German taxi driver to auction off rare Hitler documents
Germany - "Healthy; height 1.75 meters; weight 77 kilograms." So reads the intake report for a prisoner who on April 1, 1924 had begun serving his sentence in Landsberg Prison. The prisoner's name was Adolf Hitler.
That report, along with 500 other documents, is to be put on public auction at the beginning of next month in the southern German city of Fuerth.
A German taxi driver who wishes to remain anonymous inherited the documents from his father, who purchased them at the beginning of the 1970s in a Nuremberg flea market along with old books from World War I.
The starting price of the documents, whose authenticity has been confirmed by the Bavarian State Archives, is expected to be 25,000 euros.
One in particular, signed by Hitler himself, states the length of his sentence - five years - for the attempted Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. In the end, though, he only served 13 months.
In another document, dated September 18, 1924, the prison's chief warden explains to the Justice Ministry that Hitler deserved early release, having "avoided political statements or activities... [he] is mature, calm and rational... he is not expected to act against the state." The chief warden also described Hitler as "modest and polite."
"The prisoner does not smoke or drink and happily accepts all restrictions," the warden wrote. However it is not clear what these restrictions were, as Hitler seemed to have a rather comfortable life behind bars. Other documents in the collection indicate that his section of the prison included a number of rooms in which items such as fan mail, vases, cookies and wine could be found.
Hitler had many visitors and an account was opened for him to receive contributions. In his spare time, he worked on "Mein Kampf."
The list of people who accompanied Hitler to prison on his first day included Rudolph Hess, who a few years later was to become the fuehrer's second in command.
Preparing for his release from prison, Hitler wrote to a car dealer in Munich to find out what model of Mercedes-Benz he should order.
It is not known how the collection of documents made its way to the flea market.