The Surprising Amount Of Money Someone Once Paid For Hitler's Boxers

Imagine owning a piece of history. Sounds exciting right? Well what if that piece of history once belonged to a notorious dictator who killed millions of people. According to Newsweek, in 2017, an anonymous buyer at a private auction purchased a decades-old pair of monogrammed underwear that belonged to none other than Adolf Hitler. At 19 inches long and a 39-inch waist, the underwear was quite large (via the International Business Times).

In 1938, Hitler lost his undies while staying at the Parkhotel Graz hotel in Austria. The family who ran the hotel kept them for nearly 80 years until they went to auction. They were in pristine condition and featured a single button fly. The buyer, who is American and has no known Neo-Nazi ties, paid $6,737 for the underwear. Per CNN, another unknown buyer in the U.K. later paid $5,000 in 2019 for a pair of underwear belonging to Hitler's wife, Eva Braun. Of course, this was not the first nor the last time that items associated with Hitler and Nazism have been purchased.

Several Hitler items have come up at auction

Although incredibly controversial, there are various collectors of Nazi and Hitler memorabilia. According to Artnet, the demand for such artifacts is large and continues to grow. In 2019, Hitler's top hat, cigar box, and typewriter were sold at auction (via BBC). That same auction had 147 items specifically related to Nazi Germany. Per CBS, a phone belonging to Hitler sold for $243,000 in 2017. The auction that sold Eva Braun's underwear also sold a gold-plated swastika bracelet belonging to Nazi leader Hermann Göring's wife (via CNN). Why would anyone want to these items? The reasons vary.

Regarding the purchase of Hitler's underwear, the auctioneer stated that it was a way to make fun of the dictator and a way to minimize the monster (per Newsweek). Likewise, artifact dealers state that most of the clients that buy Hitler or Nazi memorabilia are those in education or museums. Others, are a wealthy clientele who come from military backgrounds and then, of course, there's Neo-Nazis.

Some purchase these items so they won't get into the hands of the wrong people. According to DW, Abdallah Chatila, a wealthy businessman, was the one who purchased Hitler's top hat and other items. He donated them to a Jewish foundation to prevent them from being used as Neo-Nazi propaganda. Although the sale of such memorabilia is banned in several European countries, it is not banned in the U.S. or the U.K.