TBR News April 7, 2012

Apr 08 2012

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. April 7, 2012: “The famous American writer on sociological issues, Eric Hoffer, points out very clearly in his superb work, ‘The True Believer” that when a society has severe economic problems, minorities always suffer. We can clearly see this throughout the world as more and more impoverished and frustrated people in both the United States and northern Europe are turning, savagely, against their Muslim populations.  But hidden away in the media, but not in society, is a growing anti-black movement that manifests itself in police brutality towards blacks that is increasing daily. The timid, and controlled, American media, only hints at this but it is certainly there. They and their publishers feel that it is alight to attack Muslims but that blacks are too sensitive a subject to mention. Anyone interested in this matter ought to read Hoffer’s excellent study. They also ought to read Malthus on population but because the latter is long and wordy, it is not a palatable subject for a society used to text messaging.”

Roosevelt’s Jewish Ancestry

April 1, 2012

by Germar Rudolf


The intense and very personal hatred shown by President Franklin Roosevelt for Hitler and Germany was not due to his fictional love of democracy but because the Roosevelt family, for many generations, were Dutch Jews. His American forebears lived in the Dutch colony on New Amsterdam, later New York and, it should be remembered that Amsterdam was a Jewishcenter, and that many Jews emigrated from there to New Amsterdam (New York).

“The President’s father married Sarah Delano; and it become clear. Schmalix (genealogist) writes: ‘In the seventh generation we see the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as being of Jewish descent.

The Delanos are descendants of Italian or Spanish Jewish family; Dilano, Dilan, Dillano. The Jew Delano drafted an agreement with the West Indies Co., in 1657 regarding the colonization of the island of Curacao. About this the directors of the West Indies Co., had correspondence with the Governor of New Holland. Dilano, Dilan, Dillano

The original Roosevelts, in Ameerica, went back to one  Claes Martenzsen von Rosenvelt (“of the rose field”) who came to New Amsterdam from Holland in 1649 and died in 1658. Before this, the family, German Jews, emigrated to Haarlem in the Netherlands from the German Rhineland where their name was Rosenfelt, Even a hasty perusal of the genealogy chart as produced by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., under direction of Dr. H.H. Laughlin, (per Associate Press report of March 7, 1934,) in many American newspapers  cf    the Washington, D.C., Star, of February 29, 1936. Even a hasty perusal of the document convinces one as to President Roosevelt’s Jewish ancestry. From the viewpoint of eugenics, it explains his natural bent toward radicalism, his whole-hearted support of Stalin, his hatred of Hitler and his anti-Semetic policies. It shows why he has given hundreds of so-called Liberals, Socialists and Communists powerful positions in the national government. It reveals the origin of the sinister spirit which today animates the White House. It proves unmistakably, that the Roosevelt Administration offers a biological, as well as a political problem.
The New York Times of March 14, 1935, quotes the President as saying: “In the distant past my ancestors may have been Jews. All I know about the origin of the Roosevelt family is that they are apparently descended from Claes Martenszen van Roosevelt, who came from Holland.” Additional information regarding the nationality of the Roosevelt family, was given by Chase S. Osborn, early in 1934, at St. Petersburg, Florida. Mr. Osborn was formerly Governor of Michigan. The leading newspaper of the city (The Times) carried the following report after the interview: “Although a Republican, the former Governor has a sincere regard for President Roosevelt and his policies. He referred to the ‘Jewish ancestry’ of the President, explaining how he is a descendant of the Rossocampo family expelled from Spain in 1620. Seeking safety in Germany, Holland and other countries, members of the family, he said, changed their name to Rosenberg, Rosenbaum, Rosenblum, Rosenvelt and Rosenthal. The Roosenvelts in North Holland finally became Roosevelt, soon becoming apostates with the first generation and others following suit until, in the fourth generation, a little storekeeper by the name of Jacobus Roosevelt was the only one who remained true to His Jewish Faith. It is because of this Jewish ancestry, former Governor Osborn said, that President Roosevelt has the trend of economic safety (?) in his veins.”
In the 1938 “World Almanac” under the heading “Biographies of U.S. Presidents and Their Wives,” page 237, appears: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the son of James Roosevelt, a direct descendant of Claes Martenzen van Rosenvelt, who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1649 and married Jannetje Samuels.Thjey converted from Judaism to Dutch Reform at the same time.””
The following is from “The House of Roosevelt” by Paul Haber, 1936 edition “Claes Rosenvelt entered the cloth business in New York, and was married in 1682. He accumulated a fortune. He then changed his name to Nicholas Rosenvelt. Of his four sons, Isaac died young, Nicholas married Sarah Solomons. Jacobus married Catherina Hardenburg. The Roosevelts were not a fighting but a peace-loving people, devoted to trade. Isaac became a capitalist. He founded the Bank of New York in 1790.”
The American Freedom Magazine of Los Angeles, California, April, 1938, issue, stated: “In an address to the National Convention of the D.A.R., President F.D. Roosevelt said that he too was of revolutionary ancestry. But not a Roosevelt was in the American Army. They were Tories, busy entertaining British Officers. The first Roosevelt came to America in 1649. His name was Claes Rosenfelt. He was a jew. Nicholas the son of Claes, was the ancestor of both Franklin and Theodore. He married A Jewish Girl named Kunst in 1682. Nicholas had a son named Jacobus Rosenfelt. In the family tree there are 351 persons bearing biblical names of the Tribe of Israel. From the Corvallis Gazette-Times, of Corvallis, Oregon.”

FDR received kosher calendars, bogus checks guaranteeing him “365 days of happiness”, trees planted in his name in Eretz (now Israel) from children of the Jewish Sanatarium for Chronic Diseases in Brooklyn, blessings from Rabbi Stephen Wise (one of the most active Zionists in America), and even flattering poetry by none other than Albert Einstein. A more recent analysis of the inner workings of the State Department during the Roosevelt Administration by Irwin F. Gellman provides many insights in examining the helm of the ship of state during FDR’s long tenure as President. Sitting atop the pyramid in the State Department was Cordell Hull. Gellman concludes that while Hull was not himself an anti-Semite, as Secretary of State he did little to assist German Jews in their flight from Nazism. Hull, a deliberate if not slow-paced administrator, did not react with alarm to the increasingly hostile warnings issued by Hitler against the German Jews. Gellman notes that German anti-Semitism was not a new phenomenon in the 1930s: German attempts to blame its own Jewish citizens for economic and political troubles had been heard and tried without major success many times in German history, and Hull knew it. By 1936 the most visible Zionist in America, Rabbi Stephen Wise, asked Hull to put pressure on Great Britain to allow continued immigration into Palestine. Although Hull spoke with Wise that summer, nothing came of the talks, and no real pressure was brought to bear on the British. Gellman concludes that Hull’s reticence to become personally involved in Jewish affairs stemmed from his fear that public advocacy for the Jews (so-called philo-Semitism) would damage his future Presidential ambitions.

Complicating this fact, concludes Gellman, was the religious heritage of Hull’s wife, Frances Hull, a descendent on her father’s side of Austrian Jews. Hull feared that his wife’s Jewish heritage would cause even more significant political difficulties. Hull was keenly aware of his portrayal in printed materials being distributed nationally. For example, Hull was infuriated with the August, 1936 edition of the American Bulletin, which was entitled “Cordell Hull–Slave of Morgan and Jews.” Hull also was cautious about a high profile account appearing in his friend Drew Pearson’s nationally syndicated newspaper column praising Hull for summoning the German ambassador into his office to protest Germany’s treatment of its Jewish population

Lowenstein concludes much of the indecision evidenced by the Roosevelt Administration, as late as 1944, was primarily a product of negative American public opinion concerning the European Jews. Rosenfeld, citing a 1939 poll revealing that 42 percent of Americans believed that hostility towards the Jews resulted from unsavory Jewish characteristics themselves, only reinforces the conclusion that many Americans had a perception problem concerning the desperate plight of the Jews during this period. Lowenstein focuses the historical analysis less on the mood of the American public than the inconsistent advice FDR received by his advisers and refugee advocates. Lowenstein wonders whether a more united response by refugee advocates might have caused a stronger response by both the Administration and the American public

Count Jerzy Potocki, Poland’s Ambassador to the United States, was a man of strong opinions, but was also very observant and very well connected in the Washington diplomatic circles. He wrote many reports to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw and four of them are reproduced here because they show a European diplomat’s view of Roosevelt’s foreign policy, or rather his lack of a rational and coherent one. These reports are not in chronological order, but are set forth in a more narrative sense. The first report here is under date of January 12, 1939 and is a discussion of Potocki’s view of Jewish influence on Roosevelt and its impact on his policies.

To The Foreign Minister in Warsaw:

Public opinion in America nowadays expresses itself in an increasing hatred of Fascism, Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Above all, propaganda here is entirely in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent of the radio, the films and the daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and is designed to present Germany as blackly as possible, when bearing American public ignorance in mind, their propaganda is so effective that people here have no real knowledge of the true state of affairs in Europe.

At the present time, most Americans are taught to believe that Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism are the greatest evil and the greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent program for public speakers of all kinds, among whom are many refugees from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with much effort and many patently false accounts, incite the American public. These speakers praise American liberty which they repeatedly contrast with totalitarian states.

It is interesting to observe that in this carefully thought-out campaign, which is primarily conducted against National Socialism, no reference at all is made to Soviet Russia. If that country is mentioned, it is referred to in a friendly manner and people are given the impression that Soviet Russia is part of the democratic group of nations. Thanks to astute propaganda, public sympathy in the United States is entirely on the side of Communist Spain. Side by side with this pro-Communist propaganda, an artificial war panic is created, The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a slim thread and that war is inevitable. No effort is spared to impress upon the American mind that in the event of a world war, the United States must take an active part in a struggle for “freedom and democracy.” President Roosevelt was the first in the field to give expression to this hatred of Fascism. He had a two-fold purpose in mind: firstly, he wanted to divert American public opinion from difficult and complicated domestic problems, especially the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Secondly, by creating a war-panic and inventing rumors about threats to Europe, he wanted to induce Americans to endorse his huge program of armaments, a program which far exceeds the United States defense requirements.

Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation here on the labor front is growing steadily worse. The unemployed today already number twelve million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only these huge sums, running into billions, which the US treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far only the usual strikes and local unrest have taken place. As to how long this artificial governmental aid can be kept up is difficult to predict at present. The unhappiness and growing indignation of public opinion coupled with the serious conflict between private enterprise and the enormous trusts on one hand and with a radicalized labor movement on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are no doubt causing him many sleepless nights.

As to the second point, I can only say that President Roosevelt is a skillful expert in domestic politics and a connoisseur of the American mentality and he has effectively turned public attention away from internal domestic problems and focused it on foreign policy. His means of achieving this effective distraction was simple. He needed, on the one hand, to highlight a fictional war menace threatening the world because of Chancellor Hitler, and on the other hand, to create a specter of war and invasion by speaking ominously about an attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to growing and aggressive German militarism. As was said here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol point. Hence, France and England had no choice, but to back down and were compelled to conclude a shameful peace.

Furthermore, the brutal treatment meted out to the Jews in Germany, as well as the problem of the large number of Jewish and anti-German refugees flooding this country are both factors which intensify the existing hatred of everything connected with German National Socialism. In this campaign of hatred, individual Jewish intellectuals such as Bernard Baruch, Lehman, the Governor of New York State, Felix Frankfurter, the newly appointed Supreme Court Judge, Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury and other well-known personal friends have taken a prominent part in this campaign of hatred. All of them want the President to become the protagonist of human liberty, religious freedom and the right of free speech and be the man who, in the future, will punish trouble-mongers, especially those who are not liked by Jews. This particular group of people, who are all in highly placed official American positions and who are desirous of being representatives of “true Americanism” and seen as “Champions of Democracy” are, in point of fact, linked with international Jewry by ties incapable of being torn asunder. For this Jewish international, so intimately concerned with the interests of its own race, President Roosevelt’s “ideal” role as a champion of human rights was indeed a godsend, In this way they are not only able to establish a dangerous center of hatred and enmity in this hemisphere, but name also succeeded in dividing the world into two warlike camps. The whole problem is being worked out in a most mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been given the power to enable him to energize American foreign policy and at the same time create huge reserves in armaments for a future war which the Jews are deliberately heading for. With regards to domestic policy, it is extremely convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism which is on the increase in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending religious faith and individual liberty against the assault of Fascism.

