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Friday, December 23, 2005

Hitler's Gun

A rare German gun that may have belonged to Adolph Hitler -- allegedly taken as a souvenir 60 years ago when U.S. forces captured one of his secret hideaways -- could fetch thousands of dollars in an online auction next month, organizers said.

No one knows for sure whether Hitler owned the Krieghoff Drilling combination shotgun and rifle engraved with the initials "A.H." It is to be sold by Midwest Exchange, a Bloomington pawn shop, at auction at www.gunbroker.com.

Randall Gibson, author of The Krieghoff Parabellum, a reference book on the gun maker, said the gun likely is authentic. The company gave engraved guns to Hitler and other high-ranking German officials as it sought military contracts before World War II.

The gun's unnamed owners, who live in central Illinois, will donate net proceeds of the auction to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that combats anti-Semitism and bigotry, said Midwest Exchange owner Wes Lane.

A league official said Friday that the organization welcomes donations but would rather the owners donate the gun to a museum where it could be preserved and safeguarded.

"When you auction it off you never know who might buy it. ... We prefer it not fall into the hands of people who praise or laud Hitler, because there certainly are still people out there who do that," said Adam Schupack, associate director of the league's Chicago office.

The gun likely would sell for at least $7,000 without a connection to Hitler, and there's no telling how that possible link might drive up the price, Lane said.

"Twenty, 30, 40, 50 thousand? I don't know," Gibson said.

Lane said the online auction will begin Jan. 30 and will run at least 15 days.

According to the gun's owners, Lane said, the weapon was taken as a souvenir when Hitler's hideaway in the Bavarian Mountains was seized in May 1945 by the U.S. Army's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, profiled in the HBO cable TV miniseries "Band of Brothers."

The paratrooper later sold the gun to an Army lieutenant who was unaware of the connection to Hitler, Lane said. The soldier settled in Illinois and kept the gun under his bed for years, taking it out only occasionally to hunt. He died more than a decade ago, and his family no longer wants the gun.

10 comments:

liuhua said...

i read about that sometime ago.

it's strange that eBay allowed the sale of a gun on its mrket.

Mike Dammann said...

very interesting to see what will happen with this. It can go endless high or be a total disappointment. Never know.

Michael Goldman said...

If the gun is still working, I'd buy it just to destroy it.

Anonymous said...

eBay doesn't allow the sale of any memorabilia having to do with Hitler. They would pull this auction when it is discovered just as they did the bambi in a jar and some of the others I just checked.

Anonymous said...

I THOUGHT YOU WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SALE NAZI ITEMS ON EBAY AND GUNS TO BOOT,EBAY MUST BE CHANGING RULES TO REAP MONEY

Anonymous said...

Can you people not read. It was auctioned at gunbroker.com not ebay

Anonymous said...

interesting one

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many "souvenirs", i.e stolen things, from Iraq will show up in the auctions in the future. Shouldn't these things belong to the people of the countries in question instead of in the hands of thieves?

billy said...

The Military allows soldiers to keep some items they "find" in war. My Grandfather had several rifles brought to him after WWII - Japanese, German, etc. To the person who said they would destroy the gun - I think a more fitting tribute is for this item to be put on display in a museum so that people are reminded of One of the most horrific tyrants of the 20th Century.

Anonymous said...

Anything found that is linked to Hitler is a grim reminder of the Hell he put thousands of inoccent Jews through in WWII. The proceeds from the sale of the Gun should go any living survivor's of the Holocaust.