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Cloakroom ticket signed by WW II Nazi spy to be auctioned in UK

August 14, 2011 - London

A cloakroom ticket signed by a German officer who is credited with starting the Second World War is expected to fetch around 600 pounds at auction this week.

Lieutenant Hans-Albrecht Herzner was ordered to take a 70-strong team in civilian clothes into Poland on August 25 1939, six days before the full German invasion that led to six years of war across the world, reports.

The object was to seize a strategic pass, disabling Polish demolition charges installed to halt any German advance. The order was cancelled at the last minute when Adolf Hitler delayed his invasion after Britain signed a last-minute pact with Poland, but the order did not arrive till Herzner had launched his raid.

In the event the mission failed. Although Herzner tried to persuade a Polish officer that their countries were at war and to cease resisting, Polish soldiers repelled him and his men.

A ticket he signed is due to go under the hammer at Ludlow racecourse in Shropshire on Thursday.

Auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes, of Mullock's auction house in Ludlow, said: "Herzner's signature is incredibly rare and sought after."

"He made a sortie into Poland anyway, six days before the full invasion on September 1 and is credited as being the man who started the war. The signature in pencil on a cloakroom ticket is being sold by a collector and its rarity is reflected in the estimate," he added.


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