Rarest history at auction: Mao letter and Hitler refusal to Chiang Kai-Shek

Rarest history at auction: Mao letter and Hitler refusal to Chiang Kai-Shek
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A massive historical militaria and autograph auction kicking off tomorrow features two incredibly rare relics that together could fetch $165,000.

One is a letter and envelope from the founding father of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong. The two items, expected to sell for $100,000-$150,000, are so rare that the auctioneer compared their finding to that of a copy of the Declaration of Independence found at a flea market for $4 and then sold for over $2 million.

Rare items signed by Mao Zedong heading to auction this week. Photo courtesy Alexander Historical Auctions

It is notable because there are so few things actually signed by Mao.

The second is a package of diplomatic letters in which Chinese nationalist Chiang Kai-Shek sought help from German leader Adolf Hitler as China fell during World War II.

The letters are a rare look into the general’s mistakes that led him to flee to Taiwan, where he lived and ruled for years.

“Chiang Kai-Shek took a dangerous gamble thinking Hitler would sway the Japanese to get him a better peace deal. In the end, he lost his gamble and all of China as well,” said Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Historical Auctions of Maryland.

His online sale begins Tuesday and lasts through Wednesday. He is one of the nation’s largest auctioneers of Americana and historical items, specializing recently in World War II artifacts.

The new sale includes several Hitler artifacts, such as pieces of the German madman's Nazi china collection and an SS officer’s cap, expected to sell for $5,000.

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Tags: Washington Secrets, Mao, Hitler, China, Taiwan

Original Author: Paul Bedard

Original Location: Rarest history at auction: Mao letter and Hitler refusal to Chiang Kai-Shek

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