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Collectors and German Militaria

Collectors and German WW2 Militaria - Collectibles, auctions and stories.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy, Relic Hunters, Relics of nazi leaders, Nazi Memorabilia, SS Daggers.

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Kevin Wheatcroft issues a statement to clarify the circumstances in which a Tiger Tank came into his possession
Militaria collector Kevin Wheatcroft has instructed his lawyers to prepare a statement in answer to a number of inaccurate and defamatory statements which have appeared on various sites in the last 12-24 months. Also he will set up an internet mail address to reply to any reasonable questions arising from this statement or the facts giving rise to it. The allegations relate to the circumstances in which a Tiger Tank came into his possession and also relate to the circumstances in which a Maybach engine and gear box - formerly in a museum in Sweden - came into his possession.
(pathfinderonline.co.uk)

Nick Artimovich has collected 800 American flags, thousands of pieces of memorabilia
Nick Artimovich - who has collected upward of 800 U.S. flags and thousands of flag-related memorabilia items - spreads out a vivid flag from the 1870s on which stars are grouped into a larger star (flag makers arranged them however they pleased until 1912). The oldest flag in his collection is a 28-star banner from the 1840s. The biggest is a 15-by-23 feet yacht flag. The most expensive: a Lincoln campaign flag (bought for $2,000 sold for $12,000). In all he has spent $75,000 on his collection, which also includes stars and stripes emblazoned on pins, patches, ribbons, soldier figurines, postcards, and so on.
(washingtonpost.com)

Ohio student is an avid collector of military history, receiving signed photos from SS panzer commander Ernst Barkmann
If you meet Kyle Nappi, the first question you hear is: "Are you or is anyone in your family a veteran?" Each war veteran has given the 20yo Ohio State student at least an autograph, sometimes much more, for his collection of military history and militaria. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, and Frank Buckles, the last living American WW1 veteran, provided autographs - and even the famous Waffen-SS panzer commander Ernst Barkmann sent signed photos. A dozen other German World War Two veterans and some Japanese veterans trained as kamikaze pilots have also contributed to the memorabilia collection.
(stripes.com)

Is it illegal to wear military medals you haven`t earned?
(Q) There is an active trade in military medals, but is it illegal to wear them? (A) Intention is all. UK: It`s not an offence to own medals, but it is illegal under section 197 of the Army Act 1955 to pretend to be a member of the armed forces (superseded by the Armed Forces Act). Wearing any military decoration, badge or emblem without authority a criminal offence. It is illegal to wear a replica "as to be calculated to deceive", and to represent yourself as someone entitled to wear such award. US: There have been 60 cases since the Stolen Valor Act (opposed by the militaria collectors) became law in 2006.
(bbc.co.uk)

Group suspends military analyst because of his German WW2 militaria collection
A human rights group has suspended its senior military analyst just because he is a collector of Nazi memorabilia. The group, Human Rights Watch, had at first given its support to Marc Garlasco, who has never expressed anti-Semitic views and whose hobby was inspired by a grandfather conscripted into Wehrmacht. Israeli government`s attack on Garlasco - also an author about Nazi-era military medals - may have something to do with the fact that he investigated the use of white phosphorus munitions by the Israeli Army in Gaza. Israeli PM`s policy director Ron Dermer stated: "We are going to dedicate time and manpower to combating these [human rights] groups."
(nytimes.com)

Colin Wilson collects military uniforms
Colin Wilson has an unusual hobby: He is interested in military history, and military uniforms in particular. His interest was sparked by his grandfather, who was a WWII veteran serving in Company D 776th Amphibian Tank Battalion. Among Wilson`s treasures are complete uniforms, including special insignia, ribbons and medals, field equipment, such as packs, boots, helmets, flags and ammo. One WW2 Navy uniform he found on a curb in Cedar Rapids after the flooding, destined for the landfill. Wilson is often asked why he collects military memorabilia, his answer: "I don`t want people to forget what their father or grandfather."
(newtondailynews.com)

Stamps, coins, WW2 militaria: Items from the Nazi era grow in price - even camp uniforms   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In coin and collectible shows in France and Germany dealers usually offer a variety of relics from the 1940s. On most a small paper dot covered some portion of the item: the swastika portion. Both countries were so decimated, that neither wishes to relive the Nazi era and has banned Nazi symbols. In the 1960s, the trade in German militaria was prolific in US: Nazi daggers, medals, helmets, etc, changed hands for little money. Today, Nazi militaria is much more valuable. David Kols, of Regency Superior Auctions, agrees: He specialized for years in stamps, but now he offers medals, badges, books and armbands from the Luftwaffe to the SS and even Hitler Youth.
(sacbee.com)

