Harry Truman signed letter reaches $11,000

A typed, signed letter from US president Harry S Truman was among the stars of RR Auction's August 9 sale, achieving $11,136.

The lot is made out to the wife of a naval officer, who wrote to thank Truman for dropping the atomic bomb – a decision she believed had saved her husband’s life.

Harry Truman atomic

Truman alone had to decide whether to drop the atomic bomb 

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki claimed the lives of roughly 200,000 people, many of whom perished in agony, but it also decisively ended the war.

Japan appeared to have no plans to surrender and historians believe the fighting could have dragged on for years, leading to the deaths of millions.

Truman was himself appalled at the loss of life, but remained resolute that he had made the right decision. 

The letter reads: "I was pleased to have your letter of March 12, which I read with special interest and all the more so since you consider that by my decision regarding the atom bomb, your husband's life was spared.

“I appreciate your wanting to share with me your personal experience."

The lot was accompanied by a pamphlet dropped on 11 Japanese cities by the USAF that warns: "Bombs have no eyes…heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately."

The auction also featured a formal letter sent by Adolf Hitler to his ally, the Japanese emperor, in 1943.

The lot announces that Germany will be replacing its ambassador. It realised $8,266.

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