BLOOD-STAINED FABRIC FROM ADOLF HITLER'S SUICIDE SOFA An incredible relic with outstanding provenance, an approximately 3/4" x 1/2" rectangular section of fabric covered in blood, removed from the sofa upon which Adolf Hitler committed suicide with a pistol shot to the head at 3:30 PM on April 30, 1945. This fabric section was once part of larger piece obtained by our consignor which exactly matched the pattern of the "suicide sofa" as it appeared in period photographs by LIFE photographer William Vandivert and others taken just days after Hitler's death. The fabric was taken as a souvenir by Col. Roswell P. Rosengren (1902-?) who served as an intelligence officer under on the public relations staffs of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Chief of Staff George Marshall, and also served on Eisenhower's staff at SHAEF. His Army service continued through the Korean War, during which he was Chief of Public Information for the 8th Army. An original contemporary tag (copy included) was once attached to the relic bearing a description in Rosengren's hand: "No. 39 Piece of covering of davenport in Hitler's air raid shelter - blood supposed to be Hitler's" The relic is also accompanied by a copy of the original 2001 notarized letter of provenance on his letterhead from Rosengren's son, professional photographer Erik L. Rosengren. It reads, in part: "My father, Col. Roswell P. Rosengren, was Gen. Eisenhower's Public Information Officer for most of the Second World War...A few days after Hitler's suicide my father and three senior Army officers entered Hitler's bunker within the Reichskanzlei. Dad cut a piece of blood soaked material from Hitler's davenport on which he reportedly father also cut two swatches of material and one piece of leather from chairs and a sofa. These and other mementos were cataloged and numbered with tags and placed under lock and key...These pieces have been in my possession since that date...". The larger section of this fabric was offered by us in 2014, and prior to cataloging this remnant was cut from the blood-stained area. It realized over $19,000. A Kastle-Meyer presumptive blood test was twice performed on the original swatch, and both tests indicated positive for the presence of hemoglobin. Also included is a 2.75 x 1.75 inch section of patterned fabric removed by Rosengren from another piece of furniture in or near Hitler's office in the Chancellery, apparently from one of the large chairs in the hallway directly outside his office. A copy of his handwritten tag noting that the cloth came from chairs "in Hitler's large office" is also included. Rosengren, whose biographical data can be easily researched and some of which is included, had much of his correspondence donated to the Truman Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society. A most historic relic, as no further "blood relics" of Hitler's remain in public hands. A DNA test would conclusively put to rest rumors of body doubles, flight to Argentina, and other theories of an escape from Berlin.

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June 9, 2020 12:00 PM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000