Court orders a collector to return $600,000 book, which was looted by U.S. army captain during WWII
A New York court ordered a book collector to return a 16th-century volume valued at $600,000 to a museum in Stuttgart - 6 decades after it was stolen by a U.S. army captain at the end of World War II. The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, owner of the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie`s collection, lodged a claim for the "Augsburger Geschlechterbuch" after being informed by Sotheby`s that it had been offered for auction. The book is one of several treasures lost by Stuttgart at the end of the war. The collector, Rod Shene, had purchased the book from a St. Louis dealer for $3,800 in 2001. Sotheby`s told him it could fetch as much as $600,000.
(bloomberg.com)

For Sale: Military uniform of Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets
One key piece of American military history, the uniform of Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets, is for sale. Slightly worn and adorned with his Distinguished Service Cross, the uniform he wore when bombing Hiroshima could fetch a $250,000. The uniform comes with the provenance it was Tibbets`s, says Alexander Autographs President Bill Panagopulos, adding that even in hard economic times, historical relics sell: "There is real money in autographs and historical memorabilia." Mark Schmidt-Fellner adds: "Investors are taking a serious look at autographs, manuscripts and other memorabilia... We are starting to see new types of bidders come to our market."
(cbsnews.com)

Collector pays $72,500 for rare 1943 bronze penny made in error
Steve Contursi, owner of Dana Point-based Rare Coin Wholesalers, has acquired the 1943 penny that was mistakenly cast out of a bronze planchet. The coin was originally discovered in 1944 by Kenneth S Wing Jr. while collecting Lincoln pennies. Wing died and his heirs took the coin to Contursi`s rare-currency company to be appraised. When he determined it was authentic, he purchased it. The coin was part of an error by the U.S. Mint in 1943 when the mint switched from copper to steel. At the time copper was needed to make bullets for World War II, and the few pennies struck in copper were possibly an employee mistake.
(ocregister.com)

Military insignias drive militaria collector William Devlin
Militaria collectors search for cannon balls, bayonets and helmets. William Devlin has his own niche of memorabilia: military medals, ribbon bars, insignias and crests. As a boy, he scoured through the Yakima Firing Center, plundering the desert for lost paraphernalia, such as brass insignias and medals. There is a crest from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials - and even a box of uniform buttons. Some of the loot is stored in a World War II foot locker. And like any collector, Devlin dreams of special finds - in his case 26th Cavalry collar crests. There is one thing he won`t try to find: "I avoid enemy stuff. I avoid it like the plague."
(heraldnet.com)

Antiques appraisal: WWII Memorabilia: It takes research to find out the values   (Article no longer available from the original source)
For Bob Connelly, co-owner of Bob & Sallie Connelly, an antiques, auctions and appraisal business, work is nothing if not an chance to be a lifelong pupil: "Every day you learn something completely new." An auction in April will feature a collection of German militaria and World War II memorabilia. The collection (worth $100,000) includes swords, daggers, medals, holsters and other items worn by Nazi officers and WW2 military personnel. Appraising the collection was labor intensive: "It takes considerable research to come up with the values."
(pressconnects)

Book: Betcha didn`t know that - 101 Antiques and Collectibles trivia...
A book by Leon Castner and Brian Kathenes takes the stodgy out of the collecting and antiquing business, and puts in a pile of trivia. In spite of the fact that we all use the word "penny," the U.S. Mint has never minted a coin for which that is the official name. Much of the work and history of all the porcelain produced in Dresden and Meissen was ruined in an Allied WWII bombing raid. In a single night, most Dresden decorating studios and historical documents were demolished. The porcelain painting business never bounced back. The coat General George Armstrong Custer wore when he was killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn was sold for $104,655 in 2002.
(nj)

Collectors can find an Iron Cross medal, but watch out for fake relics   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Nazi militaria medal seemed so authentic it could fool a soldier of the Third Reich. But F. Patt Anthony, a vendor of military relics, looked at the Iron Cross medal and declared: "When you see this swiveling pin, always be suspicious. That`s just typical of ... what they make today." The traveling flea market has enough uniforms, canteens, compasses, watches, medals, helmets, bayonets and firearms to stock a military museum and outfit a unit to defend it. In the world of antiques, replicas and forgeries abound. Fellow sellers defer to Anthony as the high authority of military memorabilia, and collectors often pass his table to ask if they`ve been bamboozled.
(newsobserver)

WWII memories in collectibles: Panzer uniform from the Battle of Kursk   (Article no longer available from the original source)
When Dan Crews was 15, he swapped $20 worth of baseball cards for a World War II uniform. It was a German Panzer uniform (worth $1200) worn at the Battle of Kursk, a major German offensive on the Eastern front. He bought his first WWII collectible, a German eagle patch worn on a soldier’s uniform, for $2 when he was 12. Crews now has a collection of 400 pieces of memorabilia; it includes American and German combat uniforms, US Army “Ike” jackets and an M1 Garand rifle. For collectors of WWII memorabilia the war has never really ended: they scour auctions and flea markets to find posters, badges, uniforms, helmets... or a Luftwaffe general’s dagger - for $9,995.
(nytimes)

