Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders
The Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders (also known as Hitler's Globe or the Führer Globe) was a globe designed specifically for various Nazi leaders, including Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Two editions of the globe exist, the latter with Ethiopia replaced with Italian East Africa.
Two editions of the globe were commissioned by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, though the actual number of globes produced will never be verified as the factory that manufactured the globe, the Columbus factory, was destroyed in 1943 along with its archives.
Numerous globes claiming to have been owned by Hitler exist throughout the world, although the authenticity of many of them is doubtful. There are three in Berlin: one at a geographical institute, another at the Märkisches Museum, and the third at the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Another two reside in public collections at Munich. Many of the globes show Germany with a bullet hole or simply wiped out, an act committed out of contempt by either Soviet or American soldiers. Based on photographic evidence, none of these globes, however, are from Hitler's office in the New Reich Chancellery, the one most iconic and the one that inspired Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940).
It is known that Lavrentiy Beria did inspect the Chancellery after the fall of Berlin and it has been suggested that he may have taken a globe to his office in the KGB Headquarters at Lubyanka where it remains to this day. However, neither the KGB nor its successor the FSB have ever commented on this.
In May 1945, one globe allegedly owned by Hitler, and possibly the Columbus globe, albeit smaller, was found by an American soldier among the ruins of Hitler's "Eagle's Nest", a command complex near the Bavarian Alps. The complex had been nearly completely looted by the time the soldier arrived; save for one globe sitting on what he assumed was the dictator's desk. The soldier, John Barsamia, took the globe home and kept it for sixty years before selling it at an auction in San Francisco. Bob Pritikin, an entrepreneur from San Francisco, bought the globe at $100,000, five times the original estimated price of $20,000.
The globe is iconic as a representation of Adolf Hitler's megalomania. In both Charlie Chaplin's satirical film The Great Dictator (1940), and in The Three Stooges I'll Never Heil Again sequel to their earlier short subject You Nazty Spy! that satirized the Nazi leadership, "Hitler's Globe" is a focus for parody. In Chaplin's feature film, the globe's focus for parody occurred in an iconic scene where the globe is portrayed as a beachball that bursts in front of the dictator Adenoid Hynkel's face. Similarly, in I'll Never Heil Again, the "Axel" partners of Moronikan dictator "Moe Hailstone" play a game of "keep-away" with the globe, eventually with Hailstone's military commander "Field Marshal Herring" smashing the globe over Hailstone's head.
- Kimmelman, Michael (September 18, 2007). "The Mystery of Hitler’s Globe Goes Round and Round". New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- "A missing megalo-symbol: Hitler's globe". The International Herald Tribune. September 19, 2007.
- "Sold: Hitler's globe fetches £50,000 at auction - five times its estimate". The Daily Mail (London). November 14, 2007.
- Rubenstein, Steve (October 18, 2007). "Hitler's globe turns up in Oakland rumpus room". San Francisco Chronicle.