/s/ Jerzy Potocki,

Ambassador of the Republic of Poland


Concerned Americans are invited to send their views, and any information of importance, on this subject to:

Germar Rudolf

P.O. Box 121,

Red Lion, PA,



HUD’s foreclosure report


March 15, 2012

by Michelle Singletary

The Washington Post


A federal report released this week found that employees at major banks who forged signatures, made up fake job titles and falsely notarized paperwork often did so because they were ordered to by their bosses, reported The Washington Post’s Brady Dennis.

The report issued by the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that illegal foreclosure practices were not just encouraged at the direction of managers at the banks, but some employees were judged by how fast they could move along foreclosures, Dennis reported.

“Investigators pieced together a picture of a deeply flawed system riddled with errors, where employees often had little or no training, where managers encouraged wrongdoing and where haste trumped all else,” Dennis wrote.

In one review of 36 foreclosure filings, JPMorgan Chase was only able to provide documents showing the amount the borrowers owed in four of the cases. Of those, three proved inaccurate, investigators said.

As Dennis wrote: “I believe the reports we just released will leave the reader asking one question: How could so many people have participated in this misconduct?” David Montoya, HUD inspector general, said in a statement. “The answer: simple greed.”

Montoya is right and wrong.

He’s right that greed is at the center of all this foreclosure mess and the scandal that led five major banks — — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — to settle charges that they were falsifying foreclosure documents.

But he’s wrong that many people will give a hoot about the HUD report that the bankers were “robo-signing” legal papers certifying that they had personal knowledge of the facts of a foreclosure when they did not. No, harsh, unsympathetic, self-righteous judgment is what I hear for people who have been or are being pushed out of their homes. It doesn’t seem to matter that many people are struggling to pay their mortgage because they lost their job or suffered an illness. Based on the mail I get every time I write about efforts to help homeowners facing foreclosure, many people are far harder on struggling individuals than on the financial companies that caused the housing bust.

So let’s see if Montoya is right. The Color of Money Question of the Week: What do you think of HUD’s report on the behavior of bankers in foreclosing on homeowners? Send your responses to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Be sure to include your full name and city. Put “HUD’s Foreclosure Report” in the subject line.

How To Make Your Employees Miserable

You might have read that headline and said to yourself: My boss doesn’t need a guide, he (or she) can write the book on how to make a worker’s life miserable.

Over the past 15 years, Teresa Amabile, a professor and director of research at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, a developmental psychologist and researcher, have studied what makes people happy and engaged at work.

What did they find?

Employees are miserable because they don’t have meaningful work, and that’s often because many leaders, from team managers to CEOs, are “surprisingly expert at smothering employee engagement,” Amabile and Kramer recently wrote for The Post’s On Leadership blog.

The researchers collected more than 230 personal diaries from professionals in seven companies. Those diaries described nearly 12,000 workdays. Here’s what they learned from the employees about how managers make them miserable at work:

— They give conflicting goals, change them as frequently as possible and allow people no autonomy in meeting them.

— They don’t give credit where credit is due. In this case the credit refers to managers who don’t recognize they are the reason behind poor employee performance. They don’t credit the employees’ misery to their own words and actions.

— They deny there is any problem in the workplace. Here’s one example Amabile and Kramer gave. “In an open Q&A with one company’s chief operating officer, an employee asked about the morale problem and got this answer: ‘There is no morale problem in this company. And, for anybody who thinks there is, we have a nice big bus waiting outside to take you wherever you want to look for work.’”

Washington Post readers responded to the Amabile and Kramer’s article and shared their own tips for how supervisors make employees miserable. Here’s some of their “advice,” and that word is used sarcastically, of course:

— Give the employee-of-the-month award to the guy who stayed in the office when told his son was in a car wreck.

— Keep people in the dark, and then criticize them for not knowing what’s going on.

— Just keep those pie charts and glossy presentations coming.

Let’s keep the discussion going. Maybe some badly behaved boss will become enlightened. Send your tips on how to be a bad boss to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Be sure to include your full name and city. Put “How to Be a Bad Boss” in the subject line.


John Derbyshire fired for article urging children to avoid African Americans

US conservative magazine National Review says it has parted ways with columnist over ‘nasty and indefensible’ article

April 8, 2012

by Chris McGreal in Washington


A leading US conservative magazine, the National Review, has fired a prominent contributor over an online column advising his children to protect themselves by avoiding African Americans, to closely scrutinise black politicians and to accept that white people are more intelligent.

John Derbyshire wrote the offending article, The Talk: Nonblack Version, as a response to widespread debate over “the talk” that many African American parents give their teenage sons about racism in America following the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Derbyshire’s column appeared in another publication, Taki’s Magazine, run by the rightwing Greek socialite Taki Theodoracopulos, who has himself faced accusations of racism and is a self-confessed antisemite.

Although the National Review had no editorial responsibility for Derbyshire’s article, it said he was so closely associated with the magazine that his “outlandish, nasty and indefensible” writing was in effect a letter of resignation.

Derbyshire, who has previously described himself as a racist and homophobe, wrote the column in the form of “advice” to his teenage children on how to stay safe when around African Americans.

Among other things he says they should “stay out of heavily black neighborhoods” and “not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks”.

“If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks,” Derbyshire wrote. “If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.”

He also says not to live in an area run by African American politicians and to scrutinise black politicians more closely than white ones.

Derbyshire goes on to write that “the mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites”. He says that many black people only have “cognitively demanding jobs” because of affirmative action.

Many of Derbyshire’s points are linked to newspaper stories about crimes involving African American perpetrators.

The article prompted a barrage of accusations of racism and would arguably have opened him to prosecution for hate speech in Britain.

Elspeth Reeve, writing for the Atlantic, called Derbyshire’s article “race-baiting”.

“You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘No offense, but …’, which always precedes something offensive wrapped in an ‘I’m just telling it like it is’ attitude. In certain parts of the country, there’s a similar use of the phrase, ‘I’m not racist, but …’, which always signifies that the speaker is about to say something racist. Derbyshire’s specialty is the fancy-pants version of ‘I’m not racist, but …,'” Reeve wrote. However, Reeve also writes for Taki’s Magazine, where Derbyshire’s article remains online despite the uproar.

The National Review – founded by the conservative author William Buckley in 1955 and which describes itself as America’s most influential conservative magazine – finally bowed to the rising tide of criticism as even its own writers turned on Derbyshire.

The magazine’s online editor, Jonah Goldberg, tweeted that the article was “fundamentally indefensible and offensive”.

“I wish he hadn’t written it,” he said.

The National Review’s editor, Rich Lowry, initially distanced the magazine from Derbyshire by calling his article “appalling”. But as the criticism continued to build, he went further on Saturday.

Lowry praised “Derb”, as he called him, as “a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer”. But he said that the article in Taki’s Magazine went too far.

“His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways,” he said.

Derbyshire has a reputation for expressing views apparently intended to provoke. Three years ago he wrote a chapter in a book arguing against women having the right to vote. His other targets have included immigrants, gay people and liberals.

The focus will now be on how Taki’s Magazine handles the controversy.

Theodoracopulos, who also founded the American Conservative magazine, is no stranger to controversy over race and is perhaps less likely to bow to the demands to sack Derbyshire.

The Crooked Cross

by Walter Storch

A history of fake Nazi relics


Murder is murder, Voltaire once said, and punishible with execution….unless it is carried out in large numbers and to the sound ot trumpets.

In the main, fraud, counterfeiting and deceit are certrainly immoral  and very often felonious but in some instances, the essential ludicrous nature of some frauds manages to overcome the gravity.

Such is the case of the enormous industry devoted to the creation, manufacture and sale of faked items of German militaria from the Third Reich period.

Fraud and deceit are certainly not limited to this area and the marketplace in fine art is awash in a sea of swindlers but at least an art forger is not apt to paint a medieval prince wearing a modern baseball hat and standing in front of a McDonalds’ restaurant.

There is an abiding fascination with the trapping of the Third Reich but the number of actual relics is much smaller than a burgeoning demand. Nature abhors a vacuum and if original pieces are no longer available, the vacuum is filled with creations to satisfy the demand.

Not only are legitimate pieces of German militaria copied and marketed, a number of outrageous fantasy pieces have also been created and merchandised like the Reverend Ernie’s Holy Healing Cloths on Christian television stations.

There is an interesting parallel here between the manufacture and sale of Nazi relics and the manufacture or misidentification of relics of the Catholic church.

In the latter we can find the knuckle bones of a pig being passed off as having once been a part of Saint Rosa of Compostella or the ever-popular St. Nicholas. Expert study has proven that the notorious Shroud of Turin is a 13th Century fake and it has been said that there are enough pieces of the True Cross around to build a small hotel.

The author of this work is a pragmatist, not a moralist. Fraud and chicanery are the hallmarks of any marketplace, be it Wall Street, Carnaby Street or the Intenet auctions. The information in this study did not come to the author second-handed. It reflects, in small measure, his own personal experiences.

As a collector, the author was victimized on a regular basis by both the collecting fraternity and the merchandisers. Deciding that it was far more blessed to give than to receive, (and far more profitable) your author eventually did to the dealers and advanced collectors what they had done to him.

It has been a long and very profitable experience. Perpetrating massive frauds on defrauders can be very entertaining. The pomposity of most of these individuals is matched only by their colossal stupidity and it is amazing that so many of these creatures are able to find either end of themselves in a dark room or, as the author’s sainted Granny used to say, ‘Too lazy to work, too stupid to steal and completely unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

The easiest person to defraud is a crook. It has been said that you cannot cheat an honest man and this may well be true. Never having met any such individuals during a long and successful career, the validity of this statement is unproved to the author.

The hallmark of the German military collectors is, in the main, a fascination with a period they are constantly reminded is the very essence of terrible evil. In spite of countless reams of utter nonsense produced about German wickedness (as opposed to American, British or Russian asocial behavior) German items are far more in demand that anything else and of all the items most sought after and commanding the highest prices are relics of the awful SS.

So much for failed propaganda which has only made its sworn enemy so attractive.

One dealer bought the iron gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp from a Polish scrap dealer and tried to sell them to the American Holocaust Museum. They were most eager to obtain this dubious relic but on principle (or perhaps because of a lack of it) absolutely refused to pay for the massive entrance to the netherworld.. A tax-free gift would be much more to their liking but the greedy and uncharitable  dealer merely cut the gates into small pieces and sold these off like souvenirs of  the Berlin Wall (or fragments of the True Cross).

Eventually, the prices on Third Reich relics will reach such a level that frustrated collectors will turn to such relatively worthless items as American uniforms or East German NVA items. This is  called bottom-feeding in the trade. If one American army jacket costs ten dollars with all insignia, think of how happy the collector will be when he informs his collector friends that he now has seventy five ten dollar tunics, eighteen American army helmets at twenty dollar apiece and over two hundred pairs of old boots that a used clothing dealer gave him to keep the rats from nesting in them.

Having started out to teach crooked dealers and collectors a very well-desrved lesson, the author learned so much about the dirty back alleys of the marketplace that he branched out into the field of Fine Art. This is a much more respectable field than the selling of Hermann Göring’s Damascus Ear Wax Picks.

The author has had occasion to visit various highly prestigious military collections in the past and as he walks down the line of glass cases filled with the cream of Third Reich militaria, he keeps hearing tiny voices that say, “Papa, papa!” as he passes.

It is even more interesting to go into this or that well-known art gallery, prestigious auction house viewing room or even more thrilling, a famous museum and when viewing a lovely Monet, Rodin bronze or perhaps a prototype Remington statue to hear the same tiny voices speaking softly to their father.


The faking of German swords and daggers began in the early 1960’s when an enterprising American, Lt. Col James Atwood, once of the United States Army and later of the Central Intelligence Agency, then resident in Germany, went to the German city of Solingen and bought up as many bits and pieces of Third Reich German daggers and swords as he could find. The great majority of these surplus pieces were factory rejects. Missing parts were newly manufactured and the completed items were sold as “parts daggers.”

As the original parts were exhausted, new ones were made until, in the end, the entire dagger was constructed of totally fake parts.

Not satisfied with copying pieces which did exist prior to the end of the war, unscrupulous dealers began to invent items which did not such as the “Himmler Damascus Presentation Letter Opener” and the NSKK “prototype” dagger and to put these into books allegedly produced as “historical reference” works.

An enterprising English author of a work on fake daggers once grafted a poor copy of a rare “diplomatic bayonet” grip onto a pre-Third Reich police bayonet, without bothering to remove the police markings from the scabbard. Although the hilt was crude and the fit was terrible, this piece was sold to a California collector for over $7,000 and is to be found in a standard reference work as “the only known example” of a very rare item. After the death of the owner, it was resold for $15.000.

It is, however, in the area of fantasy pieces that the great bulk of the fakes are to be found.

