Days after the end of World War II, an American soldier entering the wreckage of Adolf Hitler's mountain stronghold found that fierce Allied bombing had left the "Eagle's Nest" in ruins.
Hitler was dead, and other soldiers had already looted the inside of his private residence, even stripping the leather from furniture. Nearly everything of value was gone — except for the Fuhrer's globe.
"Literally, the place is all bombed out and here this globe is sitting there on the desk," said John Barsamian, now 91.
Now Barsamian is putting the artifact up for auction, along with all the military paperwork that allowed him to bring it back to the United States, including a certificate that reads "1 Global Map, German, Hitler's Eagle Nest."
Barsamian found the globe in May 1945 in the Berghof, Hitler's home in the Bavarian Alps town of Berchtesgaden. He boxed it up with a few other keepsakes, including a pistol and a dagger, and shipped them home.
After beating cancer and burying his wife, Viola, in 2004, Barsamian is finally ready to part with the globe. He's selling it now, while he's still alive, so he can personally tell the story behind it and share his experience in the war, says his son, Barry.
The globe to expected to attract bids from $15,000 to $20,000 when it is auctioned Nov. 13 in San Francisco.
Other items up for auction include rare documents signed by Hitler, and a box of cigars that belonged to Hermann Goering
The auction will take place at the Greg Martin auction house in San Francisco, November 13th, 2007.