Its out dated but conventional piece of office equipment the kind that might normally only attract the attention of old-fashioned sensible, antic collectors. The telephone was used by Adolf Hitler during World War Two has been sold for $243,000 (£195,744) at a US auction.
The telephone was originally black but later painted with the colours of the Red Army and engraved with Adolf Hitler’s name.By early 1945, Germany’s military situation was on the verge of total collapse. Poland had fallen to the advancing Soviet forces, who were, by then, preparing to cross the Oder between Küstrin and Frankfurt with the objective of capturing Berlin, 82 kilometres to the west. German forces had recently lost to the Allies in the Ardennes Offensive, with British and Canadian forces crossing the Rhine into the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr. American forces in the south had captured Lorraine and were advancing towards Mainz, Mannheim, and the Rhine. The vestige phone was found in the Nazi leader’s Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime’s defeat.
The identity of the new owner of the phone, has not been revealed. The bidding for this collectable in Chesapeake City, Maryland, started at $100,000.
The Siemens rotary telephone, embossed with a swastika and eagle symbol of the Third Reich, was presented to Hitler by officers of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s armed forces, in 1943.The handset of the phone must be rotated almost 60 degrees before it can be lifted out of its cradle. This feature kept the handset from shaking loose while being transported.
Soviet soldiers gave it to British officer Sir Ralph Rayner as a souvenir shortly after Germany surrendered.
The phone was used as Hitler’s cell during the World War Two and he travelled with it in vehicles and trains as well as the bunker and Hitler’s field headquarters.
Auction house officials said the phone was a “weapon of mass destruction”, as it was used by Hitler to give orders that took many lives during the war.
The phone was not the only Hitler collectible sold, a porcelain figure of an Alsatian dog, also owned by Hitler, fetched $24,300.