LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A sedative prescription made out to Nazi Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, and another to the last prisoner executed at the Tower of London were sold on Tuesday for 750 pounds ($1,200) to a museum in Britain.
“Herr Rudolf Hess, Deputy Fuehrer, Luftwaffe,” was issued a prescription for potassium bromide in 1941 by a British army doctor when Hess was imprisoned at the Tower, Eldreds auctioneers said on Tuesday.
Hess had parachuted into Scotland that year on an apparent peace mission but was captured.
He was held on the first floor of the Tower’s Queen’s House from 17-21 May, 1941. He was later tried at Nuremberg for war crimes and sentenced to life in Berlin’s Spandau prison, but committed suicide in 1987 at the age of 93.
London chemist A.R. Rowe dispensed the medicine both for Hess and German spy Josef Jakobs.
Jakobs, a sergeant with the German army, was captured after parachuting into England, tried for espionage, and was held in the Tower’s Waterloo Block before being executed by firing squad on August 15, the Tower’s press office said.
His prescription was issued on army stationery stamped August 14, 1941, according to Eldreds. The auction lot was accompanied by a contemporaneous newspaper clipping on Josef’s death.
“That was for a sedative, which the actual newspaper report which is being sold with it mentions that he took just before he was executed,” Anthony Eldreds said of Jakobs’ prescription.
Eldreds said the papers came from the family of A.R. Rowe, which brought them directly to the auction house located in Plymouth, south England.
“(Rowe) did the dispensing, so he kept the prescription. It was brought to us as part of a deceased’s estate,” Eldreds said. “It was two different doctors, which is why the handwriting is different.”
The winning bid was made by telephone. The documents had been expected to fetch 200-300 pounds, Eldreds said.
The authenticity of items associated with Hitler and other Nazi leaders has long been a bone of contention. In 1983, the German magazine Stern published what it said were extracts from Hitler’s diaries. They were later exposed as forgeries.