A telephone that belonged to Adolf Hitler sold at auction for $243,000 to an anonymous bidder on Sunday, according to the auction house responsible for its sale.
The Siemens phone, which bears Hitler’s name and a swastika, is “arguably the most destructive weapon of all time, which sent millions to their deaths” according to a catalog description by Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland.
The item was given as a gift to British officer Sir Ralph Rayner, who handed it down to his son Ranulf Rayner after his death, according to a statement from the auction house’s catalog.
On May 5, 1945, a day after Germans surrendered, Rayner was ordered by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery to make contact with the Russians in Berlin, according to the auction house.
The Russians offered Rayner a telephone that belonged to Eva Braun, Hitler’s bride, but he joked that he preferred red.
“His Russian hosts were pleased to hand him a red telephone,” the auction house said in the catalog. “The telephone offered here.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Mary Bowerman