In 2013 we ran a piece about a curious postwar artifact—Hitler’s toilet.
The story goes like this: After the World War II, Adolf Hitler’s private yacht, the Aviso Grille, ended up in Florence, New Jersey in the shipyard of a man named Harry Doan. Doan scrapped the boat in the early 1950s and sent pieces of it around Florence (e.g. nuts and bolts became part of a new ship; wood paneling become a porch). A few fixtures from the yacht remained intact, however, including part of a sink, and the toilet Hitler would have used. Doan gave the toilet to his friend, Sam Carlani, who owned an auto-body shop in Florence. Eventually, the toilet came into possession of Greg Kohfeldt, who purchased Carlani’s shop where Hitler’s porcelain throne remained.
Kohfeldt toyed with the idea of selling the dictator’s toilet, or perhaps donating it to a museum, but nothing came of either. As today is Hitler’s birthday, I decided to call Kohfeldt to find out what has happened to Hitler’s toilet.
Kohfeldt told me that a gentleman from a British TV show visited his shop in January to purchase the toilet as well as the remains of the sink. He doesn’t remember the name of the television program but believes it was affiliated with Discovery UK, perhaps entitled ‘War Treasures.’ (No television series currently exists with that name.)
Kohfeldt’s account is corroborated by Doug Seaman of The American Legion Post 194, based in Florence, who said that he had spoken with employees of a British television show. Seaman said that the TV show approached the organization about selling the table, which was likely used to display maps and charts, but the group decided they didn’t want to entertain the offer.
“It’s priceless,” said Seaman. “It is to us, anyhow. We consider the thing to be a classic and a piece of spoils of war. It’s not like it’s something to celebrate. It’s something to say, ‘Hey, you lost. We got your table!'”
Kohfeldt, on the other hand, chose to part with his piece of history. And though he would not divulge the exact amount he received in the exchange, Kohfeldt did say that the figure was under $5,000.
So how does Kohfeldt feel about parting with Hitler’s toilet?
“Same as I felt having it,” he said. “I really didn’t care. It was just here when I bought the place, and now it’s gone. I have a new bathroom, so I’m happy with that.”