BEACON TRANSCRIPT – On Sunday, the telephone that belonged to Adolf Hitler was sold in an auction in Maryland for $243,000. The auction was part of the Alexander Historical Auctions that take part periodically in Maryland. The phone made a winning bid, but the name of the buyer has not been disclosed.
The description of the phone from the auction catalogue says that the Wehrmacht offered the phone to Hitler, which he used during the last two years of World War II. In 1945, it was recovered from Fuhrerbunker and, since then, has been kept in a box in an English country house.
The phone, made by Siemens, was initially a black Bakelite phone. Later, it was painted in red and was engraved with Hitler’s name and a swastika. The auctioneers described this phone as a great device of destruction, since it was used to send millions of people to death in many places of the world.
The one who got the phone from the bunker was the British officer Ralph Rayner. He inspected the place only a few days after the end of the war, at the orders of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.
In 1977, after Rayner’s death, his son inherited the phone. Ranulf Rayner is now 82 and talked about his father’s discovery. He declared that his father saw the phone as a sort of war trophy and a token of Hitler’s defeat. He never thought that it would become such a valuable artifact.
Ralph Rayner was probably the first non-Soviet man of the winning troops that entered the bunker. He had been sent to Berlin to establish contact with the Russians that had occupied the city. Firstly, he was offered a black telephone that was sitting in the room of Eva Braun, but he chose the red one, telling the Russians that red was his favorite color.
Rayner also brought an Alsatian dog made of porcelain from the bunker. He hid the loot carefully in his suitcase and did not reveal it. If he had done so, he could have faced a court martial, since British soldier were not allowed to plunder the German bunkers.
Ranulf Rayner hoped to obtain a larger sum of money on the phone. Nevertheless, he is happy to get rid of it, claiming that he thought the phone was bringing him bad luck. He hopes that the phone and the porcelain statue would end up one day in a museum and not remain hidden.
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