John F Kennedy
A young John F. Kennedy believed Adolf Hitler might still be alive after the end of World War II, a diary entry has revealed. Reuters

John F. Kennedy's diary from 1945, going up for auction on his 100th birth anniversary April 26, revealed that the young former president believed Adolf Hitler might still be alive after the end of the World War II, reports said Saturday. He wrote the 61-page diary while touring Europe during his stint as a war correspondent with Hearst magazines.

Kennedy later gave the diary to one of his research assistants, Deidre Henderson, during the late 1950s. The diary is believed to be the only one he ever kept. RR Auction in Boston will be putting the diary up for auction and they believe it would fetch about £160,000 ($201,000) when it goes up for sale, according to the Independent.

Kennedy wrote in his diary that Hitler "had in him the stuff of which legends are made."

In 1945, when Kennedy traveled to Hitler's bunker in Berlin where the latter was said to have committed suicide, the young reporter thought Hitler might have stayed alive. "Hitler had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him," Kennedy wrote.

A view of the bunker in Berlin where Adolf Hitler committed suicide April 30, 1945, in the final days of World War II when the Red Army overtook the city. Getty Images

"The room where Hitler is supposed to have met his death showed scorched walls and traces of fire. There is no complete evidence, however, that the body that was found was Hitler's body," the diary read.

Henderson, who was given the diary by Kennedy, told People magazine last week the young would-be president's comments should not be misinterpreted as admiration for Hitler. "When JFK said that Hitler ‘had in him the stuff of which legends are made,’ he was speaking to the mystery surrounding him, not the evil he demonstrated to the world," Henderson said. "Nowhere in this diary, or in any of his writings, is there any indication of sympathy for Nazi crimes or cause."

Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction, also told CBS last week that Kennedy's comments were not meant to glorify Hitler. "There’s no glorification, and I wouldn’t take this out of context. I think Kennedy was a historian and he’s writing his understanding of Hitler’s place in history," he said.