For instance, the so-called “Göring Wedding Sword” was hand crafted by the Solingen firm of Carl Eichhorn (before it was closed for fraud) at the order of an American dealer. James Atwood, in the early 1960’s, conveniently “discovered” in the hands of a willing ex-GI friend and, after considerable helpful publicity in several books, sold and subsequently resold for bigger and bigger profits.

The original of this sword, presented to General Göring by his staff on the occasion of his wedding in 1935, is in a West German collection where it has been since 1948.

Another fantasy piece attributed to Göring is the so-called “Industrial Dagger” alleged to have been prepared for presentation to Göring by a group of German industrialists. This piece is a fantasy although a photograph has surfaced allegedly showing the piece on the wall of the original plant. It should be noted that faked photographs are extremely easy to produce by even a semi-skilled photographer.

Also forged has been the so-called “Reichsmarschall Dagger” the original of which was made for Göring by the students of the Berlin Technical Academy in 1940.

The fake piece, once in the hands of the notorious dealer in fakes, “Roger Steele”, has a serious error in the marking on the cross guard. On the original, there were two Balkan crosses engraved on the top of the cross guard, one on either side of the grip while on the fake, these crosses are replicas of the iron Cross. The amusing story connected with the “appearance” of this rare piece is that it was “discovered” in a London costume shop, covered with brown paint!

Roger Steele (aka Gaylord E. Wessock) of Hollywood Military Hobbies was known to have well-developed sense of humor when it came to inventing stories to accompany his exotic fakes.

Other Third Reich fantasy pieces include the “Sepp Dietrich Honor Sword”, the “Sepp Dietrich Honor Dagger”, the “Theodor Eicke Honor Dagger” and a number of Damascus-bladed SS officer’s swords alleged to have been made by the craftsman Paul Müller and presented by Himmler to various SS officials. At least one can say of these swords (most of which were alleged to have been made after the Müller forge at Dachau was closed permanently in the year 1940) is that the fittings are generally original even if the overly-antiqued blades are not.

Another incredible fantasy item is the “Adolf Hitler Ehrenburger Sword”, a copy of a 14th century piece which appears on the cover of this book. This piece was originally presented to Hitler by the city of Solingen and photos of it can be found in the city archives. However, that having been said, the one shown in a number of books on German edged weapons is not the same one show in period photographs. Col Atwood had one of these made at the same time he had the Eichhorn factory manufacture annother copy of the Göring Wedding Sword and the Göring Industrial Dagger. A quick comparison of the Damascus patterns on the pictures of the original are sufficient to expose the fake.

There is also an Italian Fascist dagger with an ivory hilt allegedly presented by Mussolini to Hitler in 1937 and last, but by no means least, a so-called “Eastern Official’s Dagger” made from a wartime drawing of an item which was never produced.

Aside from several individuals in England, there are two espada factories now operating in Spain which produce nearly all of the Third Reich daggers and several of the swords and all of a superior quality. A listing of their combined efforts is as follows:

1. Army Officer’s dagger.

2.  Kriegsmarine Officer’s dagger, plain blade.

3.  Kriegsmarine Officer’s dagger, engraved blade, various designs.

4.  Kriegsmarine Honor Dagger with special scabbard, Doenitz or Raeder inscription. Brilliants on finial             swastika.

5.  Kriegsmaarine Officer’s dagger with Damascus blade.

6.  Luftwaffe Fliegerdolch, plain blade.

7.  Luftwaffe Fliegerdolch, engraved blade.

8.  Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, plain blade.

9.  Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, engraved blade.

10.  Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger, Damascus blade.
11.  SA Service dagger, M-33, standard blade.

12.  SA Service dagger, M-33, Roehm engraving.

13.  SA Honor dagger with Damascus blade, double chain hanger and brown leather-covered  scabbard.

14.  SA Feldherrnhalle dagger, cherrywood grips.

15.  SA Feldherrnhalle dagger, ivory grips.

16.  NSKK Service dagger, M-33.

17.  NSKK Service dagger, M-36 with hallmarked hanger fittings.

18.  SS Service dagger, M-33.

19.  SS Service dagger, M-33 with Roehm inscription.

20.  SS Service dagger, M-33 with Himmler inscription.

21.  SS Service dagger, M-36 with SS hallmarked hanger.

22.  SS Service dagger, M-36 with Himmler inscription.

23.  Hitler Youth Leader’s dagger.

24.  NPEA Student’s dagger, olive green scabbard.

25.  NPEA Leader’s dagger with double chain fittings.

26.  RAD Dagger (hewer).

27.  RAD Leader’s dagger with double suspension fittings.

28.   NSFK dagger. Leather covered grip and sheath, black swastika on guard.

30.   RLB Leader’s dagger.

31.   RLB Leader’s dagger, M-38.

32.   Teno dagger.

33.   Teno Leader’s dagger.

34.   Land Customs dagger.

35.   Water Customs dagger.

36.   Railway Protection Leader’s dagger.

37.   Postschutz Leader’s dagger with double chain hanger.

39.   Red Cross Leader’s dagger.

40.   Diplomatic dagger, silver fittings.

41.   Diplomatic dagger, gilt fittings.

42.   State Official’s dagger, silver fittings.

State Official’s dagger, gilt fittings.

SS Officer’s Damascus presentation sword.

SS Officer’s sword.

SS NCO sword.

Luftwaffe Officer’s sword

Kriegsmarine Officer’s sword

Cossack’s sword with German insignia.

“Legion Condor” main gauche letter opener

SS  Feldgendarmerie” balisong flip knife.

Diplomatic sword.

Such rare items as Diplomatic and State Officials hangers with gold and silver fittings as well as rare knots such as Teno, Postschutz and Bahnschutz are readily available.

After the end of the war, the firm of Carl Eichhorn in Solingen, in addition to making expensive fakes of Third Reich items, also made swords for the Air Force of Chile.

These are identical with the Luftwaffe General’s degen minus the blade engraving and the Luftwaffe eagle on the clamshell guard.

On the original degen, the silver Luftwaffe eagle was an integral part of the guard while on the pieces made for Chile, the eagle is fixed on with rivets. No original Luftwaffe General’s  sword had rivets, not even the famous “late war issues” so beloved of dealers.

Also, the bluing behind the Göring engraving on the originals extended out into the floral finials whereas on the fakes, the bluing stops short of the finials.

After the war, the firm of WKC made up the so-called “second issue” Luftwaffe General’s degen, the one with the wire-wrapped grips. These were made for a fraternal organization but when dealers ‘added the small Luftwaffe eagle used on the large medal bar to the grip, there is little to distinguish this piece from the wartime original.

Atwood also created an SS “Prototype dagger and the infamous “Heinrich Himmler Damascus Letter Opener.”  This piece is genuine Damascus purported to have been made by the Müller forge at Dachau and has lettering epoxied onto the blade. Both pieces are fantasy items but the letter openers are to be found in many of the best collections, objects of reverent veneration.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that daggers and edged weapons of the Third Reich are not safe investment items, reams of propaganda to the contrary, and certainly, personality items should be strictly avoided under all circumstances.


In the area of fake uniforms are to be found rebuilt original pieces, most often “personality” items, and newly-made pieces, copied from originals.

As an example of a reworked original piece one can find a customs official’s uniform turned into a Waffen-SS General’s uniform. The customs tunic is field grey with five buttons on the front, with two scalloped patch pockets above and two slash pockets with flaps below. This cut of tunic is not an SS uniform but a customs tunic only. On the original there was a sleeve eagle and cufftitle on the left sleeve and when these are removed, SS insignia is put on in their place, the addition of shoulder boards and collar patches completes the fake. It should be noted that original customs collar patches are longer and narrower than SS collar patches and a careful inspection of the reverse of the collar will show where the original insignia has been removed.

Surplus West Berlin Police uniforms have been altered to Wehrmacht or SS pieces by the addition of original insignia. These uniforms are a dark green color with French -cuffs and an open collar. These were originally sold for $5.00 per coat in lots of twenty.

A number of Army tunics were upgraded intoWaffen-SS General officer tunics  by putting original SS insignia on the tunic and then adding “General’s” Waffenfarbe piping down the front fly.. Unfortunately, original Waffen-SS General’s piping was a very light gray in color. When Herr Janke made up these pieces, he used a bluish gray cloth that was German Red Cross Waffenfarbe and not SS.

Another example of tampering is the upgrading of a high-quality Army tunic to the rank of Field Marshal or other general officer rank. The former is accomplished by the addition of reproduction Field Marshal boards and collar tabs plus a fake owner’s name label in the pocket. The silver crossed batons on the Field Marshal’s  shoulder boards have been copied. Fakes are either solid castings or are marked with fake “silver content” stamps on the ends of the batons.

A very common error made by the fakers is to use tunics that are of incorrect size. For example, Field Marshal von Mannstein was a tall, heavy-set man and a tunic alleged to belong to him would not be a size 38 short! Also, the fakers are unaware of the medals and decorations worn by their target so the upgraded tunics often have incorrect thread loops on the pockets.

Upgraded General’s trousers are very easy for a skilled tailor to do and prospective buyers should look at the finishing of the ends of the lampassen or side stripes. Original pieces had the tops and bottoms of the side stripes carefully tailored whereas the modern upgraded trousers merely have the stripes carelessly tacked down. The center stripe is always put into the outer seam of the pant leg and not sewn onto the seam.

What applies to the Army and SS also applies to the Luftwaffe and the Kreigsmarine, the latter being the easiest to upgrade, only the addition of  rank rings to the sleeves being necessary.

Every Field Marshal of the Army plus several of the Luftwaffe have been produced, mostly in Germany by the Hannover firm of Michael Janke and sold, mainly in the United States. English collectors are generally too poor to be able to afford expensive items, with exceptions as noted in the text.

In the 1980’s, an American dealer located in California had made in Germany by Janke, a number of white summer jackets in various configurations and purporting to be summer wear items for Adolf Hitler, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Heinrich Himmler. These coats are made from a slightly off-white wool and are very well constructed from original patterns. A number of Berlin (Wilhelm Holters) and Munich tailor labels are added to the completed pieces with the names of the alleged owners.

Newly-made items consist, in the main, of panzer and paratrooper items. The former are made of black wool and are in either the Army or Waffen-SS cut and the latter are jump smocks made either from old shelter quarters or post-war Bundesgrenzschutz camouflage (tan and water pattern). Panzer uniforms and pants are made from wool and synthetic fibers and the insignia is not original. Because most of these fakes are sold in the United States, sizes are generally very large because as is well known, American collectors like to buy rare uniforms only if they can wear them. Unfortunately, blubbery creatures with forty-five inch waists would never be able to squeeze their swollen bulk into any kind of a tank unless it was a water tank, so extra large panzer tunics and pants should be viewed with extreme suspicion.

Post-war Bundesgrenzschutz two—piece tan and water patterned camouflage suits have been passed off on unsuspecting collectors as Third Reich items, generally with the addition of spurious insignia. Several of these twenty five dollar items were sold by a militaria dealer in Walnut Creek, California as “Waffen-SS General’s Sniper uniforms” for five hundred dollars each with no lack of takers.

A note here on the “war game” uniforms would be in order.

In recent years there has been considerable interest in dressing up in copies of old uniforms and trudging about the countryside playing soldier. As this is considerably safer than the actual thing, a legion of 4-F’s, budding Walter Mitty types and the sort of slope-headed cretins that enjoy beating baby seals to death with big clubs have rejected their white sheets and have taken to the hills wearing replica uniforms of various nations and periods, including the Second World War era. The sight of a horde of overweight shoe clerks and gas station attendants waddling through a cow pasture dressed up as Luftwaffe paratroopers somewhere in the vacinity of Bad Seepage, Ohio would no doubt cause panic in the ranks of the local rabbits and field mice while the human residents of the area would merely assume that a Congressional committee was making an inspection trip.

Many of the uniforms made up, or reconstructed from surplus Swedish army pieces,(which can be identified by the Swedish official mark of three crowns stamped into the cloth) for these specimens of virile manhood very often end up in the hands of collectors, sold to them by the same purveyors who stitch them up for the reenactor groups.

The problem here is that very few collectors have much of an idea of what original pieces look like, basing their opinions on the views of the head sheep of their local collecting fraternity. Although there are a number of highly informative books on the market, the average collector prefers to rely on the opinions of some local guru who once spent a week in Germany while on a tour of beer stein collectors from Newark.

Buttonholes are solemnly inspected; cloth is smelt and rubbed across the forehead and eventually some kind of a judgement is dispensed to the joy or dismay of the collector. In the end, of course, as the owner grows much heavier, the uniform is divested of its thirty five medals and orders and sold to another fortunate, and thinner, collector.


