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Hitler item withdrawn from Calif. auction

Nov. 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM   |   Comments

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- An inkwell desk set that belonged to Adolf Hitler has been withdrawn from auction, a military antiquities dealer in California says.

Craig Gottlieb of Solana Beach, who is of Jewish descent and deals mainly in Nazi memorabilia, obtained the desk set in January to auction in the fall but said he and the set's owner could not agree on a starting bid and the item has been returned, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday.

The bronze inkwell set was used by Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier to sign the disastrous 1938 Munich Pact.

Jack McConn of Houston, as a World War II lieutenant, found the desk set in the basement of Hitler's Munich office, known as the Fuhrerbau, in 1945.

Gottlieb, who estimated the desk set could sell for $750,000 to $1 million, said he and McConn disagreed on where the bidding should start and the set was returned to McConn last month.

The desk set is now at an auction house in Connecticut for another attempt at a sale, Gottlieb said.

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