Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A red telephone personally used by Adolph Hitler during World War II sold for $243,000 in an auction in Maryland.
The unidentified winner of Hitler's phone made the nearly quarter-million dollar bid by telephone on Sunday. Auction house Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City set the initial bid at $100,000.
It was originally gifted to Hitler by the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Siemens company made the black Bakelite phone and it was later painted red and engraved with Hitler's name and a swastika insignia.
The phone was found in his Berlin Fuhrerbunker in 1945. The auction house said Hitler issued most of his commands during the last two years of World War II on the phone.
Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Historical Auctions referred to the phone which Hitler used to deliver deadly orders during the war as a "weapon of mass destruction."
Panagopulos said his hope is for the phone to be placed in a museum to allow people who view it to "really understand what extreme fascist thinking can bring about."
The former owner of the phone, Ralph Rayner, the son of British officer Sir Ralph Rayner who originally received the phone following the fall of Berlin, said he hoped it would sell for as much as $300,000 but he suggested he's happy to be rid of the phone.
"I certainly won't miss it," he told CNN. "It's a fairly sinister bit of kit and I've always lived in fear of someone trying to steal it. I've also been told it'll bring me bad luck."
Daniel Uria contributed to this report.