This subject includes both cloth caps and steel helmets.

Military headgear ranks as one of the most popular field of militaria collecting, ranking with orders and decorations.

In the field covered by this book we have completely new pieces and rebuilt or reworked items.

In the area of cloth caps, the first replica visored and M­43 caps appeared as early as the 1950’s when the firm of Eric Beinhorn of West Germany, legitimate manufacturers of military headgear to police and para-military units, began to make up insignia-less caps of the Third Reich period. This was, and is, perfectly legal in Germany because there are no swastika-embellished insignia added which would be in violation of  German laws. These hats were not particularly accurate but for their time, sold reasonably well. All the sweat shields in the tops of visored caps were made of a very soft vinyl plastic, a fact which soon became well known to most collectors. Also, the sweatbands of the visored caps were very narrow vinyl or leather, generally light grey in color. Further, pairs of vent holes were often found on the underside of the cap crown, a feature now common in German military and para-military hats but not ever found on pre-1945 visored caps.

The Beinhorn hats were followed in the early 1960’s by the productions of the same American dealer, CIA operative, Lt. Col James Atwood, who gave us the “parts daggers” and were much better made. These also had a soft plastic sweat shield marked “Berlin’s Älteste Mützenfabrik” (or “Berlin’s Oldest Hat Factory”) but without the name of the factory!

These caps, many Waffen and Allgemeine SS included, sold quite well at the time any many, with the tell-tale sweat diamond pulled out, are still to be found in auctions and in the stock of reputable dealers. A problem did exist with SS insignia which was nearly impossible to obtain. Cast lead and crudely stamped fakes began to appear, the latter easily identified by the badly squeezed head of the eagle.

Original SS military visored hat insignia in metal consisted of the following:

1.      800 or 900 fine silver.

2.      Silver-plated copper.

3.      Silver Cupal metal.

4.      Aluminum.

5.      Silver-painted zinc (called “war metal”).

Most, but certainly not all, SS cap insignia in metal bore raised RZM logos and the M contract numbers on the reverse of both the eagle and the skull. In the main, there were two prongs on the eagle (although three prongs exist) and two prongs on the skull.

Metal insignia for the Army was either aluminum or zinc, the latter often silver—painted. Contrary to a silly story currently being circulated, the number of pins on the reverse of the eagle or wreath have nothing whatsoever to do with the rank of the owner of the cap. The story has it that officer’s always had a three pronged eagle while NCOs had two. A number of late-war zinc eagles had prongs as a part of the edge of the eagle. Also, Army-style eagles with an Iron Cross and crossed swords on the chest is for a veteran’s organization and is not a special insignia for Oakleaf and Swords holders.

Naval officer’s caps now being made for the German Bundesmarine are identical in construction to those of the Third Reich and the only significant difference is the use of plastic in the black cap strap .If this is replaced with an original leather issue, there is virtually no way to detect the difference, saving only an inspection of any maker marks inside or the use of soft plastic on the sweat shield. Embroidered insignia used during the war is still being manufactured and with normal age, is virtually undetectable from the original.

The author of a well-known series of books on the SS had a number of SS NCO cloth-visored crush (or field) caps made. Claiming that each hat sold was the one that appeared in his book, the author added a considerable sum of money to his bank account. These hats are all white piped but they may be indentified by the inner lining of the hat. The originals had light gray cotton twill linings and the fakes have a rust-brown calico lining. These hats, thirty of which were made, cost the seller twenty dollars per unit and are now selling for many  thousands of dollars. As one can see, the profit margin is incredible in this field.

A series of Waffen SS officer’s crush caps with various Waffenfarbe appeared at the same time. These have brown silk linings and the marking ‘Elegant’ stamped into the top. These caps have leather visors instead of the cloth ones  found on the first item.

It should be noted here that, contrary to“ the belief of a number of collectors, when a Kriegsmarine Captain was promoted to the rank of Admiral, the visor of his hat was not ripped off and replaced with another visor. Newly-created Admirals’ could well afford to buy a new cap. This is a myth invented by someone who had a damaged cap somewhat on the order of the dealer who had a rare dagger with a broken tip. His story was that the dagger belonged to a deceased SS officer and that the authorities returned the dagger after ceremoniously breaking off the tip in a midnight ceremony!

A number of Waffen-SS officer’s visored caps have appeared on the market bearing all manner of colored branch piping. For a very brief period in 1940, various Waffenfarbe were permitted to-officers but this permission was withdrawn and from that time on, all Waffen-SS officers had white-piped visored caps~” regardless of their branch of, service. Legitimate Waffenfarbe consisted of the following: white, pink, red, gold-yellow, lemon-yellow, black, light brown and cornflower blue. Waffenfarbe such as light gray which represented branches of service instituted after 1940 are not original. Either the Bender or Mollo books have complete and accurate lists of when each Waffenfarbe was instituted.

Due to the increasing price of certain visored caps, it has proved economical to.. rebuild original military caps. For example, an original, though badly moth-eaten Luftwaffe officer’s visored cap is carefully taken apart and the original metallic silver piping saved. This is carefully built into a good condition but relatively common white-piped Waffen-SS officer’s cap with a resulting very rare Waffen-SS General officer’s cap.

There are certain checks which will reveal if a cap has been altered.

Firstly, pull down the leather sweat band and inspect it where it has been sewn into the cap body. If there are signs that there are more than one set of holes, it is an indication that the sweat band has been replaced.

Secondly, look very carefully at the outside edges on the top inside of the cap crown. In order to replace the piping, it is necessary to remove the lining inside and a careful inspection should reveal the new work.

Thirdly, carefully inspect the top of the visor where it is sewn into the cap body. When the cap was originally constructed, this visor was sewn in place using heavy-duty sewing machine and new holes will indicate a replaced visor.

However, it is possible by extensive hand work to restitch carefully the original sweat band and the visor using the original holes.

Insofar as maker’s names are concerned, there are no hard and fast rules to aid the collector. Many current reproduction pieces use exact copies of original logos and names.

Tampering with the famous German steel helmet has become rather widespread in recent years but most efforts are relatively easy to detect.

Tampering may consist of adding rare original or reproduction decals to a good helmet such as an 55 decal on a Luftwaffe paratrooper helmet. Several years ago, a well known collector of rare helmets bought a cigar box filled with original decals for the SA “Feldherrnhalle” units and has been happily engaged in sticking these onto all kinds of original helmets, very often applying rough olive drab paint over a standard Luftwaffe or Army single decal helmet…and only on the outside of the helmet, not inside…and sticking an original Feldherrnhalle decal, or decals, on over the original decals.

Another example of tampering is to take an original Wehrmacht helmet with a rough outer finish and camouflage it with whatever scheme comes to mind. It should be pointed out that winter camouflaged helmets were not covered with white enamel paint (which would never come off) but with a Glycol based white paint which was mixed with water and which came off easily when rubbed with a wet rag. Further, the sand brown standard camouflage base color issued in 1943 was permanent but the browns and greens were, like the white color, removable with water as the seasons changed. Helmets with permanent paint have been repainted with model hobby paint intended for scale models of German tanks. The shade of color is correct but it will not wash off.

One collector who fondly believes he has the largest collection of camouflaged Wehrmacht helmets in the entire Hemisphere, purchased these from a dealer who also runs a hobby shop and who has kept a number of young boys busy in the back room repainting standard helmets. The collection in question contains helmets intended for issue on May 1st and some for use on August 15th or in certain areas of Italy or Russia. Needless to say, the collector would have been better off spending his money on pillows stuffed with belly button lint..

A number of years ago, a very large number of Norwegian army reissued German Wehrmacht helmets were dumped on the market as surplus by the Norwegian government. Needless to say, since these pieces were very cheap, the dealers behaved like cats in a catnip patch.

Unfortunately, all of these helmets had been repainted a light olive color and often decalled with the Norwegian lion and the liners and chin straps had been covered with a dark, red-brown dye. As all of this had to be carefully removed and as this took too much time, new paint was generally slapped on the outside of the helmet and fake decals carelessly added.

Original German decals were not applied as are modern hobby pieces, i.e., by wetting the decal backing and sliding it off. They were glued down onto the helmet and later, after they had dried, the backing paper was carefully soaked off and the decal was then covered with a waterproof varnish. The varnish often gives a gold finish to silver decals as it ages.


In this area we find the largest number of faked pieces.

Insignia is small and it is much cheaper to make up fake SS collar tabs than even one of the fake “Hermann Göring Hunting Daggers” that have been popping up here and there over the years.

A good portion of the section of illustrations covers fake insignia, especially SS items and for this reason, we will begin this section with coverage of these pieces.

SS insignia has been the single most popular collecting line for many years and for an equal number of years, fakes have been made up, starting in the late 1950s with fake silver embroidered officer’s sleeve eagles and embroidered cap eagles (which, although very rare, did exist) and fake RZM style SS cufftitles.

In recent years, a number of well-illustrated books on the subject of SS insignia have been produced, noteworthy being the Mollo series with their excellent 1:1 scale line drawings of collar patches, cufftitles and shoulder board devices. Using these books as a reference, a number of dealers have had literally thousands of copies of rare SS items made up both in Austria (BeVo cufftitles) and in Pakistan. The insignia made up by firms in the latter country range from grotesquely bad to excellent as the illustrations will show. Most of these sleeve eagles and collar patches sell for only a few dollars each and retail for several hundred so the markup is impressive. A dealer in Southern California also made up very rare SS panzer beret insignia which is quite passible and has been eagerly purchased by a number of the more advanced dealers in SS items for the delight of their many trusting customers.

Collectors not wishing to spend several hundred dollars for fake pieces and wishing more information on the subject need only look at the illustrations in the militaria auction catalogs which are stuffed to the plimsoll line with the products of the pride of Pakistan.

Suffice it to say that all of the rare Allgemeine and Waffen-SS insignia has been reproduced, some so close to the originals in quality that it is virtually impossible to tell the difference. The result is that the market has begun to slip and will eventually completely collapse and collectors holding many thousands of dollars of genuine and rare pieces will see their pieces totally devalued.

What is true for the SS also applies to all the other branches of the Wehrmacht and the various N.S.D.A.P. and State agencies

For example, Army and Luftwaffe Feldmarshschall and Navy Grossdmiral rank shoulder board devices are being reproduced now. Originals were always stamped and while the first copies were cast, recent copies are also stamped. Originals were never marked with silver content and fakes are. Also, note that all three crossed baton devices are different; each is a representation of the actual baton carried by the respective branch of service.

The cross-hatched, Bavarian-style early Army pattern was only worn by Field Marshal von Blomberg from 1936 to 1938 and would never be found on insignia dating from 1940.

Other scarce insignia which has been and is being faked includes the Army and Luftwaffe standard bearer’s patches.

Army patches were always machine-woven (BeVo) and hand embroidered items were not officially permitted. Nevertheless, it is possible, though not probable, that hand made pieces could exist from the period. The most common Army hand embroidered fake has been circulating for a number of years and is known as the “woodpecker” or the “hammerhead” because of the flat, elongated head of the eagle.

In any case, “custom made” or not, it should be noted that the insignia was worn by the standard bearer of a unit and that the color of the flag on the patch had to match the color of the actual flag or standard being carried. The following colors are the only colors issued during the course of the Third Reich:

White, red, gold-yellow, lemon-yellow, green, black, copper-brown, light blue, pink and wine-color matched the respective flags or standards. Such colors as dark blue (for medical), orange (for military police or recruiting), gray (for propaganda), carmine (for vets or General Staff), are only fantasy pieces, designed by persons totally ignorant of their correct usage as there were no flags or standards for these units.

Luftwaffe patches are hand embroidered on blue-gray cloth and have yellow, light brown and red flags. Fakes of these items are excellent and very difficult to tell from the originals.

A good deal of fake machine-woven insignia exists and consists of such things as Waffen-SS cap and sleeve insignia, Army legion patches such as the 2nd issue Turkestan, Croat, the very rare 288 patch and the Mountain Troop “tropical” issue.

The latter two are machine-woven on a very light tan cloth background as opposed to the original dark green background. and never existed during the Third Reich.

Fake BeVo sniper patches have been made up after the war whereas the original, and very rare, patches were always machine embroidered. Since the sniper’s patches are being made up for issue in West Germany to legitimate holders of the decoration, we should note that originals had a bright green band surrounding the patch with the gold or silver cord on the outside edge. Modern pieces lack this green inner cord.

Another scarce item being faked is the very rare one-piece Ski-Jäger cap insignia. Consisting of a standard  Jäger spray of oakleaves with skis set across at an angle, the originals were stamped out of zinc and were finished in an overall gray color.

