On April 26, what would have been Kennedy’s 100th birthday, the diary will be going to the highest bidder. Boston’s RR Auction, which is handling the sale, expects to bring in over $200,000 for the artifact.
“[Hitler] had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him,” Kennedy wrote after visiting Hitler’s bunkers in Berlin, and his “Eagle’s Nest” mountaintop retreat, in summer 1945, the Independent reported.
After visiting the bunker where Hitler is widely said to have committed suicide, Kennedy was skeptical.
When questioned about the entry, the auction house denied that Kennedy admired Hitler, and urged readers not to take his writing out of context.
“There’s no glorification, and I wouldn’t take this out of context,” Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, told the Independent. “I think Kennedy was a historian, and he’s writing his understanding of Hitler’s place in history.”
Henderson has also shared her belief that Kennedy was not glorifying Nazis or Hitler.
“When JFK said that Hitler ‘had in him the stuff of which legends are made,’ he was speaking to the mystery surrounding him, not the evil he demonstrated to the world," Henderson told People Magazine. "Nowhere in this diary, or in any of his writings, is there any indication of sympathy for Nazi crimes or cause."