(That's if it really was his...)
The watch sold: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62355010
While I totally agree with you about the whip, it must be acceptable to have an interest in some German items. For example I recently bought a photo album of the Berlin Olympics that has photos of all participating countries and athletes but also a strong focus on Hitler and the third Reich because they host it. I also have some cigarette card albums from the 30’s. I was curious to see the German nations fascination with Hitler - apparently every household were given these and they collected photos of him like we collected pagini football stickers in the 80’s. So I have these as part of learning about the culture and understanding how the population felt in the period before WW2. I’m
Sure some would still find this unacceptable.
And, but I stand to be corrected, I always thought Hitler was a teetotaller but if I'm wrong you can buy his numbered and initialled beer glass for about ten grand if you're quick.
As far as I know Hitler didn't wear a wristwatch although I believe he did have a pocket watch. Has anyone seen a photo of him wearing a wrist watch? If he ever did, it would probably have been something rather unostentatious I would have thought.
My father brought home 2 artefacts from his 6 year service in WWII, a tiny pistol, with mother-of-pearl inlay & a Nazi dagger - complete with silver braiding etc. They were traded for cigarettes with a Whermacht officer somewhere in Austria where father was on POW escort duty in 1945.
On board ship, within site of the English coast, the pistol went overboard, father knowing he wouldn't be allowed to land if it was found in his possession. The dagger I still have. In a box. In a cupboard. It has been exhibited on short loan in a Museum, when I was working on a Sussex wartime history project. It has also been used as a teaching aid to second year undergrads to whom I was trying to explain "material culture".
I'm comfortable using it for these purposes. For my father it represented something unique...something tangible to illustrate the triumph of the Allies over the Nazi tyranny.
But, honesty, I don't know what to do with it now. It represents a time past & I fear that in selling it, it might fall into the hands of a person, or group of people, who want it for all the wrong reasons.
Yet I don't think, when I rock up in the elderly person's residence in a few years, they will welcome me bringing a dagger...let alone one with such a history.
Meanwhile here it rests, a relic with a haunted past.
Cuh-reeeeeepy. There is a big difference between fascination with Nazis and association with them. The process of Nazification of a modern society is endlessly fascinating and multi-faceted. There is nothing inherently morally dubious about investigating or trying to understand what made Nazism tick (sorry) or preserving the legacy as cautionary tale. Association, wanting to show or create a connection with nazism is inexcusable.
I always love the “are you Jewish?”, and the underlying assumption that no one else could or does care.
What would a museum want with it either tho? It adds nothing to history or the understanding of the period.
Hi Walt. When I was in my mid teens, studying for exams at school, I became somewhat "fascinated" by the Nazis as I could not understand how it was possible for a country to surrender itself to such an evil ideology, to commit such attrocities as they did. I didn't admire but wanted to know "Why?". So, loads of reading of books about the party, the SS, the Holocaust, and seminars at the University of Glasgow for 6th year students studying history. My Mother was a touch concerned, but given that I was also a leading light in my local Labour Party and Socialist youth groups (and active in the Anti-Nazi League), didn't think I was in danger of indoctrination. Neither did my teachers. But these items are desperately inappropriate for private ownership, and private individuals wanting to own them deeply suspect. What would you do with the watch? Wear it on special occasions? I'm off to the local golf club Burns Supper. I'd better wear my good watch. No, there are Hitler lovers out there who will achieve all sorts of thrills from his, or any other Nazi's personal belongings. Museum ownership? Yes. Morbid monster loving millionaire ownership? No. Hope you are well and coping with the heat. Cheers, Wil.
I don’t think ownership of this watch would add one iota to the sum of our knowledge of Hitler, the Third Reich, or the NAZIs. Other than a museum who would want such a thing. Perhaps Waitman Beorn’s Wehraboos.
The fact that the movement maker have no records of it straight away sets alarm bells ringing. They would have no reason not to confirm that the movement was supplied to an “unknown buyer”. I’m also just not sure that LeColture would not have had a record of EVERY movement the sold to every watchmaker, if they did indeed did do this as the “bumph” says. Watchmakers are notoriously protective of their movements.
Stinks to me and I call fake.... I love watches, I collect them. This however is just one that even if genuine I would pass on. I see no fit place in society for it, except as a money making exercise to relieve some Natzifetishest of a million bucks.
Good article Guy. I have masses of WW2 items in my collection and have been to fairs and sales for years. I remember wandering around the old Beltring and seeing concentration camp pyjamas for sale, gas chamber crematoria stretchers, items purportedly made of human skin etc. It was vile and I complained to the organisers who shrugged it off. I walked into the RAMC museum at Keogh and the desk that the visitors book sat on was a concentration camp commandant's desk - I recoiled. Now I may be woke or timid and shying away from history but these things ARE important and should NOT be airbrushed or invisible - but for anyone to make a profit (killing) from them now is criminal in my view. They should be in museums along with the mountains of dentures, spectacles and shoes that once belonged to children and adults who wanted to live, who had hopes and didn't deserve to die in the terrible anguish filled hours or minutes it took them to die. If I had the money I'd buy that watch - and grind it under the heel of my boot. We don't need personal ephemera of him to remember - or learn - his watch is just a goulish artefact that the buyer will pleasure themselves to no doubt. Sorry, but this boils my proverbial.
You can make this watch suitable for polite society given it has a reversible face, which reveals the Hans of time