Recent fakes are castings, semi-detailed on the reverse but very rough in appearance and made from a metal with a copper content. The dealer who has these manufactured treats them with a chemical to age them which turns parts of the piece a bright green.

Some Ski-Jäger insignia was modified in the field by adding metal skis to original Jäger insignia but the one piece stampings are by far the most valuable and the most difficult for the collector to locate.

Shoulder board devices have also been made up for Reichsmarschall Göring but these are castings in silver unlike the originals which were always stamped.

The same rule applies to any shoulder board device worn by any branch of service; these were always stamped, never cast.

A number of “Feldherrnhalle” collar patch devices exist that are also cast and again, the same rule applies.

The famous “Grossdeutschland” devices have shown up, this time in a stamped version but much smaller than the originals in overall size and of a very bright metal.

Pre-war shoulderboard insignia was made of brass, gold-plated or aluminum and wartime insignia was, in the main, made from zinc and painted. Most original “Grossdeutschland” ciphers are of zinc and either painted silver or bronze color. They were never plated, always painted, and most often, the paint has vanished leaving the gray oxydized zink.

Most silver embroidered insignia was made from aluminum wire or thread and aluminum has a tendency to oxidize with age to a dull silver. Most metallic gold insignia was made from brass wire which will patina to a very dark brown color. Of course, artificial threads were used in some embroidered  insignia which does not discolor so there is no actual rule of thumb to detect fakery unless the brass wire insignia is brand new.

Although interest in political and non-military insignia is somewhat limited, nevertheless, most of the rare insignia in these fields have been copied. For example, the triple oak leaf collar patches with a laurel leaf surround used by the Reichsführer SS, the Stabschef of the SA and the Reichsjugendführer have been very skillfully copied in Pakistan using a single original piece as a pattern. The first piece consists of the embroidery in silver on black velvet with a silver cord edging, the second is in gold (either metallic or silk) on a red background with a gold cord edging and the third is in gold on a black background with a gold cord edging. A careful inspection of several recent fakes shows that it becomes almost impossible to detect a current reproduction. It is interesting to note that the three sets mentioned above cost thirty dollars a pair in comparison with the five dollars a pair charged for a very high quality SS Totenkopf set.

Also being made are the highest ranks of the N.S.D.A.P. which includes Reichsleiter and Gauleiter. There are also very high quality armbands made for these two ranks with embroidered oakleaf edges.

Even fairly common insignia such as Hitler Youth area patches and the Hitler Youth fire-fighter diamond have been reproduced in machine weaving.

In the mid-1970s an excellent woven reproduction “Afrikakorps” cufftitle appeared in Austria and unless one has an original for comparison (the size of the letters on the fake are different from those of the original but only by small amount) there is virtually no way to detect these.

In the late 1960s an enterprising American, John Nesbitt ( calling himself “Karl Riesenhaft”), turned out a number of SS legion collar patches which were quite well done.

Diamonds with the same marks should be considered highly suspect. It should be noted that an individual possessing the papers for a medal could go into any jewelry store and have a copy of any medal made up for his own use and wear. For example, a man who had the papers for his Pour le Merité could go into the firm of Rothe in Vienna and have them make the medal for him and, in fact, this would be an original medal.


Every military and civil decoration created and manufactured during the course of the Third Reich has been reproduced since the end of the war and without any exceptions.

Everything from the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross through the black wound badge has been copied extensively. To list all the known fakes would take up most of this work and would be pointless.

The earliest crude copies were replaced with much better copies until finally, the copies are far better in construction, detail and finish than the originals.

We shall discuss various types of fake orders and decorations and some means by which they can be identified.

There exist in a number of collections, very scarce pieces such as the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross (officially issued only once, to Reichsmarschall Göring in 1940), The Knight’s Cross of the War Service Cross in Gold (suggested for issuance by Albert Speer but never promulgated or awarded), the 20. Juli 1944 wound badges and the German Order.

These pieces have commanded very high prices and, naturally, are only found in the most prestigious collections.

The Grand Cross, always the one belonging to Hermann Göring, can be found in at least thirty two collections, mostly in Germany. It was intended to issue no more than twelve and it is possible, though not likely, that eleven period pieces might exist. Considering, however, that the original was made by the Berlin firm of Godet and that the dies of this company were purchased by Dr. Klietmann,  a well-known orders expert and dealer, the number of eleven extant pieces increased dramatically.

Kleitmann was eventually arrested for fraud and his dies seized but before that happened, the market was flooded by his copies.

The Knight’s Cross of the War Service Cross in Gold was suggested as a higher form of the decoration by Albert Speer to Hitler in 1944. Hitler declined to authorize the piece and it is known that Speer had two such decorations, without the military swords, gold plated (the originals were always 800 fine silver) and given to two members of the armaments community. This was an entirely unofficial act, more in the nature of a private gift from Hitler’s Armaments minister.

The German Order was given out as a private honorarium of Hitler, mostly to men who had died, thus earning the sobriquet of the “Order of the Dead” or Totenorden. A small number of these decorations exist in the original form but dozens more have been made up since 1945. There are three known specimens of various classes and at least fifty copies in private collections.

The 20 Juli 1944 wound badges were issued, in various grades, to twenty-seven individuals, all of whom were in the briefing room in Hitler’s headquarters on that date and all of whom were injured in Stauffenberg’s unsuccessful bomb blast.

These medals were sand cast by the Berlin firm of C.E. Junckers. Originals had a textured reverse, often with the recipients name engraved, and the silver content (800) stamped underneath the attachment pin.

Dr. Kleitmann had these copied later and these post war pieces are struck from dies, highly polished on the reverse and marked with the silver content as well as ‘L/12’, one of the official markings for the Junckers firm.

Kleitmann’s retail outlet, Die Ordenssammlung, in Berlin, charged $250 for the Grand Cross, $175 for the L/12 marked Knight’s Crosses (to include the Gold Knight’s Cross of the War Service Crosses with and without Swords), $125 for the L/12 marked Oakleaves and Oakleaves and Swords for the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and $150 for the Hitler wound badges. Presentation cases were separate.

Copies of all of these decorations were also made up by the Viennese firm of Rudolf Souval but both the prices, and quality, were much less. The Souval pieces were marked with ‘L/58’, an official number but one which their firm did not use during the war except on the screw plate for the Iron Cross First Class.

The famous Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) is probably the most faked high military decoration in history. These decorations, in the original, had iron centers, (except as noted) and  hallmarked (800) silver rims. Knight’s Crosses with brass, tombak or zinc centers and nickel-silver (German Silver) rims were made up solely as display pieces for museums and the show cases of retail decorations dealers. As period pieces, they have a value far less than original, issue pieces.

Initially crude in construction, the counterfeit decorations have so improved in quality as to be indistinguishable from the originals. When doubting collectors referred to the “low” center swastika of the early Souval and other manufacturers, the next generation had much higher swastikas. When collectors questioned the rough edges, the following copies had very well-polished and detailed rims. When collectors, aided by dubious reference works, demanded specific markings on the rims, such markings as ‘L/12’ , ‘4’ and, on the ring, ‘65’ were all included for the benefit of the collector’s anxiety and the dealer’s pocketbook.

When collectors questioned the suspension ring on the top of the Knight’s Cross as being too crude in construction, the ever-considerate dealers and their manufacturers, obliged by putting better defined rings onto their pieces.

The total number of Knight’s Crosses issued during the course of the war was slightly over 7,200. It has been very reliably estimated that there are now over 10,000 such decorations in private hands and the number grows yearly.

The highest military decoration was the Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds for the Knight’s Cross.

Twenty seven of these were issued in several forms.

The first issue consisted of the standard Oakleaves and Swords set with diamonds. Only a few of these were issued. This issue was then followed by a much larger production piece set with fifty two stones.

There were two pieces issued to each recipient. The presentation copy was in platinum with genuine diamonds and the copy worn in the field was in silver set with spinels, a long-time substitute stone. Glass rhinestones were often used for display copies in militaria stores and museums. Like the display Knight’s Crosses, they were never issued but can certainly be considered a period piece, albeit of little intrinsic value.

The Diamonds were made by the firm of Godet in Berlin and several private-purchase pieces were made by other authorized jewelers during the war.

After the war, a significant number of these pieces were manufactured for the trade by the Hanau-based firm of Otto Klein. They used the markings ‘OK’, the latter letter enclosed by the former. This firm also made up Field Marshal’s batons with the identical markings but these will be covered in another section.

Twenty-seven original Diamonds were issued. Given that there were two copies, there were approximately fifty four original pieces issued. There are now at the very least, one hundred and eleven such pieces in private collections and German museums.

Other items of some rarity such as the numbered tank and assault badges have been heavily faked for many years, recently being cast in low-melt metal with “JFS” and “RK” hallmarks. Low-melt metal is softer than the hard zinc used in the originals and will bend if pressure is applied. Also, in many cases, the small box with the number is cast directly into the badge instead of being attached later.

Though authorized, the so-called Luftwaffe numbered tank and assault badges did not exist during the course of the war and pieces now extant are not original to the period.

The variations in medal manufacture are endless and it is absolutely impossible to make an accurate statement about the type of pin, catch etc. associated with any mass produced piece.

Bakelite badges from the last year of the war exist. Printed copies of medals such as the Iron Cross First Class, Black Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge and Close Combat Bar were certainly manufactured as were bakelite Army belt buckles.

Many early fake badges and medals were cast  instead of  die struck or die cast and a careful inspection of the surface of such pieces should reveal lack of crisp detail, pits caused during the casting process and a line which runs around the edge of the badge indicating where the mold comes together.

Many insecure collectors have invented a series of rules and regulations to make them feel more at ease when buying medals but most of these rules have no foundation in fact.

For example, Knight’s Crosses did have non-magnetic centers which were intended for Naval units (the cast iron centers rusted very quickly when exposed to salt water) and Mountain units (the cast iron centers were brittle and when exposed to sudden sharp temperature changes would crack easily).The rims on all of these decorations were always hallmarked silver. One of the stories put about by collectors is that all pre-war Knight’s Crosses had non-magnetic centers. These myth-makers do not seem to realize that the Knight’s Cross was a wartime decoration and that as Germany’s highest military decoration, was always made to very high standards.

Also, the myth of the “high swastika” is just that. Many early Knight’s Crosses did have the desirable high relief swastika and later manufacture pieces occasionally did not. Fakes now being manufactured have magnetic centers, high relief swastikas and whatever proof mark you can imagine.

The very rare SS “Germanische Leistungsrune” never had RZM marks on its reverse and the runes were always affixed to the mobile swastika with small pins which were folded over on the back.

Collectors also believe that “bubbling” of the surface of a medal is a sign of a fake. To the contrary, it is the sign of an original without any question.

This condition exists due to the construction of the medal from zinc. This metal, used extensively during the war as a substitute for more strategic metals such as brass, bronze and nickel, is difficult to plate and the “bubbling” occurs when the plating reacts with the zinc.

Many late-war medals were not plated but painted, using a metal-impregnated lacquer called Brennlak.

Medals were lacquered and then baked in a oven. The lacquer base was burned off leaving a coating of the metallic coloring behind. These decorations were then coated with a clear lacquer which almost always wears off, leaving the oxidizing zinc exposed. This accounts for dull gray decorations with bright gold or silver pins and catches.


Third Reich gorgets, both political and military, have been produced since the 1960s both in England and Germany.

Earlier pieces consisted of the Army Standard Bearer’s, the Feldgendarmerie and the SA Feldjägerkorps.

The fake Army Standard Bearer had an incorrect chain in that the links had no details on the reverse, the chain was fastened to the gorget reverse instead of being adjustable at both ends and the center device was in badly detailed brass instead of sharply detailed and black finished silver metal. Also, the center piece on originals was fastened to the plate with nuts and was not pinned.

A depiction of this fake can be seen in several of the Brian Davis books. The author is apparently under the impression that the piece is original. In the trade, this fake is called the “long-necked vulture” because of the overly long neck of the eagle.

The light-weight Army copy has been seen in a gilded form, ostensibly for German naval units. The German Kriegsmarine did not use a flag bearer’s gorget.

The Feldgendarmerie fake is made of very light-weight metal and the phosphorous eagle and lettering is in the wrong paint; original paint shows up yellow in the dark and modern pieces have a bluish cast.

The SA Feldjägerkorps has incorrect lettering on the face and on the originals, the swastika in the upper corners were stippled instead of smooth.

