Is Hitler's toilet for sale?


Adolf Hitler in traditional costume

Possibly the most bizarre item ever to have been linked to Adolf Hitler is going on sale in Florence, New Jersey. The toilet installed in a local garage is said to have once belonged to him, and the owner has announced that he is ready to sell to the highest bidder.

The link is incredibly tenuous. So will anyone buy it?


Aviso Grille

The toilet

The Daily Mirror reported that the toilet was found in a scrap yard in 1951. The tenuous link is that the Nazi Party's luxury warship Aviso Grille (pictured left after it was sold) had been broken up near the town just prior to the find. The yacht's toilet had been used by Hitler - so in theory this toilet could have been used by the leader of the Third Reich.

The garage owner told the Mirror: ""Not many people can say they have used the same throne as the most evil man in history, can they? There is nothing to indicate it was his, but over the years hundreds of people have popped by to have a look."

Hitler's toilet

He told the Daily Mail that he had taken it along to a TV show to try to sell it previously, but he was called evil for trying to sell a piece of memorabilia like this, and the show was never broadcast.

He added that he could imagine that someone might buy it for their house as a 'conversation starter.' It's not clear how that particular conversation would end.

So will it sell?

There are a number of collectors of Hitler memorabilia, which means that in theory there is a market for this sort of thing.

The owner has a problem in that there's no real proof of a link. When a set of engraved glasses went on sale without any proof that Hitler had actually owned them, they only fetched £3,000 - well below early estimates. In order to make any money he needs to find a collector who is interested in toilets, and is happy to accept them on the word of the owner.

However, there is the possibility he could make some money, because Hitler's belongings have fetched high prices at auction before. The highest price was achieved by his writing desk, which sold in a 2011 US auction for $423,000. The brass desk had been used to sign the Munich Pact, and was decorated with the Nazi crest with an eagle and swastika.

Last year a signed copy of Mein Kampf sold for £42,000 at an auction in Shropshire. Before the sale an estimate of £5,000 had been placed on the book, but bidding reached a frenzy and it fetched a record price. The book was considered particularly rare because it was signed in the week's before Hitler's death.

However, people snap up the oddest of things too. A swastika ring which had been found by a soldier checking his personal affects, sold in September last year for $66,000 at auction. The gold-plated ring features a swastika made of rubies.

In 2011 a single monogrammed bedsheet cover and pillowcase that once belonged to Hitler sold at an auction in Bristol for £2,000. The linen features a Third Reich eagle, swastika and the initials AH.

And the appeal of Hitler memorabilia doesn't stop here for collectors. Last summer a set of Nazi toys, including a model of Hitler with an adjustable arm to enable him to salute, sold for £5,801 at an auction in Dudley.

The question is, who on earth is buying all of this memorabilia, and why?