Adolf Hitler's very own copy of "Mein Kampf," his political manifesto, will be up for bids as one of thousands of historical items from World War II that will be hitting the auction block on March 17 and 18.
The copy is a rare edition of the work and was not made available to the public. Given its exclusivity, it was likely kept by Hitler to give as a potential gift to an admirer or for his own use, according to Alexander Historical Auctions.
Bound in fine-grade red leather, the "Mein Kampf" to be auctioned was discovered at Hitler's apartment in Munich after the Americans came to liberate the city after it fell. Specifically, the discovery is attributed to 11 officers from the 45th Infantry Division's field artillery battalion who were the first to enter the property. Their signatures appear on the front flyleaf of the copy.
A letter of provenance released Aug. 20, 2015 by Capt. Daniel B. Allen's daughter authenticates the "Mein Kampf" in question. According to her, her father is part of the 45th Infantry Division's field artillery unit and brought the book back home when the war ended.
Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos also believes the book to be authentic because the handwriting of the 11 officers matches the style of the period. Additionally, the inscription spells Adolf as "Adolph," which is consistent with the time.
The inscription reads "From Adolph Hitlers apartment in Munich on May 2 1945 John Grueber Lt. Col. F A," followed by the signatures of the other 10 officers.
Hitler's "Mein Kampf" also features four raised hubs along its spine, which bears the title "The National-Socialist Movement by Adolf Hitler." The spine has become discolored and the book has a few chips at the top and bottom but is otherwise in good condition.
Common trade editions of "Mein Kampf" have been touted before as being Hitler's personal copy but the particular item up for auction is of the best quality yet and is accompanied by the most solid provenance.
Alexander Historical Auctions valued Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to fetch between $12,000 and $15,000 but Panagopulos expects the winning bid to be higher.
"Mein Kampf" was written after Hitler was jailed following the failure of a coup attempt in 1923. When the Nazis rose to power, millions of copies were printed and distributed.