SS Dagger Belonging to Adolf Hitler's Personal Chauffeur Goes on Sale
A dagger belonging to Adolf Hitler's personal chauffeur has emerged for sale for £5,000.
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Erich Kempka started driving the Führer from 1936 until the end of the Second World War.
There are numerous photos of him behind the wheel of a Mercedes driving Hitler at parades, including at the famous 1938 Nuremberg rally where he can be seen propping up the Fuhrer as he waves to crowds.
The 13-inch dagger, which is engraved with the driver's initials and those of Hitler's personal bodyguard regiment, is being sold by a European private collector at C&T auctions in Ashford, Kent.
The mechanic joined the NSDAP as a 20-year-old in 1930 before being made a chauffeur due to his knowledge of cars and placed on the reserve list for Hitler's staff drivers.
When the previous driver Julius Schreck died in 1936, Kempka was appointed to the role.
SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Erich Kempka was pictured with Hitler at numerous parades, including the 1938 Nuremberg rally (pictured) where he was seen propping up the Führer as he waved to crowds
His 13-inch dagger is engraved with the monogram 'LAH' - the initials for Hitler's personal bodyguard regiment - and also Kempka's initials 'EK'.
The blade also carries the moto 'Meine Ehre Heist Treue', which translates into English as 'my honour is loyalty'.
Matthew Tredwen, specialist at C&T Auctions, said: 'Erich Kempka was Hitler's personal driver, his chauffeur of choice, which makes him a very important figure.
'It is believed that he went to get the petrol to burn Hitler's petrol and was the first German witness to confirm his death when he was captured by the Allies.
'It is harrowing to think this dagger could have been in such close proximity to Hitler.'
Immediately after the war, Kempka managed to escape Berlin before he was captured by American forces at Berchtesgaden, Bavaria.
He was a witness at the Nuremburg war trials but was not charged with war crimes and released in 1947.
He published his memoirs, 'Ich habe Adolf Hitler verbrannt' (I cremated Adolf Hitler) in 1951 and died aged 65 in 1975.