THE GOLDEN EAGLE FROM ADOLF HITLER'S REICHSCHANCELLERY BEDROOM
An absolutely incredible Adolf Hitler relic, the gilded NSDAP eagle which once adorned the entrance to Adolf Hitler's private living quarters in the Old Reichschancellery in Berlin until it was 'liberated' by an American GI. The eagle is a very fine, impressive plaster or plaster composite casting, 28 in. wide overall and 12 in. tall, with a 3 in. maximum depth at the swastika wreath. It is expertly gilded, and speaks of the importance of those who worked and resided beyond. The eagle has some minor chipping about the feather edges, chest, and head. The wing tips are slightly chipped where the eagle was pried from the wall, and a small piece of hemp rope is visible at one end, cast into the plaster in the wall to secure the piece. The eagle also originally rested upon a base, as did other such eagles in both chancelleries, and the bottom of this eagle is slightly scraped from its movement against the base as it was removed. Finally, the center talon of each of the eagle's feet was chipped off, probably at the time of its removal. The damage has not been repaired but the area has been expertly retouched with matching paint. According to a cover story in The Daily Democrat-News, Marshall, Mo., July 26, 1954 (included), the eagle was removed from above Hitler's bedroom doors by GI Marion Bowes. Bowes gave the eagle to fellow veteran August Richter shortly after the war. In the article, Bowes is described as stating that 'a wild scramble' for souvenirs was made by him and other American soldiers, and that 'he was so intrigued by the sight of two soldiers dividing Eva's powder puff into equal parts that he found himself left out...As the group made an exit from the Hitler bedroom, Mr. Bowes noticed this swastika hanging over the door. Calling on his buddies for assistance, they supported him on their shoulders while he whittled the object from its moorings. Later, his commanding officer helped him wrap the box...to send to Mr. Richter...' The article, which includes a photo of the eagle, further states that one Page Green was left the eagle as part of Richter's estate. Also included is the original Aug. 30, 1957 notarized affidavit of Theodore Lenkel (1917-1991) in New Jersey who obtained the eagle after Green. Lenkel refers to the newspaper article cited above, and states that he is selling it to one 'R. D. Stagmeier' of Chattanooga, also warranting that no copies had been made of the piece. In 1996, the eagle reappeared again, this time offered by prestigious auctioneers William J. Jenack in Chester, New York. Included is a Jenack advertisement showing the eagle, a newspaper article (copy) showing auction owner William J. Jenack with the eagle, and our consignor's receipt for the purchase of the piece. Hitler had commented that Bismarck's Old Chancellery was 'fit for a soap company' and not suitable as headquarters of a Greater German Reich. It nevertheless remained his official residence, where Hitler lived in the so-called Fuhrerwohnung ('Leader apartment'). The Old and New Chancellery shared a large garden area, with the underground Fuhrerbunker beneath, where Hitler ultimately committed suicide at the end of April,1945. It is believed that there were only twelve such wall-mounted eagles in and around both chancelleries, and as far as we have been able to determine, examples exist only in the Imperial War Museum and Moscow's Museum of the Great Patriotic War. An important, unique Hitler relic with excellent provenance!