Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 15:25 UK

21,000 for Derry man's Mein Kampf

Copy of Mein Kampf
This copy of Mein Kampf sold for 23,800 when it was auctioned in 2005

A rare signed copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf owned by an unnamed Londonderry collector has been sold at auction for £21,000.

The 1925 copy of the Nazi leader's political manifesto went under the hammer at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire on Thursday.

Historical documents expert Richard Westwood-Brookes, from the auctioneers Mullock's, said the volume was "a legendary copy of Mein Kampf".

"There are very few signed copies out there.

"This particular copy was a second edition, and only a few hundred were made, because obviously nobody knew who he was in those days.

"Most of the signed copies are much later, and date from when he was in control of Germany and the Second World War was well underway - they tend to have been presented to high-ranking generals and leaders of the Nazi party."

This particular edition was presented to Johann Maurer at Christmas 1925 "in memory of our time together in prison in Landsberg".

"Hitler tried to seize power in Germany through violent means in 1923, in what became known as the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, and as a result he was sent to prison for three years," explained Mr Westwood-Brookes.

"This man, Johann Maurer, was one of his fellow inmates after the putsch, so from that point of view it is of the greatest rarity."

'Plain cloth'

But like all the most valuable books, "it doesn't look like very much."

"It's plain red cloth, something you wouldn't look at twice if you saw it in a charity shop, but it sold for £21,000.

"In modern terms, it's analogous with the very first Harry Potter book.

"It too was only published in 500 copies, and, oddly enough, it also changes hands for the same sort of money."

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