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John F Kennedy's Post-World War II Diary Sold For Over $700,000

A diary kept by John F Kennedy, recording his premonitions of the Cold War and thoughts on German dictator Adolf Hitler during his stint as a young journalist in post World War II Europe, was auctioned for a whopping USD 718,750 - thrice its estimated price.

PTI

Updated:April 27, 2017, 3:46 PM IST
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John F Kennedy's Post-World War II Diary Sold For Over $700,000
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive at the National Guard Armory for the inaugural ball in Washington (File Photo/REUTERS)
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Boston: A diary kept by John F Kennedy, recording his premonitions of the Cold War and thoughts on German dictator Adolf Hitler during his stint as a young journalist in post World War II Europe, was auctioned for a whopping USD 718,750 - thrice its estimated price.

Comprising of 61 loose-leaf pages - 12 handwritten and 49 typed - the diary by the former US president is housed in a quality cowhide leather binder. It contains Kennedy's unedited inner thoughts on politics and his personal beliefs.

The 28-year-old Kennedy penned his thoughts on several historic events such as a United Nations conference, Hitler's bombed bunker and Winston Churchill's reelection campaign during his time as a reporter for Hearst Newspaper.

"The stench - sickish and sweet from dead bodies – is overwhelming," a young Kennedy wrote as he witnessed the devastation in Berlin while travelling the streets.

"He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made," Kennedy wrote about Hitler when he visited Berchtesgaden, the location of the German dictator's chalet and famed, 'Eagles Nest'.

Kennedy recorded startling predictions on Russia, including premonitions of the Cold War, which would be synonymous with his presidency 13 years later.

"The clash with Russia may be finally and indefinitely postponed by the eventual discovery of a weapon so horrible that it will truthfully mean the abolishment of all the nations employing it," he wrote.

"This exceptional diary sheds light on a side of Kennedy seldom explored and confirms America's enduring sense that he was one of the most qualified, intelligent, and insightful commanders-in-chief in American history," said Bobby Livingston, spokesperson at RR Auction, which handled the sale.

The diary includes JFK's "chilling premonitions of power-hungry Russia and the conflict that would be synonymous with his presidency: the Cold War," the auction house stated.
The diary was put up for auction by Deirdre Henderson, who worked for Kennedy as a research assistant.

"It was my hope that through the auction catalogue, the diary would come to the attention of a wider audience and find a home worthy of its merit," Henderson said.

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