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Hitler’s watch sold in controversial auction for $1.1m

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A watch that is believed to have belonged to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been sold for $1.1m (£900,000) to an anonymous bidder at an auction in the US.

The Huber watch, dating from the 1930s, features engravings of a swastika and the initials AH.

Auctioned in the US by Alexander Historical Auctions, the watch has been described on the auctioneer’s website as a “World War II relic of historic proportions”.

The watch is a gold Andreas Huber reversible wristwatch which was likely given to Hitler on 20 April 1933 on his 44th birthday, when he was named alongside former chancellor Paul von Hindenburg an honorary citizen of Bavaria.

This was the “first such honour in the history of Germany,” the auction house said.

The watch features three dates – Hitler’s birth date, the date when he became Chancellor and the day the Nazi Party won the election in March 1933.

The watch was commissioned by the Nazi Party

(Alexander Historical Auctions)

The watch was commissioned by the Nazi Party or NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) and assembled and engraved by German watch firm Andreas Huber, in Munich.

According to the auction house, the watch was taken as a souvenir when some 30 French soldiers stormed the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat, in May 1945.

Subsequently the watch is thought to have been resold and passed down through several generations.

During Hitler’s rule in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 11 million people were killed, six million of whom were murdered because they were Jewish.

The auction of the watch has been condemned by Jewish leaders

(Alexander Historical Auctions)

The auction of his watch has been condemned by Jewish leaders who wanted the sale to be cancelled.

In an open letter signed by 34 Jewish leaders, the sale was described as “abhorrent.”

“This auction, whether unwittingly or not, is doing two things: one, giving succour to those who idealise what the Nazi party stood for. Two: Offering buyers the chance to titillate a guest or loved one with an item belonging to a genocidal murderer and his supporters,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA).

The auction house, however, said that the sale was aimed at preserving history.

“Whether good or bad history, it must be preserved,” Alexander Historical Auctions senior vice president Mindy Greenstein was quoted as saying to Deutsche Welle.

“If you destroy history, there is no proof that it happened.”

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