More than 80 years after it was first published, and later outlawed in Germany, a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto “Mein Kampf” was sold on Thursday for £21,000, or about $35,000 in American funds.
The semi-autobiographical work outlining Hitler’s anti-Semitic ideology, was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder at an auction in Ludlow.
Written in 1924 while Hitler was serving a four-year prison term in the southern German region of Bavaria, the book was first published in 1926.
Although it has been republished abroad, it has been banned in Germany since the Second World War.
“I am absolutely pleased,” said Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock’s Auctioneers. He said he believed the second-edition book to be a prepublication copy given by Hitler to a fellow inmate in 1925, making it a “highly prized article”.
“Only a couple-dozen copies are given to the author, so they are pretty rare,” he said.
Bernard Shapero, a rare books expert and dealer in London, said the bidding price “seems quite high for a second edition.” The value of the book lies in its inscription because signed copies of “Mein Kampf” are unusual, he said.
“If the book was annotated throughout, that would be fantastic in a literary sense, and very valuable.”
Otherwise, he wondered who would buy “such a thing.”
“If someone wants to read it there are plenty of paperback editions around,” he said.