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Adolf Hitler's personal traveling telephone is displayed at Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Md., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Auction house president Bill Panagopulos says Russian officers gave the phone to Brig. Sir Ralph Rayner during a visit to Hitler's Berlin bunker in 1945. Rayner's son is now selling it. Panagopulos says bidding will start at $100,000 this weekend. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Someone bought Hitler's phone for $243,000 at auction


A telephone that once belonged to Adolf Hitler was sold at auction for $243,000 on Sunday.

Alexander Historical Auctions in Maryland sold the phone, along with dozens of other war artifacts. The phone's buyer remained anonymous. 

The phone was dubbed "arguably the most destructive 'weapon' of all time, which sent millions to their deaths around the world." The phone was made by Siemens. It was originally black, but painted red, and features a Nazi eagle and swastika over Hitler's name.  

According to the auction house, the phone was later given as a gift to British officer Sir Ralph Rayner, who handed it down to his son, Ranulf, after his death. 

Rayner was sent to Berlin after the Germans surrendered in World War II. He was offered a tour of Hitler's quarters and was offered Hitler's wife's phone as a gift. Rayner said his favorite color was red and declined, but then the Russians offered him Hitler's phone instead. 

This was not a staid office telephone...this was Hitler's mobile device of destruction.
Alexander Historical Auctions

Ranulf Rayner said his father saw the phone as a "war trophy." 

Sir Rayner also brought home a dog figurine made in a concentration camp, which sold at the same auction for $24,300.

I've always lived in fear of someone trying to steal it. I've also been told it'll bring me bad luck.
Ranulf Rayner

Ranulf said he wouldn't miss having the phone around and hoped it would end up in a museum so the world would not forget the "horrors of war."

His father had kept the fact that he took the phone secret, since he could have been court-martialed for looting. 

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