Later fakes now include Luftwaffe Feldgendarmerie, Army Feldjäger, Army Bahnhofswache, SA Standard Bearer, second issue SS Standard Bearer, (easily identified by the fact that the suspension chain is detailed on the face only on the reproductions) Panzer Warndienst and SA Feldherrnhalle.

Considering its rarity, we shall give more detailed coverage to the latter.

Firstly, the eagle on the face is a gilt copy of the eagle which appears on the NSKK gorget. The NSKK eagle is in silver and has a scroll above it, attached to the eagle at several points, with the NSKK initials but the eagle itself is most distinctive and the Feldherrnhalle eagle matches the NSKK eagle in every way and dimension with the difference being the lack of scroll attachment points and metal color.

Secondly, on the reverse of the original, a center tang is always present while on the fakes it is absent.

Thirdly, on the originals, the RZM logo and the M makers number are on one side, stamped into the chain anchor while on the fakes, the logo is on one anchor and the M number is on the other.

The two Wehrmacht eagles on the Army gorgets are incorrect in shape and are based on bad artwork in an English publication while the Luftwaffe Feldgendarmerie center piece is a reproduction metal eagle intended for wear on the Luftwaffe summer uniform.

One of the most grotesque fantasy gorgets is the large, enameled “Organization Todt” piece which emerged in the early 1960s along with numerous fantasy enameled German wall signs.

As gorgets are not particularly popular items in the militaria marketplace, the great bulk of the Third Reich pieces have not been reproduced but collectors should beware of gorgets that have cast centers or other fittings and to examine the rear of chains that do not carry the details of the face.


All of the urkunde for German military and civil decorations as well as promotional certificates, leather-bound parchment Knight’s Cross documents in all grades and  other forms of rare and common paper have been thoroughly duplicated. A discussion of fake Hitler signatures and documents will be covered in its own section but here we will address ourselves to relatively common military and civil medal papers.

An English firm has produced a fairly large selection of pre-war document papers complete with the large State seal and printed signatures of various officials to include Hitler and Meissner. These documents were photo copied from blank originals which were circulating in the 1960s and include SS long service medals, various Eagle Order papers, various civil medals such as Fire Service, State Long Service and so on. Military medals are not covered.

The same firm also prepared “promotional certificates” for high ranking Third Reich officials such as Frick and Rosenberg by utilizing the basic medal paper heading.”Im namen des deutschen Volkes” and typing in the appropriate name and date (in the case of Rosenberg, the wrong date). Also supplied are fake Hitler signatures. These are encased in fake leather portfolios using the same State eagle which appears on the fake Knight’s Cross folios. Such emblems always had the eagle’s tailfeathers visible between the legs, appearing as thin, vertical lines while the fakes have only a dished-out area.

Many myths exist concerning documents and certificates, most of which are the result of repeated error.

For example, most senior German military personnel rarely if ever signed documents and used either a rubber stamp copy of their signature or the services of a aide.

Adolf Hitler very rarely signed any documents and this chore was relegated to an officer in the Army Personnel Office or, for State papers, to a member of the Führerkanzelei named Vitttorio von Ihne who signed thousands of “original” Hitler papers for years. Most Knight’s Cross papers were not signed by Hitler after 1939 with the exception of awards for prominent leaders such as Eriwin Rommel or Joseph “Sepp” Dietrich

Certainly, the thousands of military promotional certificates issued by the various Wehrmacht personnel offices were never signed by Hitler.

Most wartime certificates were signed in ink or pencil and had the issuing office stamp in the left corner. Fakes exist with the stamp on the right side, over the signature but this was totally incorrect. These stamps, consisting of an Eagle and Swastika in a circle, had the name of the unit or the unit’s Field Post (Feldpost) number displayed inside the circle. The great majority of these stamps were metal, not rubber, and the ink used could be blue, black or purple, depending what sort of pad was in use in the office that day.

Also, stories about watermarked paper are incorrect. One self-important American collector has a marvelous collection of Reinhard Heydrich’s personal letterheads that are watermarked “Hammermill Bond-USA”, not the sort of markings one would expect to find on original papers. Luftwaffe medal papers did not have watermarked Luftwaffe eagles in them.

Very often, for large scale issue papers, such as the “Kreta” cufftitle document, the name of the issuing general was often printed right onto the paper at the time the document was made. Other rumors exist that originals documents were only printed with letterpress and not offset printing. This is completely incorrect and the Germans invented offset printing quite some time before the war.

Sometime after 1943, the production and issuance of the leather-covered Knight’s Cross presentation documents was halted and an elaborate paper documents called a preliminary certificate was issued. These had a gold state eagle stamped at the top of the paper and were larger than the standard medal paper.

A document with the word “abschrift” typed at the top is not unoriginal but is merely an office copy of an original. Many of these have signatures or initials on the margins which indicate office circulation.

A complete listing of the German Field Post numbers has been published in  Germany and is a must for serious military document collectors. Field Post numbers were issued to all units at the outbreak of the war as a form of camouflage. Each unit was given a specific number and it would follow that a rare medal presented to a high-ranking SS officer would not have the Field Post number of an Army bakery company stamped onto the presentation document!

Many original Field Post stamps have survived the war and persons wishing to authenticate their fakes, use them liberally without knowing what they represent and the results can sometime prove to be extremely funny.

Most of the standard issue medal papers had two perforations on the left hand margin and were creased in the middle for insertion in the back fold of the pay book or Soldbuch.

The pay books themselves have been extensively copied, most favored being Waffen-SS and paratroop/Hermann Göring units.

The N.S.D.A.P. has come in for its own share of fakery, prominent among these being papers for the Blood Order and the Gold Party badge. The more acceptable, and hitherto unforged, papers for the Blood Order are the larger format papers with the embossed replicas of the medal itself on the margins.

Collectors who buy documents as such do not have as much to worry about as the collector of autographs who is not interested in the paper but only the signature.

It is doubtful in the extreme if most of the signatures of prominent Third Reich political and military leaders found on wartime documents are original. The documents certainly are but the signatures are in 99% of the cases, office signatures.

Authenticating documents is very difficult, as one can easily see by the gross blunders made by world-famous “experts” in the case of the Hitler diaries. One must exercise a deal of common sense when dealing in this field. General appearance of the paper in question in quite important. Signs of age such as folding, stains, general discoloration of the paper (which grew cheaper as the war progressed) are certainly important.

Although indiscriminate use of ultra-violet light, called “blacklight” by collectors, will be covered elsewhere, it should be noted that no original wartime military paper documents will flouresce when tested with an ultra-violet light.

Several years ago, German authorities had been advised that the SS personnel files contained in the Berlin Document Center contained a number of faked papers. Aside from large numbers of original documents being stolen (along with paybooks from another Berlin facility), there were suspected cases of  blatantly forged post-war documents being added to the files.

This was done by persons with a vested interest in doing so, to present proof positive that a specific SS man had been involved in ‘war crimes’ during his service. Relatives of the victim were then subject to economic or political blackmail.

The files comprise millions of sheets of paper and the file-by-file inspection was a daunting task for the German authorities until an American pointed out to them that merely running an ultra-violet lamp along the edges of a file would immediately detect  added documents.

The German government immediately took over the Center, expelled the U.S. Department of State archive personnel from the country for obvious reasons and closed the facility to outsiders.


Items which belonged to Adolf Hitler are quite naturally, worth a great deal of money and Hitler fakes abound ‘in the market place. It should be noted that Hitler wrote very few personal letters and signed almost nothing at all after the outbreak of the war. There are many legitimate Hitler items available to the collector, mainly silverware, linen, visiting cards and the like and printed Führer standards in one meter configuration were quite common as they were issued to various military installations and ships in the event of a visit by Hitler.

Such items as caps, uniforms and the like are nearly non-existent because Hitler ordered their destruction at the end of the war and in the main, this order was faithfully executed.

Known to exist are one brown pre-1938 visored cap (in damaged condition), one brown jacket/shirt, pre-1938, one field-gray visored cap post 1939, one double-breasted field-gray jacket, one single-breasted jacket and one pair of long, black trousers, all post 1939.

Hitler was 5 foot, 8.5 inches in height and weighed in the vicinity of 150 pounds. Any uniform alleged to be the property of Hitler would conform to these requirements. On the Party uniforms, the buttons on all items were silvered, but on the post-1939 uniforms, the buttons were gold.

Until 1938 Hitler wore the Iron Cross First Class and the black wound badge on the left hand pocket and, on some occasions (such as the ceremonial march in Munich on 9 November of each year) the Blutorden on the flap of the right breast pocket. After 1938, Hitler discarded the Blood Order ribbon and medal and added the Gold Party Badge on the left breast pocket, above the Iron Cross.

Hitler’s visored cap had a long, brown leather visor (worn because he was very sensitive to light) and the top piping of the cap was twisted gold cord. The lower two pipings were white, the cap band brown velvet and the cap cords in gold. The eagle was always embroidered directly into the cap as was the wreath, which was added after 1938.

Hitler’s uniforms were made by the Berlin military tailoring firm of Wilhelm Holters and his caps were made by Robert Lubstein of Berlin under the trade name of eReL. Contrary to amusing myths circulating after the war, Hitler did not wear a bullet-proof vest nor was there a steel liner in his cap.

In the First World War, Hitler won the Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Classes, the Bavarian service medal, fourth class, the wound badge in black. As a member of the Bavarian army, did not wear any Austrian army decorations.

Hitler wore French-cuff shirts with gold links depicting the civic arms of the city of Danzig, the swastika motiv picked out in diamonds. Before the war, he wore a party eagle on his tie in solid gold, no wristwatch and no other jewelry.

Occasionally, gaudy pictures of Hitler’s mother, gaudy rings and the like show up, allegedly Hitler’s property but all of these were birthday gifts and in all probability, never even seen by him. An alleged suicide pistol which has appeared in several publications is a fake. The Walther with the ivory grips once had the maker’s name, Carl Walther, and their post-war address in Ulm/Donau on the slide but this has since been replaced with the proper wartime address. in Zella-Mehlis. This piece was made by the Walther factory for Col Atwood in the early 1960s as the still-extant serial number proves. It has been seen in many post-war militaria publications but its present whereabouts is unknown.

Hitler carried a Belgian Browiing 7.65mm pistol in his pant’s pocket and the right hand pocket of all of his trousers had a leather lining to hold the gun.

The subject of Hitler documents has been covered elsewhere in this work so we will consider Hitler paintings.

There are very few surviving original Hitler paintings and sketches. Everyone from Konrad Kujau to Alfred Speer took a hand at copying Hitler’s style, with various degrees of success. Speer’s sketches come much closer to the mark as he was an architect and very familiar with Hitler’s style.

An example of the Speer drawings can be seen in a biography of Hitler by British writer, David Irving.

A book edited by Billy Price of Texas on Hitler’s artwork (Hitler as Maler und Zeichner) is crammed to the plimsoll line with fakes but is quite valuable in that it shows known original Hitler pieces (those he himself authenticated before the war and marked as being from the NS archives. In this book, original Hitler pieces have the BA or Bundesarchiv numbers) with fakes. Hitler’s style is most distinctive and anyone with an eye for design can easily spot the hundreds of fakes.

Aside from some items held by the U.S. Army, no known original Hitler pieces exist in the United States and one of the largest collections in England is stuffed with fakes.

During the bombing raids of the Second World War, the Marienkirche at Lübeck in Germany was severely damaged by fire. German churches always seemed to draw the attention of Allied bombers and the Marienkirche was no exception.

An inspection of the damaged church disclosed what appeared to be thirteenth century fresco hidden behind layers of whitewash and after the war, the German authorities commenced a restoration of the church. A number of frescos were worked on by one Dietrich Fey, a prominent restoration specialist and he and his assistant, Lothar Malskat, performed miracles and disclosed an entire church filled with magnificient religious frescos. Amidst great public ceremony, the church was reopened and the magnificient old frescos even became the subject of German postage stamps.

Herr Malskat, annoyed because of the public glory heaped upon Fey, confessed to forging the entire pantheon of saints. It seems that only fragments of the originals remained and creativity replaced objectivity to the delight of many and the enrichment of a few.

The two forgers were promptly jailed but someone remembered the frescos in the cathedral in Schleswig and decided that Malskat had copied the frescos in the cloister of that building. Unfortunately, it turned out that Malskat had done these too but before the war in 1938!

When Hitler joined the D.A.P. in 1919, his party number was 555, there being fifty five members and the numbers starting at 500 for propaganda reasons. When the Party was reorganized in later years, Hitler carried the number one and no medal or pin with the number seven is original.

In “Mein Kampf” Hitler indicates that he was the seventh member of the central committee and stupid forgers have seized on this to assume that he carried the party number of seven.

