A copy of Hitler's death and disability insurance, issued by Deutsche Verlagswerke Strauss, Vetter & Co, is being auctioned at Alexander Historical Auctions, which describes itself as a "leading auctioneer of fine historic autographs, documents, militaria from all conflicts and relics." The auction house, which is based in Chesapeake City, Maryland, notes that the company that issued the insurance was likely Jewish-owned.
The insurance policy, which includes Hitler's birth date, April 20, 1889, and his occupation, "Schriftsteller" or "writer," insures Hitler against death or disability due to accident. The policy, which was underwritten by Aachen-Leipzig Bank, would have paid between 2,000 Reichsmarks and 6,000 Reichsmarks to Hitler's estate. The Reichsmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 until 1948. A single Reichsmark was originally equal to around $1.29, according to 19th-century sources, but the value of the currency changed over time.
"The policy also specifically does not cover syphilis, epilepsy, delirium tremens, or fainting spell," the auction description states, adding that the document dates to some time around 1927.
There are no current bids on the insurance policy, but the auction house estimates that it will be sold for between $3,000 and $5,000.
Last week, Alexander Historical Auctions announced that it will also auction the last message Hitler ever wrote.
"I shall remain in Berlin, so as to take part, in honorable fashion, in the decisive battle for Germany, and to set a good example to all those remaining," the leader of the Nazi party during World War II wrote in an April 24, 1945, letter to Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner. "I believe that in this way I shall be rendering Germany the best service."
The letter was written a week before Hitler swallowed a cyanide pill and shot himself in the head on April 30, 1945. His wife, Eva Braun, also committed suicide on the same day by swallowing a cyanide pill.
The minimum bid for Hitler's letter is $30,000, and it is expected to fetch between $60,000 and $80,000.
"There is no other written evidence of Hitler declaring his intention to remain (and die) in Berlin that anyone has been able to locate," Bill Panagopulos, the auction house's president, said in a recent interview with The Sun. "This is essentially Hitler's ‘suicide note.'"