SAN FRANCISCO – A globe that once belonged to Adolf Hitler has sold at auction for $100,000 — more than five times the expected amount.
American soldier John Barsamian found the globe in the ruins of Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat in the Bavarian Alps in May 1945.
Barsamian, now 91, of Oakland, recently decided to sell it while he is alive so he can personally tell the story behind it, said his son, Barry Barsamian. Both Barsamians watched the bidding Tuesday at Greg Martin Auctions.
The winning bid came from San Francisco entrepreneur Bob Pritikin.
Experts had estimated the item would only bring $15,000 to $20,000.
Other globes presumed to have been owned by Hitler have been extensively researched for authenticity. But there is no uncertainty about the origins of Barsamian's wartime trophy, since he had all the military paperwork that allowed him to bring it back to the United States, including a certificate that reads "1 Global Map, German, Hitler's Eagle Nest."
"This is probably the most airtight documentation I've run across in some time," Greg Martin, proprietor of the auction house, said before the sale. "We have pictures of the guy there at the time, standing in the ruins holding the globe like a newborn baby."