Adolf Hitler wrote begging letter for Mercedes loan
Adolf Hitler wrote a begging letter to a Mercedes dealership asking for a loan for a limousine until his royalties for Mein Kampf came through.
Allan Hall, in Berlin Telegraph
Published: 1:35PM BST 23 Jun 2010
The letter, was written in 1924 from his jail cell at Landsberg Fortress prison where he was imprisoned that year for his role in the "Bierkeller Putsch" when his nascent Nazi party tried, and failed, to seize power in Munich.
In jail he wrote Mein Kampf, the blueprint for power that would make him rich. However, when he penned a letter to Jakob Ferlin, owner of a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Munich, there was little money to be had.
Hitler, who one day would own a fleet of Mercedes' cars, had his heart set on the 11/40 model which at the time cost 18,000 Reichsmarks. He had set his heart on one in grey with spoked wheels and white-wall tyres.
"But the hardest thing for me at the moment lies in the fact that the biggest payment for my work is not expected until the middle of December," he wrote in September 1924 to Herr Ferlin.
"So I am compelled to ask for a loan or an advance. Naturally something in the order of several thousand marks would be a big help." The letter also voiced concern about the engine of the vehicle; "That is the only thing about the 11/40 that makes me cautious. I can't afford a vehicle every two or three years or pay for expensive repairs either." Hitler was freed from his five-year jail sentence in December 1924, the month that he told Herr Ferlin he would be getting his first advances on Mein Kampf. But it is not known whether the auto dealer ever did business with him or not.
The letter was found at a flea market and authenticated by the Bavarian State Archive in Munich. It was the copy of Hitler's letter kept by the prison; the original went to Herr Ferlin and has been lost to history.
It is to be auctioned in Fuerth near Nuremberg in the first week of July and is expected to go for several thousand pounds.