolf Eichmann’s extension of arrest hearing. Date 9 March 1961

On the other hand, there is also an extremely rare letter from industrialist Oskar Schindler, the man who put his own life at risk by rescuing hundreds of Jews in Poland. Schindler, whose story is detailed on Jewish Virtual Library, employed many Jews in his own factory and set them to work making defective bullets for the German armed forces.

Oskar Schindler.
Oskar Schindler.

 

There are also some World War I items up for sale, including combat reports on some of Britain’s rarest aces, items signed by the notorious Prussian aristocrat Manfred von Richthofen, otherwise known as the “Red Baron,” and even a document signed by Arthur Roy Brown, the Canadian ace who shot him down.

Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen 1917.
Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen 1917.

Brown was an interesting character who received a bar for his Distinguished Service Cross.

After the war ended he started working as an accountant and even started his own small airline. He became interested in politics and ran as a Liberal candidate for the Canadian parliament, but he did not get elected.

Apr. 12, 1918, a combat report describing his actions in a Sopwith 4,000 feet over Abancourt. Brown describes how a lieutenant in his flight dove upon a triplane, sending it down “down vertical”. He then describes how he and another lieutenant attacked a second triplane, each firing 800 rounds and sending this aircraft down as well-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
Apr. 12, 1918, a combat report describing his actions in a Sopwith 4,000 feet over Abancourt. Brown describes how a lieutenant in his flight dove upon a triplane, sending it down “down vertical”. He then describes how he and another lieutenant attacked a second triplane, each firing 800 rounds and sending this aircraft down as well-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

 

Quoted in The Aerodrome, Brown stated, “The postwar period is more serious than winning the war. We who served in the last war know what it is to get kicked out of the service and then wonder where to turn and where to go to make a living. I got back into civilian life last time with 27 fractures and was a nervous wreck. I got no pension. That kind of thing must never happen again.”

Arthur Roy Brown:From imperial war museum
Arthur Roy Brown:
From imperial war museum

This lot, totaling nearly 1,500 items, comprises not only documents and letters but also photographs, military relics, uniforms, and medals. All manner of people are represented: major figures of the period, government and military leaders, civilian notables, and aces, among others.

American bomber pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. S.P., 8″ x 10″ b/w, a modern print of a view of Tibbets standing before the Enola Gay, signed at upper right in blue ink, adding his role: “Pilot”-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
American bomber pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. S.P., 8″ x 10″ b/w, a modern print of a view of Tibbets standing before the Enola Gay, signed at upper right in blue ink, adding his role: “Pilot”-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

 

 

Eisenhower: 34th President of the United States, Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II and largely responsible for the successful invasion on D-Day-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
Eisenhower: 34th President of the United States, Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II and largely responsible for the successful invasion on D-Day-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

 

Hoffmann portrait of Rommel in uniform with his Knight’s Cross and Pour le Merite at his throat-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.
Hoffmann portrait of Rommel in uniform with his Knight’s Cross and Pour le Merite at his throat-Photo: Alexander Historical Auctions.

Bidding will take place in the auction room as well as via telephone and the auctioneer’s website. 

www.alexautographs.com

 
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