GAULEITER EDITION OF ADOLF HITLER'S 'MEIN KAMPF'
Magnificent giant folio 'Gauleiter edition' of Adolf Hitler's political manifesto 'Mein Kampf', 15.5 x 20.75 x 3 inches (39.7 x 52.7 x 7.6 cm), handsomely printed in large German type by the Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Berlin. It bears the usual 1925-27 copyright date, but was in actuality produced in only perhaps less than one hundred copies in the 1930s. This special edition was given as gifts to the 44 Gauleiters and 21 Reichsleiters in Germany, Austria, and its sphere of control. The volume is extravagantly bound in white vellum over wood boards, with pages gilded at the top and bottom. The Reichsadler and lettering on the front cover and and spine are gilt-stamped, as is a trio of oak leaves at the top and bottom of the spine together with Hitler's name and 'Mein Kampf' The book is held closed by two metal hasps secured by pins attached to the front cover. One of the hasp straps was previously split at the bend around the cover, but has been professionally repaired with all brass hardware intact on both strap and cover. The vellum on the front of the book is excellent, the back cover is discolored with striped stains from exposure to moisture, yet the contents are unaffected. A skillful restorer could most likely restore the back cover completely. The book is also accompanied by a 9 x 11/25 in. b/w portrait photograph of Hitler which accompanied the book when found. Also present is a 1974 letter from noted antique dealers The London Shop in Baltimore, to the father of our consignor. Prior to his purchase of the book, the store noted that according to its previous owner, the book was 'presented by a high German official, shortly after the fall of the Third Reich...one of six copies belonging to Adolph [sic] Hitler. The book had a Christmas card from Hitler to this high German official but was not included...The personal photograph of Hitler was forwarded with the book...' Also included are three letters from ALBERT SPEER to the owner of this book, including two from 1980. One letter is an A.L.S., 1p. 4to., in which Speer sends the man an original sketch by Adolf Hitler. Speer also notes: '...Concerning your book, I myself owned a copy of this book, which, so far as I can remember, was printed in a bibliographic way, only in a few hundred copies. It was a valuable gift in this time...Certainly this book had...in his time a value of 6-800 RM, which is equal; to 2400-3200 DM today...' Speer regrettably believed the book was signed - which it is not. In his second letter, Speer sends an initialed typescript of his letter. His third letter refers the man to the typed version of his letter. There is also a 1980 letter from autograph expert and auctioneer Charles Hamilton who seeks to have the book consigned to his auction, and includes one of his catalogs (also present) including a similar book. This is the most desirable of all editions of 'Mein Kampf', and it is by far the rarest. In thirty-five years we have handled only one other copy.