“Hitler silverware” was made up in some quantity and exists in two patterns; so-called formal and informal. This silver, which bears the state eagle and the letters A H was actually state silver and was used at the Berghof, the Führerbau in Munich, his apartment in Munich, on his special train and other places such as the Olympic village in Berlin in 1936. Reichskanzelei silver was marked R K. A large set in gold was made up and delivered to Hitler before the war but vanished in Berlin in the chaos of 1945.

It should be noted that all manner of State silver existed. One dealer in militaria claims to possess “Adolf Hitler’s” silver cigarette case. The price for this relic is somewhat less than the national debt of Mexico but since Hitler was a vehement non-smoker, the attribution is sadly in error.

A great deal is known about Hitler artifacts but very little is known about Hitler as an individual. His disappearance in Berlin in April of 1945 is one of the great mysteries of the 20th century and various invented stories about dental records and burned bodies have merely muddied the issue.

The book by H.R. Trevor-Roper, the “Last Days of Hitler” is by no means accurate, was written by a. British intelligence officer in four weeks at the specific request of his superiors and by someone who did not read, write or speak German. The author’s subsequent shabby performance over his positive authentication of the very obviously fake Hitler diaries reduces his credibility to the level of William Shirer (whose books should be carried in the fiction section of libraries).

The subject of Hitler documents has been covered elsewhere in this work so we will consider Hitler paintings.

Very little accurate has been written about Hitler, each hack writer copying the gross errors of those who have gone before. The U.S. government is sitting on very valuable information and until they see fit to release it to the general public, the most accurate work is that of Dr. Werner Maser of  Germany

We are printing here examples of known original Hitler signatures and copies of his “authorized” signatures for comparison and evaluation. The subject of Hitler artwork is far too complex to cover in a work of this nature but suffice it to say, Hitler himself complained that his. works had been faked extensively long before the war and no one but a deluded fool would ever buy an “original” Hitler painting unless it has been authenticated by the NS Archiv prior to the war.

Sample of Hitler reproduction ink signature from a Knight’s Cross document.

Signed by an authorized official.

Sample of an authentic Hitler ink signature made at the same time as the ink

signature above. Note the obvious differences.

Sample of a authorized ink Hitler signature from a military promotional certificate. Signed by a Major in             the Army Personnel Office.


With a great upsurge in the production of fake militaria, many collectors have become extremely discouraged in the pursuit of their field. They wonder how it would be possible to find a foolproof method to detect fakes without having to rely on the lies of crooked dealers or the errors of ill-educated and stupid fellow  collectors.

Suddenly, like the star of Bethlehem arising in the East, the answer appeared in the hands of a number of wise men. It was called the “blacklight test”.

The collector was informed that merely by flashing an ultra-violet light on a suspected cloth item, a fake could easily be detected; the fake piece would light up like a Christmas tree! It was said that original, pre-1945 cloth never lit up so that if the piping, for example, on your Waffen-SS officer’s visored hat started to glow, it was without a doubt a fake.

With this news, collectors rushed out to buy their black lights from the friendly and helpful dealers who first launched this story of a miraculous solution. Collections were feverishly checked for the dreaded telltale phosphorescence and the guilty pieces banished to gun shows and auctions with sighs of relief or groans of anguish.

The purveyors of the truth…and the blacklights…were venerated by the collector as demi-gods, helping to restore the market to an honest condition. Of course a large number of caps, insignia, tunics and the like were dumped on the market but a true collector can never have fake items in his collection.

Unfortunately for those who believe this story, there is not a word of truth in it and the individuals who started the myth of the blacklight test are merely shrewd businessmen who, on the one hand, made considerable money selling well marked-up blacklights (which are easily available from any stamp dealer supply shop) and on the other hand, have made a killing buying up original pieces as fakes.

In fact, the blacklight is absolutely worthless as a detector of fake items in cloth militaria. If an item lights up, it does not mean that the item is fake but merely that the dyes used in its manufacture react with the light. It is absolutely impossible to detect the age of an item by using a blacklight. Anyone wishing to prove this, can easily do so by the simple expedient of buying a few fake pieces at a gun show and testing them against originals in their collection. In some cases, fakes will not glow and in others, they will. The same applies to original items; many will not react and others will.

Prior to and during the early part of the war, metallic piping on German visored hats had a cord liner made of white cloth which will light up when tested with a blacklight as will the white cardboard patterns used behind collar patch and breast eagles. Actual metallic wire piping was discontinued during the war and artificial cellelon replaced it. The former has not been made since the war and the latter has rendering metallic piped items original and the latter in a area of question. Blacklight does detect blood and human semen traces and fake marks on stamps but cannot be a determiner of cloth authenticity or composition thereof.

As a result of this deliberate misinformation, a number of collections have been denuded of rare and absolutely original pieces at knockdown prices and no doubt a collector who has parted with treasured pieces will read this and begin to screech with rage, not at the blacklight high priests but at the author of this work for ruining their self-confidence.

There are tests which can be conducted on materials to determine either their age or their composition but these tests are extremely expensive and are not always conclusive.

For example, various synthetic threads and fabrics were not only invented by the Germans but used extensively by them, especially during the course of the war. Rayons were used in threads, cloth for uniforms, parachute risers and so on. Setting a match to a suspect thread, for instance, will show if the thread is cotton or composition but will not prove when the item in question was made.

Germans were at the forefront of the dye industry and all manner of coal-tar derived dies were manufactured and used during the course of the war…and before.

During the war it was found that human sweat quickly rotted through the cotton threads holding the sweatband in military visored hats so the pre-war cotton thread was often replaced in the hat factories by a synthetic thread that would not decay when impregnated with sweat. Discovery by collectors of cap threads in wartime caps that “bubble” when ignited should in no way alarm them that the piece might be a reproduction or, as some dealers are wont to say, “reconstructed” or “restored”.

U.S. Army Military Intelligence publications from the period of the war indicate that their analysis of wartime German cloth found large mixtures of synthetic threads with the wool, sometimes as much as a fifty percent adulteration!

Some of this wartime cloth will show up under blacklight and some will not, depending on the nature and the dye lots of the fabric involved.

Unfortunately for those who seek absolute answers to the question of what is or is not fake, there is nothing to tell them at all.

Blacklight only shows dye colors; burning threads only shows that the thread is cotton or some other substance which could well have been in legitimate use during the course of the Third Reich.

Unfortunately, the only true method of detecting fakes is that of experience and having the opportunity to closely examine known original pieces and, in examining these pieces, to know what to look for. Many uniforms were legitimately upgraded during the course of the war and elegant, pre-war pieces were fitted out for field use by their owners or were upgraded in rank as the war progressed.

Collectors should be extremely wary of individuals who claim to possess absolute knowledge and expertise in any field. Novice collectors somehow believe that a silver Panzer badge belonging to a local “expert” is the only type ever struck (there are thirty-seven known official variants of this badge) and if a proffered badge does not meet the criteria of this piece, is has to be fake.

“The eagle’s eye,” they will say with scorn, “just is not like the one on Jimmy’s badge. You know, his grandfather took it off a General’s uniform in 1944 so it has to be original. Jimmy actually let me touch it last week.”

These are the type of collectors who always buy by committee. A desired piece must first be shown to at least twenty other collectors for verification of authenticity. If even one of them raises an eyebrow, the piece is immediately rejected. Should all twenty collectors pass on it, it is then subjected to further inspection until two years later, the collector attempts to return it on the grounds that “a expert” said it was a fake.

Usually, the same “expert” has his own piece for sale which his circle of cronies all loudly support and the collector ends with yet another fake to stuff into the suitcase under his bed. He can’t display anything  in his residence because his wife, or mother, does not approve of such things on public display.

In the main, a forty year old collector who lives with his mother is not a person whose judgment can be relied upon.


One of the major problems encountered when dealing with fakes and those who have been defrauded by them is the serious lack of knowledge on the part of most of the collectors of Third Reich militaria.

There is no excuse for this lack of information because there are currently a large number of excellent reference works available to the collecting fraternity and it makes a good deal of sense to comprehend that it is cheaper to buy a thirty-five dollar reference book and learn from it than to spend two thousand dollars on a fake that a perusal of the book would have quickly exposed.

Generally speaking, Third Reich collectibles have not yet come into their own as a reputable field and many collectors are more in need of psychological counseling than advanced reference books. Serious collectors, and there are many, appreciate the valuable assistance that accurate reference books supply.

When reference books first began to be published, there was little accurate information available and most books consisted of items in the author’s collection. A number of fakes and misdiscribed items appeared, misleading many. This first wave of reference works, unfortunately, was laced with books produced with the sole aim of promoting fakes being produced for or by the author and his friends. This trend, fortunately, has been reversed (with some exceptions) and with such firms as Bender Publishing in the United States and Uniformes of France, the serious collector can locate nearly all the information necessary to develop confidence in his field of collecting.

It is truly amazing to hear tales of woe from swindled collectors who consistently refuse to either purchase, or even read, authoritative reference works.

Many collectors seem to be drawn to technical works that are published solely to sell fakes. These gaudy books contain endless “variant” pieces, “prototypes,” “late-war production” items and many other entertaining holy relics that happen to be in the possession of either the author or one of his partners in crime.

It might prove instructive to illustrate a fictional fraud, based entirely on factual procedures.

Let us consider the “Rommel Honor Dagger.”

This would be a special, custom-made item given by Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini to German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel upon the occasion of his capture of the British base at Tobruk.

The merchandiser of this piece is the fictive Lothar Sneed, America’s Biggest Dagger Dealer. Sneed stands at five foot, six inches and weighs in at three hundred and fifty pounds.

He once worked for the CIA, selling encryption machines to one country and the encryption codes to their rivals. Sneed is now retired and makes a very large amount of money as America’s Biggest Dagger Dealer.

Sneed has a friend, Basil Colon, who publishes books on rare and unusual daggers and swords of the Third Reich period. An artifact that appears is a Colon book is an artifact that can be sold for large sums of money.

Sneed has an arrangement with a dagger manufacturer in Milan, Italy. This enterprising gentleman inherited a factory from his grandfather and the inventory contained parts and the dies to make Fascist dress daggers.

Colon did a series on rare Italian Fascist Daggers, thereby creating an interest in the collecting fraternity. Signor Stronzo has been cranking out his “official” daggers for three years and has sold almost every one of these new creation  to Lothar Sneed. Helped by the Colon books, Sneed has developed a reputation as the sole source for these daggers. Once the standard Fascist dagger has saturated the market, Sneed and Colon have decided to produce interesting, and salable, “variants” and “presentation” models.

One day, while visiting Signor Stronzo’s shop, Sneed sees a gaudy dagger in a case. It turns out to be a fancy piece manufactured to the specifications of a well-known Italian typewriter manufacturer. Unfortunately for Signor Stronzo, the manufacturer died of an infarction while servicing his sixteen year old mistress and the dagger has been unclaimed.

Colon buys it and back in the United States, he shows it to a friend of his, Wally Smegma. Wally is an expert in creating new and interesting rare pieces for the trade.

The finial of the typewriter dagger depicts a melon-breasted woman and has to go. The plotters have decided to create the “Rommel Honor Dagger” for both fun and profit.

The finial is replaced with a silver one depicting the Italian Fasces on one side and the German swastika on the other. The blade is engraved with an Italian inscription from Mussolini to Rommel and with a facsimile of the Duce’s signature.

Four hours in a lapidary rock-polishing drum with a handful of sawdust and some buck shot adds a marvelous patina to the dagger.

The finished piece is then photographed from many angles in black and white and the next stage of the operation is launched.

The physical dagger exists but no one would buy it without a provenance.

In the elegant world of fine art, this provenance is achieved by inserting a fake into a commissioned book on an artist or period. This is called Salting the Mine.

Firstly, a series of original photographs of Mussolini and Rommel are purchased from Photo Luce in Italy. The black and white pictures are culled and finally, one is carefully applied to a selected photograph, rephotographed and then screened.

An original German wartime newspaper is located, the front page photographed front and back and the picture of the two men and most especially the new dagger, set into the page. The whole is rephotographed and run off on newsprint at a local print shop.

The finished page, printed front and back, is placed between two sheets of glass and stuck in an attic window of the Sneed estate to age gracefully in the sun. After about a month, when the paper has turned a lovely shade of ochre, it is removed, excess portions removed and the whole glued into a photo album.

Sneed has a postman with the right appearance and he dresses him in a U.S. Army uniform of the wartime period, takes him into his back yard and poses the costumed man holding up a swastika flag in one hand and the Rommel Honor Dagger in the other. The finished photograph is soaked in tea until it attains a lovely patina of age and it too is glued into the album beside the original newspaper.

