This is a communication from a reader. I have redacted his name to protect him from vengeful and deluded collectors and exposed dealers”
“Dear Mr. Royster:
I read your site regularly and have learned a great deal from it. It has kept me from buying some of the many fakes that the dealers, and auction houses, are offering to collectors.
I have a question for you and would appreciate your answer.
Someone has offered me a German Cross in Gold with diamonds. It has the name ‘Rath’ engraved in flowing script on the back of the fastening pin. The story is that this came from the Schloss Klessheim vault and that a U.S. Army Combat Engineer Battalion found this, and other rare pieces.
I know there was, and is, a Schloss Klessheim but is this story true?”
No, sir, it is a fiction. The Deutsche Kreuz in Gold mit Brillianten was a contemplated medal, but never instituted.
Rath was a Munich jeweler who made decorations, like the Blood Order, for the NSDAP. A prototype of this projected decoration was indeed made and the sample found by a U.S. Army unit but this, and three other medals, went to the U.S. Army museum at West Point.
The Combat Engineer Battalion mentioned by several dealers, never existed during the Second World War and the flood of rare medals alleged to have been “discovered and looted” by them is an invention.
Lies always have short legs and the con men never are intelligent enough to do proper research and always get caught out.
Also to note, the Berlin decorations firm of C.E. Juncker made the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. Kleitmann, a thoroughly dishonest “expert,” claimed that Junckers had made ten copies so that he and his friends could sell them to trusting suckers.
There were only two Grand Crosses made by C.E. Juncker and both went to Goering. One example of a post-war copy was allegedly found in Goering house on the Obersalzburg by a U.S. soldier but the inventor of this story did not know that Goering’s house had been bombed flat during an American Air Corps bombing raid and the house reduced to rubble.
More lies with short legs.
I hope I have not ruined your day for you and do not buy any “Hitler Ehrenburger” certificates. All the originals of these were burnt by the SS units stationed by the Berghof and there are pictures of the charred remains in a period LIFE magazine.
A German artist made a bit of money producing these after the war. He sold them to dealers and collectors for DM 100,- which was about $25 dollars at the time.
This kept him in beer money.