Discussion in 'Medals, Insignia, Badges & Recalls' started by bronk7, May 5, 2013.
View attachment 18768
View attachment 18769
Do you have questions, or comments? Please give us more information.
sorry, yes,... My uncle was with the 179th Reg[Italy, France, Deutschland]...their final HQ was hitler's Munich apartment.....I'm very upset that I didn't get to talk to him about this stuff before he passed away......also, the 179th went through[treasure hunt] the nazi HQ in Munich....one of my questions,<>how many Knight's Crosses could be 'laying' around in Munich?
Post war there could be a great number since their previous owners could not wear them publicly and widows might be willing to part with them for any goods they might barter.
where would a US soldier get them in Munich?[or nearby]...so they probably kept them, but couldn't wear them publicly? ...ty for reply
There were over 7300 of them awarded, so it could be anyone's guess
Just as many as a soldier could take from a German POW.... The English usually let the Pows keep thier medals, the Americans didn't . It was their first source of getting first hand medals. Then others relcis were found after the battle , like flags hanging on poles or guns taken from slain Germans. Then last but not least , the German civilians traded war relics to souvenir hunters for cigarettes and chocolate.
Later in the 50s and 60s younger generations stationned in germany bought medals at antique shops and fairs. I know an antique dealer in France who sold almost every German militaria items he could get to Americans up to 1967 when they left.
This is how a tremendous amount of war souenirs crossed the ocean .
is it legal to keep these medals?
Yes, you can keep them as a collector. They are and are to be treated like historical collectables /relics.
all info much appreciated
I would just like to say you have some nice condition stuff here from your uncle. He had good taste. Like the armband and it is in nice shape! Would of been interesting to hear his stories....
As a WW2 medals collector I can say the following. After the war most widows and survivors kept their decorations. There were not many taken from POW's in the west. Most that were taken as souvenis were non-issued decorations or were, sorry to say this, taken from dead soldiers.
In the East, all decorations were taken from POW's by the Soviet authorities with the 'promise', they were to be given back when the POW's were to be released. These decorations were almost always marked with the name of the POW. In the end they were never returned to the POW's upon their release and found their way to Soviet museums and depots from which they nowadays (often illegal) are bing sold.
In 1957 in the West the veterans were allowed to wearh their decirations once again, provided the swastika was removed. Some veterans had the swastika being removed, others bought new ones without swastika. By the way not all 3Reich decorations were allowed again, only the ones that were not specified as Nazi decorations, such as NSDAP party ordered decorations. This is why you can see photo's of WW2 veterans that entered the post-war Bundeswehr, also wearing the WW2 Knights Cross and German Crosses in Gold and Silver.
Besides this, it is common knowledge that in every war, soldiers and civilians 'collect' memorabilia from the places they have been and the enemy's they fought with. Anybody can have their thoughts about this, but is it common and very human to do this. So obviously this also was done by US and British/Canadian military. This way not only much WW2 memorabilia ended up in the US, but also in the UK and in Canada. Also persons with a mind to the future started collecitng thinks they found on the battlefields and later used them for display (this is how the first WW2 musea emerged in Europe) but also to earn money after the war by selling these.
Also we should not forget that many WW2 items were never used in WW2 but came from depots that were found after the war (the depots from the axis) of later came from the huge allied depots that were erected with the thought WW2 could be lasting up till 1946 or 1947. Also many of these items were used in post-war era to provide to the post-war armies of the liberated countries. For instance, vast amounts of German depot helmets from WW2 in Eastern EUrope countries were in post-war used to equip firefighters etc.
I hope someone might be able to help me, I won an bid on an auction little while ago, It had a leave pass from 7th Army,WWII Victory medal,Army GC, and a Knights Cross w/o neck ribbon stamped "800" on back of Cross, and the suspension, I have another one but isn't marked tried to but just know where out of numerous places to start researching, anyone got some hints besides the obvious search engines (books,etc.). Would appreciate any help!!!
800 is the silver content of the Knight's Cross. As to tell whether it is real or fake, detailed photos are a must. Far too many fakes and reproductions are out on the market.