Directory of evil: World War II Nazi phone book up for auction

A chilling Nazi-era telephone directory containing details of some of the key figures from the Third Reich is going up for auction in the U.K.

The ‘leather’ cloth-bound directory was recovered from the Reich Chancellery in Berlin at the end of World War II by Capt. John Hodge, an officer in the British Grenadier Guards, according to auction house Henry Aldridge & Son.

The directory, which is collated A-Z, contains over 200 handwritten names, private telephone numbers, and in some cases the addresses of top Nazi officials, including Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolph Hess, Hermann Goering, Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Reinhard Heydrich, Albert Speer and Albert Bormann. There is one notable omission from the directory: Adolf Hitler.

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A page from the telephone directory with details for Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering (Henry Aldridge & Son)

A folded letter from Goebbels was found in the phone book and has remained with it to this day.

“This is a unique piece of history that offers both historians and collectors access to a previously unseen amount of information relating to the highest echelons of one of the most evil regimes in modern history,” explained Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, in an email to Fox News. 

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Capt. Hodge was among the first British soldiers to reach Berlin at the end of World War II. A fluent German speaker, he was assigned to instruct civilians to clear debris from various parts of the Reich Chancellery. While in the Chancellery, he found the telephone directory.

Hodge was transferred to the War Crimes Investigation Unit in early 1946, and was subsequently wounded apprehending SS member Heinrich Hornetz, who was later tried and hanged for crimes committed at the Neue Bremme Concentration camp.

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Other items in the lot include the original order for Capt. Hodge to apprehend Hornetz, a letter from Hodges’ son on the history of the telephone directory and a copy of his War Service record. The lot also includes a letter dated July 1st 1946 from the War Crimes Unit requesting Capt. Hodge be offered full assistance outside the British Zone and a pass from Commandant of the French Zone.

The lot, which will be auctioned Saturday, has a pre-sale estimate of $13,594 to $20,391.

The pre-sale estimate numbers have been corrected from an earlier version of this story.

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