A rare copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler himself in his Berlin bunker just weeks before his death has sold for £42,000 at an auction in Shropshire – more than £35,000 above the expected price.
Auctioneers at county firm Mullock’s had slapped a guide price of between £3,000 and £5,000 on the book.
But they were delighted when it sold for substantially more at their auction at Ludlow Racecourse on Thursday.
The leather-bound copy was one of just 1,000 special editions produced to mark the dictator’s 50th birthday in 1939.
The work, a mixture of autobiography and ideology, was dictated by the Nazi leader while in prison for political crimes in the early 1920s.
The inside cover of the book is signed by Hitler and dated March 5, 1945.
Weeks later, on April 30, the mass murderer committed suicide by shooting himself.
The book was put up for auction by an anonymous collector and sold to an overseas bidder by telephone.
Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock’s said the sale of Mein Kampf coupled with the sale of a letter written by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, which went for £115,000, made the sale one of the firm’s most significant.
He said: “It is not just that this was a copy of Mein Kampf and not even because Hitler had signed it.
“The significance of this was that here he was, hunkered down in his bunker just weeks before he shot himself and he was asked to sign a copy of his work. That is the point.
“This was a very rare book and that rarity was reflected in the price which was fetched.”
Mr Westwood-Brookes said the total figure achieved at the auction from all the lots was £203,000 and said it proved collectors and sellers did not have to look to the larger London auction rooms for business.
He said: “The point I would make is that it proves that you don’t have to take your significant stuff to London to sell.
“We are having better prices at auctions up here in sunny Shropshire than they are in the London auction rooms.
“I am already working on the next auction which takes place at Ludlow Racecourse on May 2.”
For more information about Mullock’s and its auctions contact (01694) 771771 or auc firstname.lastname@example.orgSubscribe to our Newsletter