Militaria collector: Some people collect coins, I collect tanks   (Article no longer available from the original source)
William Warren has always loved military memorabilia, he remembers his uncle giving him his first souvenir: "He gave me an old German helmet." His collection of military items has grown since then. Warren has uniforms, patches, miniature dolls, war posters, ration cards, several military vehicles he’s restored, ranging from a paratrooper bicycle to an M-43 ambulance. "I’ve always been an avid history buff. Guns, uniforms, everything has a story." Warren’s collection of military items is so extensive and his knowledge of military history is so exhaustive that he’s even been asked to help out on a few movies, like on "Saving Private Ryan."
(hickoryrecord)

The National Soldier Factory - Military surplus and Army-Navy store   (Article no longer available from the original source)
National Soldier Factory owner Karl Anderson spends many of his days surrounded by flak vests, steel helmets, bayonets and fatigues. As many military surplus and Army-Navy stores fade away like old soldiers, he forges ahead, surrounded by artifacts reaching far back into military history. His customers are re-enactors, collectors, paint-ball enthusiasts. One man sifted through Army field manuals about booby traps and guerilla warfare. Two students sifted through old uniforms. Anderson likes to keep military gear "nonpartisan" - keeping the Nazi stuff to a minimum. His family owns an American flag that flew over Pearl Harbor during the WWII attack there.
(eveningsun)

World War II Collector: Adolf Hitler Photo Marks World War`s Start
A bunch of sour-faced men in suits in a black and white photo by Heinrich Hoffmann are standing around another who is gesturing excitedly. It`s an unremarkable snapshot but for Darrell K. English it`s the smoking gun. Why? Because the man who`s gesturing is Adolf Hitler. Among men are rarely photographed Gestapo head Heinrich Mueller, SS leader Walter Schellenberg and Martin Bormann. English says the photograph was taken Aug. 22, 1939 - 10 days before the invasion of Poland. It`s the day World War II began in Europe, the day that Hitler called his commanders to the Berghof, to tell them that months of German mobilizing were about to unleashed.
(iberkshires)

Bomb alert after war memorabilia collector posts 4 WWII Grenades   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An Ebay militaria collector sparked a bomb alert by sending WW2 grenades through the post. Royal Mail Screening staff spotted the grenades and called in Army bomb disposal experts. The devices were examined, turning out to be duds. The Royal Mail: "Items giving the appearance of a prohibited weapon, even if incapable of being used as a weapon, will be intercepted and may be destroyed." An eBay spokeswoman said: "Grenades may not be listed... However, such items will be permitted if they are a relic, curio, memorabilia, or display item that is filled with a permanent inert substance or ... altered in a manner that prevents ready modification for use as a grenade."
(dailyrecord)

Sword collector keeping skills sharp - restores blades, owns hundreds   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Sword restorer Harunaka Hoshino slides his finger along a blade wielded by a Samurai centuries ago. He angles the blade at 45 degrees and rubs it along a wet block of stone. "Oh, it`s getting sharp. It can shred the paper. This is ready to go to war." Within the first 2 years as a sword collector, he has amassed 11 swords. He`s amazed that many of them can be traced to their swordsmith: "There are certain swordmakers who had a style." During World War II, his family was interned and ordered to turn over their swords. The swords were then destroyed and thrown into an outhouse. "Out of respect to the sword, I had it restored so it wouldn`t deteriorate further."
(insidebayarea)

Militaria Collector in Europe returns with a Bag back from Battle of Bulge
Henry J. Roth cheated fate in 1944 when swollen feet earned him a seat on a train to an English hospital, weeks before his Army division was pounded by advancing Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. 63 years later, a faded relic from his foxhole arrived at his home. It didn`t take long for Roth to recognize the bag: It had once contained some of his Army gear and a picture of his wife. He had left it with the other members of the 395th Regiment of the 99th Infantry Division in a foxhole. He would never have seen the bag again were it not for Pierre Godeau, a WWII militaria collector who has returned nearly two dozen items to American veterans.
(baltimoresun)

40 years building a unique collection of military memorabilia
Gary Hullfish has spent the last 40 years building a unique militaria collection, but the Stolen Valor Act is causing him to rethink. He has being collecting military medals since he was about 12yo. The first medal he bought was a Bronze Star Medal in its original box for $8. "I still have it. I don`t part with much." Laid out are various medal groups, swords and other items, all with a story. On one wall is the framed Purple Heart of Harold F. Trapp, a U.S. Navy man who was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor onboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Like many militaria medal collectors, he has focused on obtaining the military medals of local war heroes.
(zwire)

