Ethics and Nazi stuff
WWII german stuff is widely collected – partly because its well designed / well made.
One of the ways the Nazi regime handicapped itself in the war was it spent too much time on design and development, they produced superior kits but spent too long doing it and didn’t make it fast enough. The UK approach was the reverse – guns made by toy manufacturers, real life-saving things like the Morrison Shelter was conceived, designed and engineered in 48 hours.
What mostly makes the stuff collectable is its rarity, as most of it wasn’t kept. Every victorious tommy would have kept his medals and service revolver, german soldiers would have been less keen to have momentos, so much of what survives is like the OP’s sword – captured by the good guys.
Its wise to be wary about nazi nutters if you are selling – I’ve had to research and buy real and replica nazi stuff for films, but in my experience I’ve found the collectors of real stuff to be just that – collectors, its the replica stuff that has sometimes turned out to be a bit dodgy in its provenance and in terms of who buys it
Wasn’t the SS uniform designed by Hugo Boss?
He claimed in his advertising that he manufactured german uniforms, but what was actually manufactured or designed by him isn’t clear. Pretty much any manufacturing business would have been part of the supply chain for the war effort whether they liked it or not. He was a supporter of the Nazis, but because of his vocal support he was stripped of the company after the war (and died soon after anyway), so other than in name the business as it is now is unconnected with him, its not an ongoing Boss family business. Unlike Rothmere and Sons ( Hurrah for the Blackshirts ) 🙂Posted 5 years agogusamcMember
In a vaguely similarish vein, a mate from Scotland whose parents were ‘persecuted out of Eastern Europe’ by the nazis (and we got the story many times), has been somewhat embarrased recently as after clearing out after his mums death he found all his deceased fathers stuff as well, the Iron Cross was worth quite a few quid…….Posted 5 years ago
Ironically the USSR also had death camps and Stalin killed many more than Hitler, but then again we were on his side so that makes it different.
Personally, I think the plethora of books covering the bitter conflict in Eastern Europe over the last 10-15 years should prompt some rebalancing of opinions, perhaps in generations to come. There clearly should be no diminution of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi regime, but increased recognition of the parts played by the other combatant countries is overdue, IMO. There I a lot of hypocrisy regarding WW2
The received wisdom of the last 50 years would require that an SS sword be regarded as beyond the pale – the embodiment of evil. But, as a ceremonial piece would it even have been used?
On the other hand, Japanese samurai swords have been highly collectible, right from the outset of US operations in the Pacific – with, most likely, a far higher chance that they were used for real…..Posted 5 years agohelsMember
Time for some seriousness in this thread, it s serious subject boys and girls.
1. In most countries, the sale of Nazi Memorabilia is, quite rightly, illegal.
2. Most family bits and pieces histories have been embroidered over the years, lost in translation, bigged up, what you have may be something quite different from what you think.
3. Provenance is EVERYTHING. No reputable museum will touch anything without some serious documentary evidence, especially in such a delicate area. For example, a picture of the German officer, who is easily identifiable as a particular individual, holding the sword, might get you a second interview.
Take a pic, email it with what you know about the sword to the Imperial War Museum, they may have a specialist, or can refer you to a reputable expert.Posted 5 years agoneninjaMember
I guess it’s saleability from an ethical perspective depends on whether it’s simply an infantry officers sword or something with much darker insignia or motifs.
There are loads of arms and armour fairs all over the country where you could take it to a few dealers.
From this website if it’s an SS sword it could be worth a fair bit (probably about 50% of those retail prices) but pretty distasteful.
If it was me I’d prefer to loan it to a museum I think.Posted 5 years agothe teaboyMember
This is all really interesting – thanks.
I’d love to know more about it but its provenance went with my Granddad – he cleared out all his war stuff before he died.
This link sent shivers down my spine:
ihaveabike – Member
It looks very very similar to lots of these, though it isn’t in perfect condition.
I’ll get some pics and do a bit of ‘fishing’Posted 5 years agoatlazMember
We have some originals which I think we’ll hang onto because they meant a lot to my grandfather. One is a MASSIVE uboat flag like the bottom one here and the other a Liebstandarde Adolf Hitler ceremonial bayonet and belt with the name of the soldier carved into the inside of the belt.
We talk periodically of sending them to a museum or selling them to a collector but they meant a lot to him so for now, they come out of the cupboard once in a blue moon to show to someone in the family or what have you.Posted 5 years ago
Brought up with sporting guns, learnt how to use and respect them. Same with knives – in terms of pocket knives, small sheath knives, machetes, even. Tool for a job – respect it, use it properly, be safe with it. My grandfather told me as a kid – always carry a knife, it will save your life some day (I don’t, btw…)
Combat knife – that’s a bit different, IMO. Singleminded in purpose, cold blooded.
Many years ago we found a very long, very old bayonet – hidden on a ledge inside an old chimney breast. IIRC we came to the conclusion that it was a WW1 bayonet for a Lee Enfield. Quite a chilling find. Don’t know what my parents did with it.
Bit like this, but with a nasty kink in the middle…Posted 5 years ago
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