A chilling array of Nazi relics have sold for a fortune after a bidding war – including Adolf Hitler’s gold watch which fetched £1.13million ($1.375m) from an anonymous collector.
The black strapped wristwatch which is marked with Hitler’s initials ‘AH’ and features a swastika, was made by Munich watch manufacturer Andreas Huber.
It also bears three dates – Hitler’s birthday, the date he was appointed and the date of the Nazi party’s 1933 election victory.
It was taken as a ‘spoil of war’ by a French soldier who was part of the first unit to arrive at Hitler’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden in May 1945.
Sergeant Robert Mignot, of the 2nd Armoured Division, discovered it in the closing days of the Second World War and took it back to his homeland and sold the timepiece to his cousin.
It was passed down to his grandchild who consigned it with Alexander Historical Auctions, of Maryland, US.
The black strapped gold watch sold for £1.13million along with a chilling array of Nazi relics
The dates that circle round the central swastika signify Hitler’s birthday, the date he was appointed and the date of the Nazi party’s 1933 election victory
The watch is believed to have been given to Hitler in 1933 by the Nazi party that he led after he was elected as Germany’s chancellor.
It was taken by a French soldier from the Berghof – Hitler’s mountain home in Bavaria, southern Germany, on May 4, 1945. Hitler had taken his own life in his Berlin bunker just five days earlier.
An Alexander Historical Auctions spokesperson said: ‘While Hitler’s correspondence, his silverware, and even his paintings and articles of his clothing and uniforms are regularly offered for sale, in only a few instances in a lifetime would one see a piece of Hitler’s jewellery come up for auction.
The wristwatch was acquired by an anoymous collector in what was a sale of Nazi relics including the German imperian eagle and Hitler’s last note to the Germany military before his death
The Andreas Huber watch was taken as a ‘spoil of war’ by French soldier Sergeant Robert Mignot of the 2nd Armoured Division. The watch face is reversible, allowing it to be protected
‘This spectacular wristwatch, especially given to the dictator by his most ardent supporters, has never seen the light of day.
‘It is an absolutely unique and important historical object.’
Also in the sale, a gold eagle salvaged from Hitler’s bedroom in the Reichschancellery at the end of the conflict went for £205,000 – 12 times its estimate.
A gold version of the Nazi imperial eagle salvaged from Hitler’s bedroom at the end of the conflict fetched a staggering £205,000 – 12 times its estimate
The dictator’s hand-signed last message to Germany, just six days before he committed suicide in a Berlin bunker went for £66,000
Adolf Hitler took his own life in his Berlin bunker, five days before the watch was found
And the dictator’s hand-signed last message to Germany, sent to his military six days before he committed suicide in a Berlin bunker, achieved £66,000.
In it, Hitler stated: ‘I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honourable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany, and to set a good example to all those remaining.
‘I believe that in this way I shall be rendering Germany the best service.’
However, the Nazi monster displayed his ‘cowardice’ by not taking part in fighting, instead hiding away in his bunker.
The Berghof: Hitler’s favourite lair
It was Hitler’s retreat, tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, away from the bustle of Berlin.
The Nazi leader spent more time at the Berghof than anywhere else during the Second World War.
It was also one of the most widely known of his headquarters, located throughout Europe.
The Berghof was built in 1916 and rented to Hitler in 1928. He then bought the building in 1933 with the proceeds from his political manifesto Mein Kampf, and set about extending it.
He even had a spread in Homes and Gardens magazine in 1938. The retreat also became a tourist attraction in the mid 1930s with people queuing up to get a glimpse of the leader.
It was Hitler’s retreat, tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, away from the bustle of Berlin. Above: The entrance to the Berghof
Before the war several British leaders even visited the dictator at the retreat, including former Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and David Lloyd-George and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The building itself was heavily modified in the run up to the war so that Hitler could use it as a base.
Hitler left it for the last time in mid 1944 to run the final stages of the war from his eastern front headquarters in Poland.
In April 1945, 12 days before the Germans surrendered, the house was bombed by hundreds of British Lancaster Bombers.
It was then set on fire by retreating SS troops in early May, and looted after Allied troops reached the area.
The burnt out shell was demolished by the West German government in 1952.