The Kassel show has come and gone and I have spent many hours there, wandering around with several gentlemen from an investigative agency, pointing the legion of fakes to them for a project they are working on.
It is truly amazing the enormous amount of fake and misrepresented items being shoved off on the gullible collectors both in Europe and the United States.
And I do not know what is the most entertaining; the almost total ignorance of most dealers or almost all of the collectors.
Aside from Hitler telephones, Himmler tapestries, Sepp Dietrich Honor Swords, “Feldherrnhalle daggers,” and almost every decoration that was issued during the course of the Third Reich (and a surprising number that are of recent invention) there are even fake tunic buttons and belt hooks!
And aside from the Bender books, almost all the “reference books” one sees are nothing but catalogs for fake camouflage helmets, rare invented SS cufftitles, and doctored Swedish army tunics that have been elevated to SS items.
The large shows are not as entertaining as the forums.
There we see concentrated ignorance rampant and the yapping and sniveling of grossly ignorant dim bulbs reminds one either of Congress in session or the monkey house at the zoo during feeding time.
The German militaria market, like BitCoin, went up and up, encouraged by crooked dealers and their shills but like all bubbles, it deflated and now the sales of fakes has begun to shrink to the point where it would make a good dinner for a wood rat.
That almost all of the dealers and most of the newer collectors hate me is entertaining in the extreme.
As Bismarck said,
“Many enemies, much honor.”
And a Happy New Year to all and sundry!