Hitler's Desk: Houstonian Still Trying to Sell It

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When last we talked to Houston lawyer Jack McConn, he was eagerly looking forward to selling Hitler's desk, which he had acquired while being part of an Army unit that was guarding the Führer's Munich headquarters.

Apparently the market for Hitler desks isn't as lively as it used to be, because more than two years later it's still on the market.

This time a leading "militaria" expert in Florida is marketing it on McConn's behalf. Craig Gottlieb expects to get about a million dollars for it, which is about what McConn was seeking in 2008.

The writing desk, which is more of a portable laptop than a full office desk, was used by Hitler to sign the Munich Pact in 1938.

Back then, McConn told us:

"I've had it longer than Hitler did," McConn laughs. "But still, it's a unique piece. It has a great deal of historical significance."

Enough historical significance to warrant his donating it to a museum?

"It depends on what the museum is willing to pay for it," he says, smoothly skipping over the "donating" part. "I think I'm entitled to the value, whatever it is. If a museum steps up and pays enough for it, well then fine. The best place for it really would be in a museum, more people would have access to it under those circumstances."

And now:

Both Gottlieb and McConn hope that the desk set will be purchased by a museum. Estimates up to $1 million are realistic, said Gottlieb, who believes that humanity will be better served if this type of historic artifact is held publicly because of what it represents. "From this desk set comes the famous quote by Chamberlain, 'Peace in our time!' Then 60 to 80 million lives were lost as a result of Hitler's actions. 12 million of them eliminated by a government, as a matter of policy. This is a powerful lens through which we may view the human tragedy that was the Holocaust, and remember it."

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