He’d one day rule a large portion of the globe, but in 1924, a struggling dictator-in-waiting wasn’t above pleading to get what he wanted.
Adolf Hitler’s letter requesting a loan to purchase a Mercedes limousine will be auctioned in Germany next month.
It was written from his cell at the Landsberg Fortress prison, where he was imprisoned that year after his fledgling Nazi party attempted, but failed, to seize power in Munich.
He wrote Mein Kampf in prison, a blueprint for power that would make him wealthy. He didn’t have much money when he wrote to Jakob Ferlin, the owner of a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Munich.
Hitler, who later owned a Mercedes fleet, had his heart set on the 11/40 model, which cost 18,000 Reichsmarks at the time.
In September 1924, he wrote, “But the hardest thing for me at the moment lies in the fact that the largest payment for my work is not expected until the middle of December.”
‘As a result, I feel compelled to seek a loan or advance.
‘Of course, something in the region of several thousand marks would be extremely beneficial.’
In December 1924, Hitler was released from his five-year prison sentence. However, it is unknown whether he did business with the car dealer.
The Bavarian State Archive in Munich authenticated the letter after it was discovered at a flea market.
The prison kept a copy of Hitler’s letter; the original went to Herr Ferlin and was lost to history.
In the first week of July, it will be auctioned in Fuerth, near Nuremberg, and is expected to fetch several thousand pounds.
Prison papers describing Hitler as “mature, calm, and rational” will also be available for purchase. He is not expected to defy the government.’
A note from his prison governor added, ‘He is modest and polite.’