( Reuters ) - A desktop globe a U.S. soldier recovered from Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's residence in 1945 sold at auction for $115,000 on Tuesday, a San Francisco-based auction house said.
John Barsamian, 91, said he took the globe as a souvenir after entering Hitler's Berghof residence in Obersalzberg in southern Germany as a U.S. Army soldier. He decided to sell this year as he advanced in age.
San Francisco resident Robert Pritikin, 78, a former advertising executive who knows Barsamian, bid $100,000 for what Barsamian regarded as a souvenir. He will have to pay a 15 percent auction house fee for a total price of $115,000.
"How could you back away from it was his thought," said Matthew Davis, Pritikin's personal assistant. "This is one of the things that one of the most evil men in history studied and studied."
Peter Allmayer-Beck, an official at the Vienna-based International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes, said the globe commanded a high price -- far above its $15,000 to $20,000 estimate -- only because of its link to the notorious German leader.
"The globe is not historically very significant," he said. "The fact that it was among Hitler's possessions in Obersalzberg surely impacted its auction price. Without this history, the globe would fetch a low price."