What did the soldiers who found truckloads of champagne do? Are the Nazi wine discoveries real collectibles or are they fake?
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Two Polish treasure seekers find rare wine in Nazi bunker
Two Polish treasure hunters have unearthed two bottles of wine hidden by the Nazis more than 70 years ago. The two, who prefer not to be named, were exploring a network of Third Reich of tunnels near Swinoujscie, a city in Poland when they found a narrow corridor which dodn't appear to have been explored before. Inside, they found a helmet, some uniform buttons and a wooden box of ammunition - which also tuned out to hold two bottles of 1930s Bordeaux wine. The red 1938 Chateaux Grand Barrail Lamarzelle and white 1939 Chateau Latour-Matillac were intact, although the label of one was decayed. It's not known whether the wine will be drinkable - although the low temeratures in the bunker may have made it a wine cellar.
Simon Wiesenthal Center has called for a global boycott of the Hitler wine produced by Vini Lunardelli
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called for a global boycott of the "Hitler wine" produced by Vini Lunardelli. The centre has been protesting against the "Führerwein" since its release in 1995. The wine is part of a "Historical Series" of wine that includes labels of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
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Wine bottles featuring Hitler on the label called offensive after complaints from US tourists in Garda, Italy
Michael Hirsch, a lawyer from Philadelphia touring Italy, complained to local media after he found a supermarket near his hotel was stocking wine bottles with Hitler in various poses. "It is very shocking and startling to us. We would think of it as neo-Nazism It makes you wonder about the sympathies of the local people." One bottle features Hitler with his arm raised in the Nazi, another is labelled 'Mein Kampf" and another was labelled "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer" (one people, one empire, one Fuhrer).
You can sell Hitler schnapps: Austrian police abandon probe into sale of alcohol with Hitler's face on bottle
A man has been allowed to carry on selling schnapps with Hitler's face after officials ruled it wasn't breaking the law. A legal probe was launched after complaints that an Austrian website was offering alcohol for sale adorned with portraits of the Nazi leader and swastikas. The site offered sales of spirits in "nostalgic bottles of former historical greats." However, state prosecution official Heinz Rusch said the investigation ended because of a lack of proof that it was intended to glorify the National Socialist era. He said the 48-year-old, known as Roland M, was motivated by profit and not by ideology.
WW2 veteran recalls D-Day missions, PoW camp and drunk Russian soldiers
As an aerial photographer Doug Reich covered D-Day beaches, Nazi rocket sites and Pegasus bridge in Normandy to see if it could carry Allied tanks. On June 15, 1944: "I saw a ferry on the bank. I blasted it with my four 20mm cannons... I turned back over the river doing well over 300mph. And that is the last thing I remember. I regained consciousness in a French cottage 8-10 hours later." He was picked up by a French boat crew and handed over to the Germans. Stalag Luft I camp was freed by the Red Army in May, 1945. "A Russian Colonel ... decided we needed some fresh meat. So he sent a very drunk soldier who drove a herd of cows through our gate. It was very funny."
D-Day paratrooper Thomas Blakey tells stories of wine, women as well as war
Volunteer museum guide Thomas Blakey also shared some humor with those who toured the National World War II Museum. He and other soldiers in the 505th Regimental Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division parachuted near the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, behind Nazi lines, to seize a bridge over the Merderet River and hold it against any German tanks. Paratrooper's gear - a pack with 5 days' worth of food, a rifle, 288 bullets and a small canteen - weighed 135 pounds. No surprise that they finished their canteens quickly. And they refilled them with France's world-famous wine: "Pretty quickly, we figured out their wine weighed the same as our water."
The Nuremberg trials team drank champagne, dined on veal and danced until the small hours
By day they led the Nuremberg courtroom, overseeing duels with the architects of the Third Reich and founders of the gas chamber. But by night they drank champagne, dined on veal and danced until the early hours of the morning - while Germans struggled on meagre rations. The Nuremberg trials have been shown in a new light by a cache of documents - now for sale. The invitations and photos of secretary Kathleen Kentish reveal how staff lived lavishly, as she attended cocktail parties at the private residence of the Russian prosecutor and enjoyed a buffet supper and dancing with the American team.
