What is the fascination people have for things that are tied to horrific events? I don’t understand it, but clearly there is such a fascination, and some seem quite willing to spend more money on an old telephone than the average family earns in a decade or more.
Today I came across an article in the Guardian that Adolph Hitler’s telephone (see above) is to be auctioned by U.S. auction house Alexander Historical Auctions. The value of said phone is estimated between $200,000 and $300,000, and it doesn’t even work anymore! Sheesh … and I thought my cell phone was pricey! Alexander House said the phone was “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time, which sent millions to their deaths”. Well, I can’t argue with that logic, but that in itself makes me not want to touch it, let alone have it in my house!
Originally a black Bakelite phone that was later painted crimson and engraved with Hitler’s name, it was found in the Nazi leader’s Berlin bunker in 1945 following the regime’s defeat. As you can see from the photo, it isn’t even in very good condition. In my opinion, it belongs in a museum somewhere in Germany. This is not the first or only bizarre thing to be sold at auction:
- The gun used by George Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin in 2012 was auctioned last year for $250,000
- Recently auctioned mementos from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy include:
- The gun and handcuffs used to arrest Lee Harvey Oswald
- The metal pole from the grassy knoll
- Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring fetched $118,000 in 2013
- A lock of President Abraham Lincoln’s hair, clipped shortly after his assassination, sold for $25,000
- Author J.D. Salinger’s toilet was listed in 2010 on eBay for $1 million. No word on whether it was sold, and if so, for how much. But It comes “uncleaned and in its original condition”, the ad for it states.
- The violin that was played as the Titanic sank was sold at auction in 2013 for $1.117 million.
- In 2002, a Judge in San Francisco gave permission to sell parts from the Little Boy atomic bomb, the bomb that caused the destruction of Hiroshima in 1945. Two electrical plugs went to a private investor for $167,000. I just think this is wrong. Apparently I am not alone, as the U.S. Government tried to block the sale.
- Winston Churchill’s dentures were ‘snapped up’ in 2010 for nearly $19,000
I’m sure some psychologist could explain the fascination, the human character flaw, that leads people to spend disgusting amounts of money for these basically disgusting things, but I have my own conclusion. Some people are morbid, but mostly I think the people that buy these things have far more money than they have good sense! Wouldn’t it be nicer to see these people spend their hundreds of thousands of dollars to help feed the hungry?
I wonder if, years from now, somebody will auction off Trump’s toupee?