Though it's among the most incendiary books ever written, an anonymous buyer has won a piece of literary, military, and world history by placing the top bid for a two-volume copy of Mein Kampf signed by author Adolf Hitler himself.
The online auction, held by L.A.'s Nate D. Sanders Auctions, took place Thursday and drew 11 bids for the two-volume set published in 1925 and 1926. An unnamed buyer from the United States will receive them after bidding $64,850. Bidding began at $20,000.
Hitler began writing Mein Kampf, his autobiographical manifesto, after being arrested for trying to seize power with the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. He was charged with treason and dictated the book to his eventual deputy, Rudolf Hess, while in prison.
Sanders says Hitler gave the auctioned copy to Josef Bauer, who was reportedly an early Nazi member and participant in the Beer Hall Putsch. Both volumes of the book contained Hitler's signature and a message giving best wishes to him for Christmas. They were eventually sold at a 2012 Bonhams auction in London, where they went for $25,000.
"The same people who collect Adolf Hitler (items) collect George Washington, or World War II, or George Patton," Sanders, who is Jewish, said about selling an item connected to Nazism. "You have the whole gamut. There's white supremacist collectors of Hitler, and there's Jewish collectors of Hitler."
Several European countries prohibit selling Nazi memorabilia, while eBay and Yahoo (which was sued by the French Union of Jewish Students in 2000) have both banned the sale of such items on their auction pages.