Collectors of American Military Medals Hear "Death Knell"
The Stolen Valor Act placed penalties on those who falsely claim to have risked their lives in the military and to have been awarded medals. After the bill was introduced some looked at the language spelling out how the law would accomplish its purpose. They were horrified: A literal reading would ban all sales of military medals. It outlawed the wearing of medals by those not authorized to do so, and the buying and selling by everyone except the original recipient of all medals and badges. "The law sounded pretty much a death knell for collectors of military medals," said Darrell English, who has a over 10,000 piece collection of World War II memorabilia.
(maineantiquedigest)

WWII films could fire up the market for German militaria
The last time military collectors really got jazzed about old medals, helmets, and bomber jackets from World War II was a dozen years ago. Some even bought Sherman tanks and vintage planes. Now, two new films seem likely to stir up WWII fever again. Flag of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood`s epic on the battle of Iwo Jima and a 7-part Ken Burns documentary. You can build a collection on any amount: At the high end are collectors such as Rendell, Paul Allen and Jacques Littlefield, who has 225 tanks and other military vehicles. At the other end, posters, postcards, and magazines can be had for a few dollars. Bayonets, helmets, and tunics start at $50.
(bw)

Military collector first-class -- Helter`s Military Relics
It`s a hidden treasure for collectors of military memorabilia. Or maybe just those with a History Channel obsession. Half-emporium and half-Smithsonian, Homer Helter`s Military Relics Store is a maze of authentic items from America`s greatest conflicts — the Civil War, World War I and the mother of all wars, World War II. Items range from $30 pins worn by German enlisted men to a full SS general`s uniform valued at close to $50,000. A Nazi medal sits on display at Homer Helter`s Military Relics Store. Several of the glass cases in Helter`s store are connected to members of the Third Reich.
(naplesnews)

Poland producing replica nazi uniforms and Third Reich flags
Berlin presses Poland to close production of replica uniforms, weapons, flags and symbols of the Third Reich. There is a certain irony that Poland is the centre of a thriving post-Nazi industry. Bans don`t stop the stuff being manufactured and pouring across the border from one country to another. One factory near Poznan makes swastika flags, swastika-bearing steel helmets, SS runes and the most popular item of all: copies of the standard-issue shirt worn by Wehrmacht soldiers in World War II.
(theage)

WWII collection of War memorabilia pays respect to vets   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Phil Mullins who collects WW2 militaria, thinks younger generations stand to learn a lot from the men who defended our country during World War II. He shows his respect by preserving as many artifacts and stories from the WW II era as possible. Mullins, 45, has spent more than $50,000 collecting memorabilia, including 4,000 books, 400 original propaganda posters, medals, flags and letters. Mullins` most prized artifact is a piece of roofing tile from a building destroyed in Hiroshima.
(www.)

Nazi memorabilia vendors and collectors face hard times in Russia
The Russian authorities are cracking down on manufacturers and vendors of German militaria. A new law provides for imposing of more severe fines and confiscation of goods. In particular, individuals involved in illegal manufacturing and sale of the above items will be punished by a fine. The recent stringent regulations seem to have impacted on the Moscow flea markets. You can not find any Nazi insignia in stalls. "Here’s an antipersonnel hand grenade and here’s a helmet of a slain kraut, it’s shrapnel-pierced, I’m selling the stuff at a discount!" calls out Sasha, a collector, at the Izmailovo flea market.
(pravda)

The Nazis: A lucrative industry of Nazi militaria and memorabilia
The trade in German WW2 militaria is an international, multi-million dollar business involving dealers and collectors from countries across the world. Although 3 European countries (France, Germany and Austria) have banned the sale or display of such material, the appetite for it remains as strong as it has ever been. One U.S.-based site is offering a full Nazi camp Jewish prisoner`s uniform, at $1,275. While site based in UK, has a catalogue containing a Nazi battle flag ($333) and a Knight`s Cross of the Iron Cross ($5,449). Prices for truly rare collectable items - an SS Honour dagger - can sell for tens, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars.
(cnn)

Nazi militaria and relics: repugnant or historic?   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Nazi memorabilia are becoming more accessible because World War II veterans and others who lived in the era are dying, leaving the artifacts behind, experts said. The market is so lucrative, counterfeiters are forging copies. From secret police squad helmets to Hitler Youth daggers, the market for such German WWII militaria is in high demand. Restrictions on how much of it can be sold overseas and via online auction house eBay mean sellers must rely on traditional swap meets and curio shops.
(PE)


See also:
Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy
Relic Hunters
Relics of nazi leaders
Nazi Memorabilia
SS Daggers.