Sneed bought the album, which is genuine, at a military collector’s show. It is full pictures of shattered German buildings and other ruins and came from the estate of a deceased warrior. The few extra blank pages in the rear now sport the picture of the bogus GI with the equally bogus dagger. and authenticating newspaper clipping.

In return for his standard fee of 24%, Colon agrees to include the newly-discovered treasure in his next book. “Daggers and Edged Weapons of the Third Reich, Volume 11.” For an additional fifteen Italian Fascist High Leader’s Daggers plus three Gestapo General’s Belt Buckle guns (invented by Sneed five years ago and a standard item in his catalog of incredibly rare relics) Colon agrees to place a full color depiction of the Rommel Honor  Dagger on the cover of the forthcoming book.

This absolutely guarantees instant and frantic interest on the part of the more advanced of the dagger and sword collectors and Sneed views this as a reasonable operating expense.

To actually own a piece depicted on the cover of a Colon book is a consummation devoutly to be wished by an advanced collector and this piece is no exception. The Rommel Honor Dagger is such a gaudy and generally aesthetically tasteless piece as to inflame the passions of any advanced collector and Sneed now begins his final operation.

Sneed and the dagger will appear at a prestigious military collector’s show. The dagger, now ensconced in an expensive rosewood case (which Sneed has used before and will use again), is put on display along with the doctored photo album, open to the page with the recent but aged additions.

Awed attendees to the show stand in line in front of the Sneed display tables and slowly file past the newest treasure. They are allowed no more than thirty seconds of viewing time and then must move on to let others experience the historical treasure.

The piece is not necessarily for sale, Sneed tells the gawping multitude. He might present it to a German museum as his token of respect for that now-free and democratic republic. On the other hand, he might be persuaded to consider offers if, and only if, they are serious offers.

This is a piece, as Sneed says later during a speech to the attendees, that belongs in a really advanced collection. It rightfully belongs to someone who understands history and has the capability of truly appreciating a genuine piece of world history.

Later that evening, as Sneed held court at the local Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, an offer is made to him that he cannot refuse.

Carl Mudd, a born-again Christian latex marital aid manufacturer from Sweetwater, Florida declares his determination to possess what Sneed refers to as “an investment in history for a discriminating collector.” His wife, Winifred, was tragically and accidentally compacted while rummaging deep inside in a dumpster behind the local Piggly Wiggly Food Mart, seeking food bargains.

The insurance company had recently settled with Mudd and he offers Sneed one hundred thousand dollars in cash and his late wife’s collection of Barbie dolls for the Rommel Honor Dagger. Sneed will accept the money with dignified mien and the dolls will end up in another dumpster.

The Rommel Honor Dagger will still appear in several books but this time, Mudd is told, the line “From the Carl Mudd Collection” can be seen beneath the pictures of his latest treasure.

And that is how the world turns.

There is, of course, truth in the jest.

The Colon books do not exist in fact but do in spirit. These types of “reference works” are popular because they are very well illustrated, if nothing more than catalogs of available fakes. The pictures are important because it is to be regretted that large numbers of the American  population are nearly incapable of reading English, let alone a foreign language, so no doubt we can expect the future to contain an increasingly large number of picture books.


Many collectors use the services of auction houses to either sell or purchase militaria. There are positive and negative sides to this practice which we will attempt to explore.

In selling items by auction, the seller can reach a wider and specialized market and can often realize prices higher than he would believe possible. Depending entirely upon the auction house, a considerable period of time can elapse between the time the auction is over and his monies are received. It has been known for auction houses to invest various funds under their control, including monies owed from an auction, in certificates of deposit so as to be able to earn considerable interest on the money of others. When banks do this, it is quite legal but it is not legal for an auction house to do this.

In buying or bidding through a mail auction house, the most obvious problem facing the collector is the originality of the merchandise being offered. There is absolutely no way for any one person or even several persons running an auction house to know exactly what is original or what is fake or what is questionable in every case. This is the reason that customers have an inspection period. Legitimate auction houses make every effort to remove fake or questionable items from their lists while others not only willingly offer fakes but solicit their manufacture.

A reading of the catalogs of the major international art auctions houses will disclose that the firms make no guarantees of authenticity whatsoever, even denying the authenticity of the pictures inside the catalogs! Since the art auction houses wield tremendous influence in the art world, there is no expert alive who would dare to question the authentic of any item auctioned and the auctioneers sell every items strictly “as is” which means that the buyer has no recourse to them in the event that their purchase turns out to be a fake.

One of the best way for someone preparing a book on fakes is to read over the auction catalogs of several of the mail auction houses and look at the photographs. This presupposes knowledge on the part of the reader, however, a knowledge that many beginning collectors do not have.

In various well-informed collecting circles, it is known that certain internationally famed auction houses are an outlet for every fake on the market plus billions of dollars of art stolen during the course of the Second World War, but this information could hardly appear in a published work without the certainty of involved legal action and considerable expense to everyone involved.

Much art stolen by the Germans has been returned to the owners but a far greater amount of relatively unknown pieces was looted by Americans after the war and instead of returning it, most of it was sold through the auction houses for huge profits. A former German intelligence specialist, working with the American CIA, sold millions of dollars of looted art between 1948 and 1956 with a percentage of the profits going to the intelligence agencies, “Special Funding” project.

What matters in the final analysis is the individuals’ personal experiences. The text of this book gives ample indication of areas of extreme caution but many fakes are forty years old and could easily pass as original at this remove.


This section is sort of a wastebasket covering all manner of faked Third Reich items that are not covered elsewhere.

A large section could be done alone on Hermann Göring who holds the distinction of being the Third Reich personality who has had the most fakes attributed to him.

A “Göring signet ring” and “Göring Cufflinks” for example, are horrible fakes.

They were made up by Hollywood’s own “Roger Steele” and both were allegedly made by the firm of Zeitner of Berlin. The ring is far too small, is a casting and has Göring’s coat of arms displayed along with the totally incorrect titles of “Ministerpräsident und Reichsmarschall.” It is true, of course, that Göring held both titles but the first was dropped in 1934 and the second didn’t come into being until 1940 and would never have been used together. Steele should have had his tiny fake ring say, “Reichsminister der Luftfahrt und Oberste Befehishaber der Luftwaffe, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering” which would be absolutely correct but a bit much to put on a ring. German heraldic custom of the period would dictate only the coat of arms and nothing more. This is a case of gilding the lily for the idiot brigade, a fault most dealers are guilty of.

Another item, or items, are the fake beer mugs which so delight the collectors of awful kitch, These are ceramic monstrosities designed to appeal to the feeble minded which make up such a large part of the collecting fraternity. Each mug has a raised military badge, colored in gold or silver, a squadron marking, Luftwaffe kill markings, often a picture of the ace pilot or famous U-Boat ace and God knows what other visual garbage all over the exterior. On the base are various eagles, swastikas and the like.

These can be purchased from the British and American manufacturers for twenty five dollars each and would make a fine urinal for a sick elk or a pencil holder to match that kitchen cleanser can with a fake “Zyklon B” label glued on the outside.

Labor Service leather and wood clothes beaters have been sold to the nut fringe as “Concentration Camp Death Whips” and fake shrunken heads have popped up with “Nuremberg Trial” stickers attached as “Genuine shrunken Jewish Concentration Camp victim” items. These South American tourist  items were actually used at the trials and were “liberated “ by Col Atwood from their repository along with bales of documents which were subsequently repossessed by the U.S. government. As a CIA agent, however, Atwood was immune from prosecution.

One enterprising dealer relabeled a box of commercial soap to indicate that it was the product of an SS soap factory and made a small fortune selling these to the same persons who pay huge money for blue and white striped Wehrmacht hospital jackets and pants with the fond belief that they are in possession of some KZ relic.

Every so often, one sees in the small-town papers an article about some ancient veteran who has decided to sell “Adolf Hitler’s Personal Photo Album” that he picked up in Germany after the war.

The  Buffalo Breath, Montana News shows a nice picture of a withered old creature holding up…yes, the more astute of you have guessed it…a genuine, original copy of a German cigarette album with paste-in pictures, worth about seventy-five dollars on the market.

It is doubtful if dealers will march five abreast down the main street of Buffalo Breath waving hundred thousand dollar cashier’s checks so that Mortimer Snerd can give up rat farming and retire to a condo in Monaco.

One well known dealer has a number of “rare” items on display in his basement, including a white summer tunic alleged to have belonged to a famous SS general. As the original general was a very stocky and muscular man and as the uniform would barely fit a slim, fifteen year old boy, one imagines that this was a “prewar” piece.

In one Austrian church may be seen the sacred relic of the skull of St Stephen, while in a small church outside of Vienna, one can see the smaller skull of St. Stephen as a youth! Using this logic, one can say that a very small uniform jacket alleged to have belonged to a very large Third Reich personality was his as a child, years before the Third Reich even existed.

Self-delusion is a wonderful thing. It is the cement that keeps dysfunctional marriages together and otherwise intelligent collectors convinced of the authenticity of their pride and joy.

Most of the fakers, and none of the victims even bother to consider the size of the personality whose overcoat or jockstrap is being shoved at them. One fake Hitler. tunic and pants offered by a major auction house, would have been much too big for Hermann Göring who, as even the most thick-headed knows, was not a slender man.

Fancy pre-war German automobiles are auctioned off,  alleged to have belonged to Hitler, Eva Braun, Hitler’s grandmother and the like. It should be noted that the Benz firm in Stuttgart keeps a record of all their custom cars and will, if written to, be more than happy to inform you that the 1938 SSK you just bought under the delusion that it belonged to Heinrich Himmler was actually made in 1938 for the Gräfin von und zu Schwantzfresserin.

All German Field Marshals were awarded two ceremonial batons. One was the regular baton, studded with eagles and iron crosses in various configurations and the other was a interrimsstab or a piece that could be carried in non-ceremonial occasions.

The original batons were only manufactured by the Berlin firm of Wilm and were so marked. The first two batons of the Third Reich period, one for von Blomberg of the Army and one for Raeder of the Navy, were made by the firm of Godet in Berlin and so marked.

Following the war, the firm of Otto Klein in Hanau, southern Germany, manufactured both the batons and other items such as the Oakleaves with Diamonds. The fake Klein pieces sold for $2,000 to the trade and are easily identified as fakes.

Firstly, the hollow center tube on Klein copies is made of aluminum while the originals were always made of silver.

Secondly, on the originals, the letters at the top and bottom of the baton were cut out of silver and applied separately to the baton, the Klein fakes have the letters pressed in from the reverse. The letters obviously are not applied and even a cursory glance will disclose this.

Klein pieces have been made for every German Field Marshal of the Army and Luftwaffe and in point of fact, there are many duplicates in the proud collections of individuals who fortunately do not know each other.

In the event that one collector discovers that his “Erhard Milch” or “Erich von Manstein” baton is duplicated in another collection, questions to the seller reveal that the other baton is a crude fake but their wonderful piece is the original.

Frustrated collectors often ask if there are any “honest dealers” around and enraged dealers often wonder aloud if all the collectors are on ticket of leave from lunatic asylums. There are no conclusive answers to either question. Most dealers are selectively dishonest and there do exist a number of collectors who read German and know what they are doing.

Sometimes, collectors run across the most interesting relics in the strangest places. –

One collector was sent a German SD file which contained all manner of interesting information about the present Prince Consort, Prince Philip. It seems HRH is not Greek as his fond and official biographers would have us believe, but German, of the house of Hesse, a relative of the Kaiser, Queen Victoria and SA Obergruppenführer the Prince of Hessen. As the current Prince Consort was in the Hitler Youth and had a brother in the SS, it’s amazing that British Intelligence overlooked these papers and one wonders how they ended up in the hands of a senior CIA official.

One German Wehrmacht Soldbuch prepared for the trade by the foremost American specialist on such items had the owner blessed with blue hair and blonde eyes! It also indicated that he was twenty feet tall, weighed in at eight pounds and was awarded a high decoration two years after the book reported his death. Obviously the young lady was not conversant with the German language when she filled out the blank document with a post-war ball-point pen.

Under miscellaneous one can cram all manner of amusing fakes and frauds but to list them all, one would have to produce a book as thick as Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and perhaps much more can be included in future works.

To the irate dealer who feels his business has been injured by the publication of this primer and to the hysterical collector who has just learned that his Himmler Damascus Letter Opener is of recent manufacture (special discounts to the trade in lots of fifty or more) we should like to say that we have enjoyed writing this a great deal more than you have reading it.

2 responses so far

  1. I think you may know my mother. Alice Nielsen. Please respond!!!

  2. I do not know an Alice Nielsen

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