The case of Hitler's bookmark

2009-03-13 14:02
Seattle - A Romanian national has admitted trying to sell a stolen bookmark that reportedly was given to Adolf Hitler by his mistress after the Nazis lost a key battle in World War II.

Christian Popescu, 37, who immigrated to the United States about 12 years ago from Constanta, Romania, pleaded guilty Thursday in US District Court to the sale or receipt of stolen goods.

The 18-carat gold bookmark, engraved with a portrait of Hitler, an imperial eagle and a swastika, was forfeited to the US government.

Police in Spain said three men took it and some jewellery from a glass display case at the auction house Duran Subastas de Arte in Madrid during working hours on October 16 2002.

Inscribed by Eva Braun

Reportedly given to Hitler by Eva Braun after the Nazis surrendered at Stalingrad, the turning point in their invasion of the Soviet Union, the bookmark is inscribed, "My Adolf, don't worry... (the loss) was only an inconvenience that will not break your certainty of victory. My love for you will be eternal, as our Reich will be eternal. Always yours, Eva. 3-2-43."

Some antiques experts have questioned its authenticity, but federal agents said the theft made it illegal for Popescu to arrange to sell the bookmark on November 25 to an undercover agent for $100 000 outside a Starbucks store in suburban Bellevue.

According to documents filed in court, an informant told authorities Popescu had been trying to sell the bookmark in the Seattle area for $150 000. The informant helped to arrange the sale for the lower amount, investigators wrote.

Popescu told the undercover agent a necklace stolen at the same time had been melted down but that the bookmark was more valuable intact.

The auction house paid the owner of the bookmark - described by a spokesperson for the business only as a Brazilian - about $10 000 after the heist, and an insurance company subsequently reimbursed the auction house. According to court documents, Spanish authorities estimate its value at $13 000 to $17 000.

Emily Langlie, a spokesperson for the US attorney's office, said on Thursday it was unclear where the bookmark will be sent after Popescu is sentenced on June 12. He faces as much as 10 years in prison.

- AP

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.