Signed editions of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" up for auction in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is one of the most racist and heinous screeds in modern history, but officials say two rare early editions signed by him could go for more than $20,000 at an online auction on Thursday.

Nate Sanders, owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles, says he knows he'll catch a lot of flack for putting the rare 1925 and 1926 books up for bid.

He said he understands that, telling Reuters, "I'm Jewish. I think it's very heinous, but it is an auction item, it is a memento, it is a piece of memorabilia and a piece of history."

"A lot of Jewish people collect World War II memorabilia, a lot of people collect World War II memorabilia. This fits in all those genres."

Hitler was arrested and jailed for the attempt to seize power. He dictated

"Mein Kampf," two volumes of autobiography and anti-Semitic manifesto, to Rudolf Hess while behind bars to raise money for his criminal defense.

Both volumes' fly-leaves feature Hitler's signature, and, according to Getty, both are dedicated to Josef Bauer, an early Nazi party member and a leader of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch bid to overthrow the Bavarian government.

"Josef Bauer was one that worked with him during that time, the early period," Sanders told Reuters.

"Now fast forward about ninety years and they came up with another auction house and they're bought in this other auction house, a very famous auction house and then a few years later now, I have them and I'm putting them up for auction."

Sanders said volumes of "Mein Kampf" from the 1930s are common, but a copy signed by the author is rare.

Sanders is also auctioning off a leather trench coat he said was worn by Albert Speer, a Nazi government minister who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime.

Selling Nazi memorabilia is prohibited in many European countries that saw the horrors of World War II.

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