Two of history's most important documents from World War II — a secret telegram detailing a Hitler "coup" and first word to Washington of the Nazi surrender — are heading to auction next week and could bring a combined $30,000.
"A most historic set of relics," said Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Historical Auctions in Chesapeake City, Md.
Panagopulos, previewing his sales to Secrets, said the two packages are the feature of his July 7-9 online sale of hundreds of historical artifacts at http://auctions.alexautographs.com/asp/cataloguesearch.asp.
One includes a teletype message, and accompanying paper tape, that was the Pentagon's first indication that Germany was surrendering. It is headlined "URGENT URGENT" and includes words from a radio broadcast about the surrender just minutes after Chancellor Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk spoke on the radio May 7, 1945.
From Alexander's online catalog:
"This highly-important lot consists of three original teletype print-outs and one teletype punch tape with printed text, all relating to the speech of Chancellor Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk announcing Germany's surrender to the world. His speech would force the Allies to declare the war in Europe has being ended, and it sparked massive celebrations around the world. As all military communications of every type sent to the U.S. were routed first through the War Department Message Center, this would be the first time any individual in the United States beyond Harry Truman would officially know that Germany had surrendered."
The second package is titled "The Goring Telegram," one of Nazi history's most important. In it, Nazi Party leader Hermann Göring told Adolf Hitler of his plans to take control of the government.
It is stamped "Secret!" and was written about a week before Hitler died and some three weeks before the Nazi surrender.
"My Fuhrer: General Koller today gave me a briefing on the basis of communications given to him by Colonel General Jodl and General Christian, according to which you had referred certain decisions to me and emphasized that I, in case negotiations would become necessary, would be in an easier position than you in Berlin. These views were so surprising and serious to me that I felt obligated to assume, in case by 2200 o'clock no answer is forthcoming, that you have lost your freedom of action. I shall then view the conditions of your decree as fulfilled and take action for the well being of Nation and Fatherland. You know what I feel for you in these most difficult hours of my life and I cannot express this in words. God protect you and allow you despite everything to come here as soon as possible. Your faithful Hermann Goring."
Historians will recall that it didn't go down well with Hitler who accused his aide of treason.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.