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Militaria: Replicas, Reproductions

Fake Militaria -- World War II and German replicas and reproductions.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy, SS Daggers, Nazi Helmets, Memorabilia, Militaria.

Stern`s forged Hitler diaries to be placed in state archives and to go public
Thirty years after publishing what it believed were Hitler`s diaries, German news magazine Stern said it would hand over what it still owns of the forgeries to the country`s state archive, making them accessible to the public.
(thelocal.de)

Counterfeit bank notes, from the £134million cache Hitler hoped would ruin the British economy, to be auctioned off
A rare set of fake bank notes the Nazis printed in a bid to ruin the British economy are expected to fetch £2,000 at auction. Hitler hoped the £134million of counterfeit notes produced in Operation Bernhard would force a huge hike in inflation and spark a cash crisis if introduced to wartime Britain. Four bank notes (£5, £10, £20 and £50) recovered from Lake Toplitz in Austria - where project`s resource were dumped at the end of the war - will go under the hammer at Mullock`s auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse, Shropshire on August 18.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Man arrested for selling memorabilia bearing fake signatures of Winston Churchill
If you have purchased anything with the signature of Winston Churchill during the last couple of years you probably should read this story.

The British Metropolitan Police Service`s Art and Antiques Unit has arrested a man in Hampshire who has been offering for sale - either directly or on eBay - a number of books and memorabilia purportedly signed by Churchill himself.

(bbc.co.uk)

Top 10 hoaxes of all time - Adolf Hitler`s diary, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Hitler`s diary: On April 22, 1983 the German magazine Der Stern made the greatest Nazi memorabilia find of all time: a diary kept by Adolf Hitler. The magazine had paid $6 million for the 60 small books and two "special issues" about Rudolf Hess` flight to the UK. However, the Hitler Diaries were soon revealed as fakes by Konrad Kujau. --- The Jewish master plan to dominate the World: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a plan to achieve global domination. First published in 1903 in the Russian Empire, countless studies have showed that the document is a hoax. --- The Surgeon`s Photo of the Loch Ness Monster. In 1994 Christian Spurling revealed the scheme...
(theboltonnews.co.uk)

How Dutch forger Han van Meegeren fooled Goering, experts with inept Vermeers
Dutch painter Han van Meegeren skipped the starving artist act, making $3 million worth of sales in the 1930s and 1940s in spite of the fact that he was a no-talent fop. Still, van Meegeren won over museum curators, art historians, collectors and the No. 2 Nazi Hermann Goering. He did this with work he passed off as the work of 17th-century painter Johannes Vermeer, a hoax revealed in "The Forger`s Spell" by Edward Dolnick, who takes the reader on a tour of the forger`s studio. Van Meegeren bought an oven "large enough to swallow up a painting" and began baking canvases, attempting to make an aged surface.
(bloomberg.com)

`Hitler Diaries` discoverer Gerd Heinemann living on welfare
25 years ago Gerd Heinemann amazed the world by claiming he had discovered Adolf Hitler`s diaries. Within two weeks, his career was in ruined after it emerged they had been forged by antique dealer Konrad Kujau. He never recovered from the scandal. It would have been the biggest scoop of 20th century - if only it had been true. In April 1983 Gerd Heidemann, smiling triumphantly, declared that he had found Adolf Hitler`s diaries. For a few weeks he lived every reporter`s dream. But the 60 volumes he had purchased for $5 million, on behalf of Stern magazine, turned out to be forgeries.
(spiegel)

Hitler Diaries - A fake set became one of the most costly forgeries
On April 22, 1983 the Stern magazine declared "the most important historical event of the last ten years." It had came upon the personal diary of Adolf Hitler: a multi-volume work covering the years 1932-1945. Agencies bid for the right to serialize the diary. Journalists, historians, and WWII buffs anticipated what disclosures it would contain. Skeptics insisted it had to be a fake - and 2 weeks after Stern‘s declaration, forensics experts denounced the diaries as a crude forgery, by Konrad Kujau. The debunking of the Hitler diaries turned out just as sensational as their discovery: Careers were ruined, and people went to prison. Stern lost as much as 19M marks.
(museumofhoaxes)

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)

The Führer`s Counterfeiters - Operation Bernhard, Lake Toplitz
Of all operations in Third Reich this was the most audacious: forging £135 million and parachuting the notes into UK. What else could explain the arrival of the SS men from a burning Berlin to a village beside Lake Toplitz on May 5, 1945? Locals spoke of Nazi troops sitting on boxes, which were sunk in the water. On August 3, 1959 Wolfgang Löhde`s hired frogmen to find them. He reflected on the emblems of the previous convoy that had come here in May 1945: swastikas and SS double-lightning stripes. Everyone knew Toplitz was a keeper of Nazi confidences as its remoteness made it a testing ground for wonder-weapons like V2 gyroscopes, torpedoes, rockets...
(dailymail.co.uk)

