~ A Historic Collection of Artefacts Relating to Adolf Hitler, Retrieved from His Berlin Bunker ~
This unique collection was obtained by Captain Edmund Bennett of the S.O.E. from Hitler's bunker in Berlin in May 1945. It comprises a glass vase (a marriage gift from Eva Braun), a lamp stand removed from Hitler's sleeping quarters and also some stamps, two medals and a black and white cutting depicting his mother, the latter items and the vase having being found in the living quarters. Also included are two letters of provenance and a photocopied newspaper article on Edmund Bennett (c.1995).
The first of the letters, dated 1979, is by Edmund Bennett himself, and confirms his role and the circumstances under which he acquired the items from Hitler's bunker. He explains the exact nature of the items, and confirms that they were listed in the Soviet inventory and later identified by members of Hitler's staff.
The second letter, dated Nov 2010, is by the person who purchased the collection from Edmund Bennett. The buyer has had to remain anonymous, but explains the provenance of the items, including his connection to Otto Günsche, Hitler's personal adjutant; Günsche having examined the items, recognised them and confirmed their presence in the bunker and suicide room. The buyers also explains his own (successful) efforts in the 1980's to seek verification via the Russian Embassy of the items' listing in the Russian Archives, where they are said to be listed in File 462.
The items are :-
1. Art Deco opaque green glass vase given by Eva Braun to Adolf Hitler from the low table in his private living room in the bunker. This has been identified as being knocked over by Hitler as a result of his suicide, there are slight rim chips as a consequence. At the time of its recovery it had contained the wedding flowers for Hitler & Braun.
2. Gilt metal bedside table lamp base - minus some fittings - from Hitlers bedroom in the Bunker.
3. WW2 Iron cross merit medal with swords and another medal plus some stamps from Hitlers private living area in the bunker.
The items were given to S.O.E. member Edmund Bennett by the Russians in May 1945.
1. A signed testimony from Bennett to the person he sold the collection to in 1979.
2. A testimony from the second owner, who purchased them from Bennett declaring items having been positively identified by Otto Gunsché, Hitler's personal S.S. adjutant in the bunker and who carried the corpse of Hitler and Eva Braun for burning/burial in the Chancellery garden. Also stating that the items are logged in the original Russian immediate inventory/room placing's undertaken by N.K.V.D./S.M.E.R.S.H. officers in May 1945 now in the central Russian archives. These were supplied via the auctioneers that I purchased the collection from who were his agents.
3. There is also a newspaper article on Bennett
Captain Edmond Bennett was the Special Operations Executive member who was selected to assassinate Hitler as part of Operation Foxley in March 1945, but this was not carried out as the SOE decided Hitler was doomed anyway and did not want to make a martyr of him.
Edmund Bennett grew up in Manchester. Before the war he spent two years in East Germany, working for a textile firm, and became fluent in German. At the outset of war, he joined a Highland Regiment and saw action in North
Africa. He fought as a machine gunner at the Battle of El Alamein, and later was posted to Washington, where he became Britain's youngest military attaché, working closely with the Pentagon.
In March 1945, the SOE sent a cable to the US, asking top officers to sound him out for the sniper mission, a month before Hitler committed suicide in Berlin. This was not taken further, though Bennett was said to be keen. The keenness may have been misplaced, however, as his American
wife said her husband was a poor shot. On his return to England, Bennett became the manager of his family's company, before moving into the nuclear power industry.
The previous owners notes are rather interesting.
Paragraph 1 - notes that the image of Clara - a newspaper cutting, of Hitlers mother - was from Hitlers concertina keepsake.
Paragraph 2 - Details of Russian archives on the bunker items
Paragraph 3 - Confirmation of purchase from Bennett
Paragraph 4 - Confirmation of identification by Otto Guensche, Hitlers SS Adjutant. Mentions that Otto actually picked up the vase and that it contained "Purple Gladioli, Eva's favourite flower, and other flowers from the wedding'
Paragraph 5 - Information on the previous owners relationship with Otto, helped him with pension fund. Also other items mentioned and a little bit of history on Ottos attitude to Hermann Fegeleins and that he sealed Hermanns fate