A historic auction sees a personal diary of JFK in which he calls Hitler a “legend” go under the hammer.
The sale comes as the 60th anniversary approaches of President John F. Kennedy’s tragic passing on Nov. 22, 1963.
The personal diary details the summer of 1945 and offers a unique insight into the 28-year-old JFK’s life as a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers.
Other items for sale include part of the ‘grassy knoll’ picket fence, a feature of assassination conspiracy theories, and an original window from the Texas School Book Depository.
Boston-based RR Auction say: “The diary takes us on a journey, from his attendance at the opening session of the United Nations in San Francisco in May to his extensive travels through post-war Europe during the summer of 1945.
The diary, estimated fetch over $500K (£412), features notable historic events over its 61 pages, of which 12 are handwritten and 49 typed.
Kennedy followed Prime Minister Churchill throughout England during his re-election campaign, then journeyed to Ireland and France.
His travels led him to witness the Potsdam Conference with Navy Secretary James Forrestal, the stark reality of war ruins in Germany, and even the chilling remnants of Hitler’s bombed-out bunker in Berlin and the infamous Berchtesgaden’ Eagle’s Nest’ mountain retreat.
Reflecting on the scene, Kennedy records his shocking and prescient views of Hitler: “After visiting these two places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived.
“He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”
Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction, comments: “Kennedy’s diary is a fascinating account of the transformation of the wounded war hero to becoming his controlling father’s pick to enter into politics.
“Amongst these pages, Kennedy leaves his first-hand account of his visits to Hitler’s destroyed bunker and Bertesgaden, where JFK, thankfully, wrongly predicts in writing that in a few years, Adolf Hitler will rise from the ashes to be regarded as a great man and a legend.”
The diary originated from JFK’s research assistant, Deirdre Henderson, who said he gave her the diary in 1959 so “I could better understand his ideas on foreign policy”.
The section of picket fence from Dealey Plaza, estimated to make over $10k (£8.2k), is described by RR Auction as “indisputably from the grassy knoll”.
They explain: “Over the years many of the original fence’s individual wooden pickets were removed by souvenir hunters and later replaced.
“This example of the fence boasts rusted nails of the correct vintage and traces of white paint with appropriate surface wear, leading us to believe that few, if any of these pickets have been replaced.”
It originates from the collection of Kennedy assassination researcher Larry Howard, president of the JFK Assassination Information Center in Dallas, where it was once exhibited.
The window from the Texas School Book Depository, estimated to fetch over $25k (£20.5k), is from Farris Rookstool, III, who served as a principal historian in the planning of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
The building was from where official governmental investigations concluded that the shots that killed JFK were fired.
Rookstool, a former FBI Analyst who served on the FBI JFK Task Force, was given all of the original window sashes in 1986 when they were replaced.
RR Auction’s Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring JFK 60th Anniversary auction will conclude on Nov. 8.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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