Kohfeldt pointed out to me that the toilet has all the traits of a toilet from a ship—including an open side slot for seawater to be pumped in. The knobs on the faucet bear text written in Blackletter—the famous and classically German family of typefaces that Hitler adored. (The Nazis, in 1933, chased typographer Jan Tschichold out of Germany for advocating use of sans-serif fonts instead of Blackletter, among other design travesties.) The toilet has been a “functional tourist attraction” since 1952, Kohfeldt said. People would take road trips—as I had—just to see it. (Indeed, the toilet is listed in Roadside America’s online guide.)
But last year, the toilet finally did make it to London as Hitler intended, when a British game show—Four Rooms, a lot like a British version of Antiques Roadshow—flew Kohfeldt and the toilet out to appear on the air to be sold. Although they couldn’t find a buyer, Kohfeldt said he was happy to accept the free trip and relished an opportunity to mock the Führer by taking the toilet to places Adolf only dreamed of.
While Kohfeldt seems proud of his object’s notoriety, he seems remarkably unexcited by the fact that he owns Hitler’s toilet. This may be because the story of Hitler’s possessions in Florence only begins with his toilet.