The copy of Mein Kampf owned by Hitler himself sold for $20,655 at an auction. Making it one of the most expensive copies of the book ever sold.
An auction at Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Maryland, sold more than 1,000 World War II items. Over 10 active bidders vied for the book.
Mein Kampf is Hitler’s autobiography and his vision for Nazi Germany. He wrote it in prison while he was serving a sentence for his part in the putsch of 1923, in Munich, when he tried to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
His personal copy was found in 1945 by American soldiers. It was signed by eleven of the soldiers in order to document its authenticity: “From Adolph Hitler’s apartment in Munich on May 2, 1945.” It has been in the possession of one of the soldier’s daughters since then.
The book was very important in the development of Nazi ideology. Many of the policies that were to be implemented by Hitler were first indicated in this work. Many historians believe that if people at the time had taken heed of the ideas in the book, they would have realized that Hitler was a danger to the peace of Europe. The work also outlines the ideas of Hitler with regard to Europe’s Jews and his naked antisemitism.
Hitler became a millionaire because of the book. After 1933, many Germans were expected to purchase the book. In almost every German household there was a copy of the book. The book was very influential among the Nazi rank and file. They regarded it as the blueprint for a better world, one that would be dominated by Germans. It was accorded the status of the bible by many Nazis.
The book has always been controversial and was for many years banned in Germany. Many still object to the book as it condones and promotes racist ideas. The book is still very popular with Neo-Nazis, who still take the ideas serious and are even inspired by them.
Many people have argued that the book should be destroyed. As it is only filled with dangerous ideas and it could incite people to violence against minorities.
Bill Panagopulos is the owner and auctioneer of Alexander Historical Auctions. He understands the controversy that surrounds the item but feels that it shouldn’t be destroyed. “Why is it important to preserve history?” he said. “The good and the bad, so that we don’t repeat the sins of the past. It’s important that we have them and keep them in front of us.”