Hitler's Account Book, Desk Set on the Block in U.S. Auction

Goebbels' love letters and other items formerly belonging to senior Nazis to go on sale to the highest bidder in Connecticut.

Adolf Hitler's private account book, the desk set with which he signed the Munich Agreement, letters Joseph Goebbels received from his Jewish girlfriend, and documents linked to a senior Nazi later recruited by the Mossad are among the items to be auctioned off this week in the United States.

The auction house is Stamford, Connecticut-based Alexander Autographs, which specializes in items and documents from World War II. On Thursday and Friday the company will be auctioning off more than 1,000 items, a number of which belonged to senior Nazi officials.

Joseph Goebbels
Andreas Kornfeld / History Auctioneer

This is the same house that in July auctioned off the journals of Dr. Josef Mengele, who conducted cruel experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz.

One of the noteworthy items for sale this time is Hitler's private account book, which the auctioneers say has never been exhibited before and will be of extreme interest to researchers.

The price for the account book is being estimated at between $5,000 and $7,000.

The 175-page volume was used by Hitler between April 1944 and April 1945, with entries ending two weeks before he committed suicide in his Berlin bunker. The book contains hundreds of entries on purchases he made under various headings such as Theater & Music, Education Facilities, Health Department, Memorials, Buildings, Donations and Miscellaneous.

There are many entries of payments to Hitler's personal physicians, as well as to the widows of Nazi "martyrs." Many higher-ups in the Nazi hierarchy also received birthday presents worth hundreds of thousands of marks.

Also being sold is the desk set with which Hitler signed the Munich Agreement on September 30, 1938, under which Britain and France ceded Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland to Germany to achieve "peace for our time."

The set was taken as a souvenir by an American soldier, Lt. John L. McConn, Jr., who took part in a raid on Hitler's offices at the end of the war. His children would sometimes bring it to school for show-and-tell sessions. It was only 30 years ago, while watching old newsreel footage, that McConn realized that the set had been used to sign the Munich Agreement. The estimated price: $500,000 to $600,000.

Also on auction are several letters from the Nazi period, most prominent the correspondence between Goebbels, later the Nazi propaganda minister, and Else Janke, a teacher in Goebbels' hometown of Rheydt. Janke was Jewish.

Most of the 82 letters, dating between August 1922 and August 1924, are from Janke to Goebbels. There are two letters to Janke in Goebbels' handwriting, though they were probably never sent to her.

When Janke told Goebbels that her mother was Jewish, he wrote in his diary, "She told me her roots. Since then her charms are destroyed for me."

In October 1926, Goebbels moved to Berlin to take up a new post in the Nazi Party, permanently ending the relationship. The estimated price of the letters: $7,000.

Among the strange items on offer are documents describing a Nazi plan to set up a "secret army" in Spain. An official who worked on the plan was Otto Skorzeny, a Waffen-SS commander who led the mission that freed deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from prison in 1943.

In 1962, Skorzeny was recruited by the Mossad to help locate the German scientists who were developing missiles for Egypt.