Pistol Owned by Auschwitz Commandant to Be Sold at Auction

CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md., Dec. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Maryland auctioneers Alexander Historical Auctions, known internationally for their sale of military-related items, will be holding a three-day live and internet auction starting on December 7, 2021. The 2000+ lot sale will include a chilling relic of the Holocaust, the presentation pistol given to Auschwitz death camp commandant Rudolf Hoess which was later captured by an American soldier. The pistol, carried by Hoess only on formal occasions, was found in Hoess’ home in Germany, about 400 miles from Auschwitz. Ironically, it was discovered by a devoutly-religious Jewish GI who knew its importance and kept the pistol within his family until it was finally sold five years ago. Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos comments: "This weapon most clearly represents the horrors perpetrated upon the Jews and others murdered, imprisoned, and subjugated by the Nazis and their SS henchmen. It is our hope that the purchaser will place it on public display as a vivid reminder of the worst genocide in world history." Hoess was found guilty of the murder of nearly three million innocents and was hanged in 1947 beside the Auschwitz crematoria.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials of the top German war criminals, and the auction will include several pertinent historic documents showing the defendants desperately attempting to save their lives through various machinations. Examples include the notorious head of the Gestapo Ernst Kaltenbrunner calling Auschwitz commandant Rudolph Hoess to testify in his defense. Hans Frank, German Governor of occupied Poland, declares that he tried to save Polish Jews through relocation, when in actuality he sent them to death camps. And fellow war criminal Walther Funk, head of the Reichsbank, admits in another document that he conspired with Heinrich Himmler to establish the "Max Heiliger" accounts, used to hide monies stolen from Jews. Of special interest is the official notice of service of indictments upon the accused war criminals, signed by the American commandant of their prison.

The 2,200 lot sale also includes a 1908 check signed by both of the Wright Brothers – Orville and Wilbur – which documents the U.S. Army’s purchase of the world’s first military aircraft. The check was issued as a guarantee by the brothers to supply the aircraft, which they did the same year. Also to be offered is a very rare signed copy of John F. Kennedy’s critical "Why  England Slept", also signed in the third person by Kennedy’s older brother, Joseph Kennedy, Jr. Joe, Jr. would be killed during World War II during a secret flying mission. The combination of the brothers’ signatures is a great rarity. The auction also includes Beatles items, with  83 original photographs taken on the set of "Help!", contracts, and autographs.  

Bidding will be available live, by telephone, and at the auctioneer’s web site.  

Bidding is also available at websites invaluable.com and liveauctioneers.com. Alexander Historical Auctions may be reached at 203-276-1570, email: [email protected], website: historyauctioneer.com.

SOURCE Alexander Historical Auctions