Library and Archives Canada announced on Wednesday that it had acquired a rare 1944 book that once belonged to Adolf Hitler.
Written in German, "Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada" is a 137-page report produced in 1944 by Heinz Kloss, a famed German linguist who had contact with US Nazi sympathizers.
The book details certain cities' population statistics along with organizations and media outlets key at the time to North America's Jewish communities, Library and Archives Canada said in a statement.
"This work hints at the story of what might have happened in Canada had the Allies lost World War II. It also demonstrates that the Holocaust was not a purely European event, but rather an operation that was stopped before it reached North America," it added.
Our recent acquisition of a 1944 book previously owned by Adolf— LibraryArchivesCanada (@LibraryArchives) January 23, 2019
Hitler demonstrates our mandate to acquire items of historic relevance to
Canada. This item suggests what would have happened in Canada had the #SWW ended differently. pic.twitter.com/38Q1UCNtWZ
The bookplate bears an eagle, and swastika, and the words "Ex Libris Adolf Hitler," indicating it was part of his personal library.
“Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada” [translation] was compiled in 1944 by Heinz Kloss. The bookplate’s stylized eagle, swastika, and the words, “Ex Libris Adolf Hitler,” indicate that the book came from the personal library of Hitler. pic.twitter.com/QT9bRcbfCI— LibraryArchivesCanada (@LibraryArchives) January 23, 2019
"It is fundamental ... to acquire, preserve and make available documents no matter how controversial or contentious they could be," said Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.
Hitler was an avid reader with a collection reportedly containing 6,000 to 16,000 titles.
Our mandate is to acquire material that reflects the published record of Canada, without passing judgement on the content of these publications.— LibraryArchivesCanada (@LibraryArchives) January 23, 2019
This book bears witness to what would have happened to Canada had the Allies lost #WW2. #NeverAgain #WeRemember pic.twitter.com/qaeA8lxl5T
Library and Archives Canada said the book was likely brought back to the US as a souvenir of war, as in spring 1945 American soldiers took thousands of books from the Nazi leader's second home near Berchtesgaden, in the German Alps.
The institution added it acquired the book from a reputable Judaica dealer, who obtained it as part of a collection owned by a Holocaust survivor.