Diaries by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini are fakes?   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Newly discovered diaries written by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the run up to World War II are fakes, says magazine L`Espresso. It was offered the diaries in Nov 2004 but turned them down because they were bogus. "Wrong names, grammatical errors, chronological discrepancies, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. There are good reasons to doubt that the author of these five was Benito Mussolini," said historian Emilio Gentile, who verified the diaries. Senator Marcello Dell`Utri stood by his assertion that the books were real. When published they would show the human face of the man who took Italy into an alliance with Adolf Hitler, he said.
(int)

Nazi counterfeiting forged 12% of all pound-sterlings in existence
Adolf Burger held up one of the British 5-pound notes he helped forge for the Germans. He was recruited by an SS officer Bernhard Kruger to the top-secret Operation Bernhard - one of the biggest attempts at financial sabotage in history. The Nazis forced 140 prisoners to forge so much British currency that by 1945, 12% of all pound-sterling bills were fake. In early 1945, SS switched their attention to dollars. Captain Kruger gave Smolianoff, Burger and two others the task of figuring out how to copy $100 bills. A filmmaker has made a new movie (to be released in March) about the operation called "The Forger," based partly on Burger`s memoir.
(post-gazette)

A Bull Market in Phony Naziana: Third Reich memorabilia forgeries
Since the last days of Hitler phony Hitleriana have flooded the market for Nazi memorabilia. Gerd Heidemann`s Hitler diaries have proved to be the most audacious of all the Third Reich forgeries so far, but other major scams have often bemused or confounded the experts. The first large-scale forgery surfaced in 1947: a diary allegedly kept by Eva Braun during her affair with Hitler. Common are forged Hitler inscriptions in books, usually Mein Kampf. Careless forgers occasionally fail to research the relationship between Hitler and the alleged recipients of the books, thus committing detectable errors.
(time)

History or hoax: WWII message of Germany`s surrender 1945   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Nazi Germany was done. Bombs had devastated its cities, and the revenge-minded Russian infantry was heading into Berlin. It was spring 1945. But how did Harry Truman and other American leaders learn of Germany`s surrender? Chuck Loesch summons images to convince skeptics that he is in possession of the first official declaration of Germany`s submission. He`s selling it on eBay for $100,000. Or trying to. First auction expired without anyone offering his price. He said he planned to try again soon. His first chore is to make believers out of potential bidders, and some historians are making that difficult.
(redorbit.com)

The Hoax That refuses to die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
For more than a century "The Protocols", forged from an 1864 polemic by Maurice Joly and first published in Russia in 1905, has made its way into many languages, selling untold numbers of copies. Said to be the minutes of a secret council of Jews, discussing their plot for world domination, portraying them as demonic schemers. Henry Ford was captivated by the idea of Jewish financiers plotting to undermine the US; he became a proselytizer for "The Protocols" in his newspaper. Hitler, an admirer of Ford, was introduced to "The Protocols" by the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, and cited it in "Mein Kampf."
(249)

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)

Nazis` fake British currency found in lake Toplitz   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Russian troops were fast approaching Berlin in April 1945 when a Nazi convoy slipped out of the German capital and headed south. The dozen trucks rumbled all day and night with a cargo of gold, counterfeit money and secret government documents. Their destination: this lake in the nearly impenetrable mountains across the border in Austria. The crates were placed aboard rowboats and carried out to the center of this small but deep Alpine lake, where they were dumped overboard. The Nazi secrets were safe. the search recovered provided evidence of a Nazi operation to counterfeit British pounds.
(usatoday)

A faked passport for Adolf Hitler by British intelligence officers
A faked passport for Adolf Hitler made during the second world war by British intelligence officers was made public for the first time. Forgery was an SOE speciality. It claimed successfully to have compromised Nazi general Franz Halder by attributing anti-Hitler sentiments to him in false papers. Forged postage stamps bearing the likeness of Heinrich Himmler were reportedly dropped on Germany in 1943. The faked Hitler passport was doctored to make him Jewish, carrying an entry visa for Palestine.
(guardian)


See also:
Selling Nazi Militaria: Controversy
SS Daggers
Nazi Helmets
Memorabilia, Militaria.