A California military antiques dealer is selling a group of eight items linked to Adolf Hitler, and he’s asking $3.5 million for the whole collection, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Dealer Craig Gottlieb has uploaded images and descriptions of the items to his website. They include the only hat purportedly owned by the Nazi leader to “survive WWII in private hands,” a Nazi Party brown shirt, a shaving mug, and other items purportedly taken from Hitler’s Munich apartment. The story goes that an American soldier named Philip Ben Lieber originally obtained the items when he entered the apartment in 1945 along with two other soldiers.
Gottlieb told the Journal that he acquired the collection in exchange for some German military items and “well over a million dollars.” In February, he took the Hitler items to the Ohio Valley Military Society Show of Shows in Louisville, Ky. Gottlieb told the Journal that he bought the items with the intention of selling them and, he said, “I’m going to make a profit.”
A number of mainstream auction companies ban sales of Nazi memorabilia outright, as do countries including Germany and France. Gottlieb described himself to the newspaper as “Jewish by heritage,” acknowledged getting criticism about his interest in Nazi items. But he sees his work as historically-minded.
“When you hold an artifact in your hand it’s as close as you come to getting in a time machine and going back to the period,” he said.
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