MARTIN BORMANN'S GAULEITER EDITION OF ADOLF HITLER'S 'MEIN KAMPF'
MARTIN BORMANN (1900 - 1945) One of Hitler's closest confidants and his personal secretary after 1943, he remained in the bunker with Hitler until his leader's death, likely killed attempting to escape the Fuhrerbunker. Magnificent giant folio 'Gauleiter edition' of Adolf Hitler's political manifesto 'Mein Kampf', attributed to the library of Martin Bormann and taken by French soldiers from the library of his home in Berchtesgaden. This spectacular work measures 16 x 20.75 x 3 inches, and is 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, and to only a tiny handful of the top administrators of the Nazi government. The particular volume is slightly different from those offered to the gauleiters, being of even higher quality. It is extravagantly bound in white vellum over wood boards, with pages gilded at the top, bottom, and sides. The Reichsadler and lettering on the front cover and spine are gilt-stamped, as is a pair of oak leave sprigs flanking the title on the spine, and elaborate gilt cross-hatching at the top and bottom of the spine. The title and Hitler's name on the spine are raised, and there are four raised hubs - features not seen on the standard Gauleiter Edition. The book is held closed by two metal hasps secured by pins attached to the front cover. One of the hasp straps was previously partially 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 both covers is in excellent condition, as are the contents. This edition is identical to the copy given to Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, discovered at his residence in Tegernsee, Bavaria, by a cook with the 36th Infantry Division and now in the hands of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The book's association with Martin Bormann, a figure certainly equal to Himmler, is found on the rear pastedown which bears a rather unobtrusive black ink stamp: 'EIGENTUM REICHSLEITER BORMANN' ('PROPERTY OF REICHS LEADER BORMANN') This stamp sufficed as Bormann's library 'bookplate', as we know of no bookplates ever being used by him. The book was purchased by our consignor from auction house Regis Bailleul in Bayeux, France in 1992. A copy of the original catalog description is included. It states: '...Coming from the heart of Swabia after crossing the Rhine at Mannheim, the first columns of Engineers from the 2nd Armored Division led by General DE GUILLEBON arrived at Berchtesgaden on May 4, 1945. The American 12th Armored Division accompanied them. Three days later on May 7, 1945, the French Sapeurs and the American Support Company celebrated together in the Berghof the announcement of the armistice. Various historical souvenirs were collected at these times...' This same French division departed the scene with literally truckloads of loot from the homes of Hitler, Goring, Bormann, etc., as well as the SS barracks and administrative offices in Berchtesgaden...including the gold watch gifted by the NSDAP to Hitler and sold by us in our last live auction. This is the most desirable of all editions of 'Mein Kampf', and it is by far the rarest, especially in this variation. Its association with Martin Bormann makes this book a historic relic of the highest degree.