Wine labels with Adolf Hitler's image seized in Italy
Italy: A prosecutor in Bolzano seized wine bottle labels bearing a portrait of Adolf Hitler and other Nazis from a winery near the Austrian border. The 20 labels from the "Der Fuehrer" line show Hitler raising the Nazi salute and his generals, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and the head of the Gestapo Heinrich Himmler. The labels are imprinted with the mottoes "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer" and "Sieg heil". The Lunardelli company said it had sold 20,000 bottles featuring the Hitler labels per year. It also sold wine with images of Mussolini, which were not seized.
Hitler's champagne from the ruins of Reich Chancellery sold for £1,688
A bottle of champagne reputed to have come from Adolf Hitler's personal wine cellar fetched nearly £2,000 at auction. The bottle of 1937 Moet and Chandon was apparently taken by an allied soldier from the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin after the Nazis were defeated in May 1945. The British soldier returned with the souvenir to the UK and kept it with him until it was handed over to a solicitor as a thank you gift. The bottle was expected to fetch £500 but interest from bidders across Europe pushed up the cost. In the end, the bottle was snapped up by a Swedish buyer for £1,688.
Bottle of champagne taken from Adolf Hitler's cellar to be auctioned
A bottle of 1937 Moet and Chandon champagne believed to have been taken from dictator Adolf Hitler's wine cellar by an allied soldier is to go under the hammer. It is believed to be from Hitler`s personal stock and was handed over to Nigel Wilson as a thank you gift. "He had it given to him by a soldier who, as far as we can work out, retrieved it from the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin after the Nazis were defeated in May 1945. They made their way in to the Chancellery, the Russians had been there first, there was a lot of looting and the soldier and members of his unit took themselves a little souvenir."
Wine and War - French winemakers during Nazi occupation
War was never more strongly present than during World War II in France. Wine and War by Don and Petie Kladstrup tells this story: As France surrendered, as occupation by the Germans became inevitable, French winemakers hurried to save their their acclaimed wines. The Kladstrups interviewed surviving winegrowers to learn how they survived the occupation, how they hid Jewish and other hunted refugees and partisans, and how they hid their wines. Into this mix went traitors as well—vignerons who for their own reasons valued their vineyards above the lives of friends and sometimes their own families.
10th Mountain Division drank 30 truckloads of vintage champagne (Article no longer available from the original source)
Bill Weiss remembers vintage French champagne liberated by 10th Mountain Division near Lake Garda in Italy at the end of World War II. "I think that it was all 1862 vintage and our division drank all 30 truckloads." Weiss was a mule packer and truck driver for the artillery. In his new Army mission, Weiss and 8 other soldiers were assigned to 125 mules. "We were Headquarters Company, service battery, for the 605th Field Artillery Battalion of the 10th Mountain Infantry Division. We carried the guns, the food and the ammunition. I think I rode my mule, Tom, nearly 8,000 miles. Mules live 25-30 years and one of our mules had served in WWI."
A rare bottle of Nazi wine fetches £3,995 - Nazi wartime memorabilia (Article no longer available from the original source)
A rare bottle of Nazi wine with a portrait of Adolf Hitler on the label has been sold for £3,995. The bottle was from a collection to have been given to Hitler's officers during World War II. The Führerwein dates back to 1943 and has a picture of the dictator on the label dressed in a suit. The lot, which attracted global interest, was expected to fetch £500. The bid came from an unnamed collector. "It is the sort of thing which should appeal to collectors of Nazi wartime memorabilia. We understand that these bottles were given out to Hitler's top-ranking officers on his birthday."
Sharing a Bottle With General George S. Patton
One day Sgt. Marvin Cook and his men find a crock of wine, and took the chance to taste it. "Damn good stuff. We were so happy to find it and pass it around that we didn't notice the jeep until it was too late. My heart fell plumb to my stomach when we saw the flag on that jeep. The flag of a General Officer named George S. Patton." -- Patton: "What the hell are you men doing? The goddam Germans are that way." -- Cook: "Sorry, General. We were just having a quick smoke and talking about going home, sir." -- Patton: "Home? Why you ignorant *** are going to get killed standing here gawking! What the hell is that *** hiding behind his back?"
The Nazi Death Machine - Hitler's Drugged Soldiers
The Nazis preached abstinence in the name of promoting national health. But when it came to fighting their Blitzkrieg, they had no qualms about pumping their soldiers full of drugs and alcohol. Speed was the drug of choice, but many others became addicted to morphine and alcohol. , a stimulant commonly known as speed today, was the German army's -- the Wehrmacht's -- wonder drug. On May 20, 1940, the 22-year-old soldier wrote to his family again: "Perhaps you could get me some more Pervitin so that I can have a backup supply?"