NEW YORK — Marilyn Monroe's letter of despair to mentor Lee Strasberg and Dwight D. Eisenhower's heartfelt missives to his wife during World War II are among hundreds of historical documents being offered in an online auction.
Monroe's handwritten, undated letter to the famed acting teacher is expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000 in the May 30 sale.
"My will is weak but I can't stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I'm going crazy," Monroe wrote on Hotel Bel-Air letterhead stationery. "It's just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I'm trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I'm not existing in the human race at all."
The 58 Eisenhower letters, handwritten between 1942 and 1945, range from news of the war to the Allied commander's devotion to his wife, Mamie. They are believed to be among the largest group of Eisenhower letters to survive intact and could bring up to $120,000, said Joseph Maddalena, whose Profiles in History is auctioning the items.
They are among 250 letters and documents being sold by an anonymous American collector. Selected items will be exhibited April 8-16 at Douglas Elliman's Madison Avenue art gallery.
Also included is a typed, undated draft letter from John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney that reflects the deep animosity between the two Beatles around the time of the foursome's formal 1971 breakup. The two-page letter is unsigned and contains corrections. A photographic logo on the stationery shows Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono within a circle with their lips almost touching.
"Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane – Paul – do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up!" Lennon writes. It's expected to fetch $40,000 to $60,000.
Other highlights include two large photo albums that Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini exchanged prior to World War II.
"When Mussolini and Hitler visited each other before the war, they would each have their photographers document their trips," Maddalena said. "They really documented the regalia, the flags, the uniforms, tanks and all the pomp and circumstance, and them speaking and reviewing the troops."
The leather-bound albums, containing hundreds of images, have a pre-sale estimate of up to $50,000.
The sale is the second of several planned online auctions of the anonymous collector's artifacts. The entire collection contains 3,000 items.