14:50 GMT04 July 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    As the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth approaches, his 61-page personal diary from 1945 is about to hit the auction block. A shocking entry reveals that Kennedy believed that Adolf Hitler may have still been alive after World War II ended.

    The diary was written at a time when Kennedy was working as a war correspondent for Hearst magazines. He later gifted the book to Deidre Henderson, who was one of his research assistants. It is believed to be the only diary from the beloved former president still in existence.

    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.

    “The room where Hitler is supposed to have met his death showed scorched walls and traces of fire,” he wrote. “There is no complete evidence, however, that the body that was found was Hitler's body."

    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."


    Well-Aged: Chunk of Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 Wedding Cake Up for Auction
    Sotheby's London Art Auction Totals Record $240Mln
    How Much is the Monster? Pokémon Card Sells for $54,970 at Auction
    Dress Like Steve: Jobs' Famous Turtleneck and Other Outfits Up for Auction
    Hackers Claim to Sell NSA Cyber-Weapons in Online Auction
    World War II, RR Auction, John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler, Boston, Berlin
    Community standardsDiscussion