Adolf Hitler’s watch sold for $1.1 million in auction of Nazi items

Adolf Hitler's wristwatch - Image Alexander Historical Auctions

Adolf Hitler’s watch has been sold for $1.1 million (€1.08 million) in the US, a sale that has attracted significant criticism.

The watch believed to have belonged to Hitler was auctioned overnight on Friday, July 29 by a Maryland-based auction house specialising in historical sales.

The Huber timepiece, which bears a swastika and the Nazi eagle along with the initials AH, was bought by an anonymous bidder.

Responding to criticism of the sale, the auction house told German media that it was important to preserve history irrespective of who was involved. It said that the watch was given to Hitler the year he was named Chancellor of Germany as a birthday present.

According to the catalogue, the watch was taken when around 30 French soldiers stormed Hitler’s retreat in the mountains of Bavaria. It was then resold and has been handed down through the generations.

The watch, which sold for less than half the valuation, was not the only Nazi item to be auctioned with Wehrmacht toilet paper, cutlery and champagne glasses belonging to senior Nazi figures going up for sale.

Items owned by Eva Braun, Hitler’s partner were also auctioned including a dog collar for her terrier.

The auction was described as “abhorrent” by Rabbi’s in an open letter with Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chair of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, saying: “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.

“Whilst it is obvious that the lessons of history need to be learned – and legitimate Nazi artefacts do belong in museums or places of higher learning – the items that you are selling clearly do not.

“That they are sold to the highest bidder, on the open market is an indictment to our society, one in which the memory, suffering and pain of others is overridden for financial gain.”

The auction company defended the sale saying that most of their customers were collectors that had donated the items to holocaust museums around the world, adding that: “If you destroy history, there is no proof that it happened,” said Mindy Greenstein, senior vice president at Alexander Historical Auctions.

“Whether good or bad history, it must be preserved.”

Most people will be appalled to hear that Adolf Hitler’s watch was sold for $1.1 million (€1.085 million), particularly as the item was acquired by an anonymous donor. That leaves many to speculate as to who the person or organisation is and what their motives for buying the item were.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at