A telephone owned by Adolf Hitler has sold at auction for $243,000.
Andreas Kornfeld of Alexander Historical Auctions has said the phone sold Sunday afternoon to a person who bid by phone. The auction house does not disclose the names of buyers.
Bidding for the phone started at $100,000.
Originally a black Bakelite phone, later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler’s name, the relic was found in the Nazi leader’s Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime’s defeat.
More than 70 years old, the Siemens rotary telephone is embossed with a swastika and the eagle symbolic of the Third Reich.
Alexander House dubbed the phone — which Hitler received from the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s armed forces — as “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time, which sent millions to their deaths.”
It said Hitler used it to give most of his orders during the last two years of World War II.
Russian officers gave the device to British Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner during a tour of the bunker shortly after Germany’s surrender.
Rayner’s son, who inherited the phone, put it up for sale, its paint now peeling to reveal the original synthetic black resin surface.
“It would be impossible to find a more impactful relic than the primary tool used by the most evil man in history,” the auction house said in a statement. “This was not a staid office telephone.”
“This was Hitler’s mobile device of destruction.”
Kornfeld has stated that a porcelain figure of an Alsatian dog, also owned by Hitler, also sold Sunday to a different bidder for $24,300.