Derby

Nazi bodyguard medal sells at Derbyshire auction for £36,500

Ulrich Graf and the medal Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Ulrich Graf was given the medal following the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923

A medal awarded to a Nazi bodyguard who took five bullets that may have been meant for Adolf Hitler has sold for £36,500.

The Blutorden Blood Order Medal was awarded to Ulrich Graf, who "threw himself on Hitler" during a failed coup d'état by the Nazi Party, in 1923.

The silver medal, which features the Nazi eagle on one side, was sold at auction in Derbyshire on Friday.

The auctioneer said it was a "world-record price" for a medal of its type.

Graf, whose family sold everything of his in the 1950s due to his Nazi past, was one of the earliest members of the party and one of Hitler's personal protection squad.

During the failed Beer Hall Putsch, in Munich, when the group were confronted by police, 16 party members and four officers were killed.

'Five bullets'

Hansons Auctioneers' militaria expert Adrian Stevenson said: "The Nazis were walking to a monument that honoured the Bavarian Army when they met a police cordon across the road.

"Police opened fire and Graf took a bullet to the shoulder before throwing himself on Hitler and taking five bullets.

"Graf was a big, burly wrestler and obviously Hitler was slightly built. Would he have survived those five bullets? Who knows?"

Mr Stevenson said the vendor was a British doctor who had a "large collection of German Third Reich medals".

He said some countries like France ban the sale of Third Reich items, "but I think that does a disservice to the victims of the Nazis. It is almost like sweeping it under the carpet".

The item fetched nine times its £3,500-£4,000 asking price at the auction in Etwall.

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