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908411

Heinrich Himmler

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Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, 1900-1945.  Nazi Reichsführer-SS; Chief of the German Police; Minister of Interior, 1943-1945.  Typed Document Signed, H Himmler, one page, 8¾” x 11¾”, Berlin, May 4, 1940.  In German. 

This is an excellent association document in which Himmler promotes one of his favorites, Hermann Fegelein.  Fegelein became a highly-decorated officer, married the sister of Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun, and then, within a year of the marriage, was executed by an SS squadron for desertion as the Soviet army closed in on Hitler’s Berlin bunker.

Fegelein’s own autograph material is rare enough, but this is one of only three of Fegelein’s personal service documents of which we are aware.  We recently sold a second one, a 1944 document signed by Hitler promoting Fegelein to the dual ranks of SS-Gruppenführer and Waffen-SS Generalleutnant, the equivalent of a lieutenant general an earlier promotion in March 1940.  Click here to see that document.  The third, Hitler’s award to Fegelein of the oak leaves to the Knight’s Cross, is illustrated in Volume I of Charles Hamilton’s classic work Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich.

Here, early in World War II, Himmler promotes Fegelein to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer, or lieutenant colonel, in the Waffen-SS.  The Waffen-SS was the fighting component of the Nazi Protective Squadron, the Schutzstaffel or SS, and its members fought alongside soldiers of the regular army but remained under Himmler’s control.  But because Fegelein was already an SS-Standartenführer, or colonel, in the SS, Himmler authorizes him to continue to wear the “service designation of an SS colonel of the Waffen-SS” and the “appropriate badges of rank.”  This illustrates the sometime differences between the two components of the SS.

This document is on the printed stationery of the Reichsführer-SS with a blind-embossed seal at the upper left.  Himmler has signed it in black fountain pen with a bold 3” signature.  His stamped Nazi party seal crosses his first initial of his signature and barely touches the  first letter of his last name. 

The piece has horizontal and vertical folds, one of which unobtrusively goes through the signature.  There are a few pinholes in the vertical fold, which affect one letter of the typewritten text; minor paper loss at the edges of one horizontal fold; stains and typical file holes in the left margin; and remnants from prior framing on the back.  There is also a small pencil initial in the lower left corner that appears to be an “F,” as aspects consistent with Fegeleins handwriting, and thus could be Fegelein’s own docket notation.  The piece is in very good to fine condition overall.

We reject Nazism and all that it represented.  We nevertheless offer this piece because of its rarity and because Nazism, although despised, played a large and undeniable role in the history of the 20th Century.

Unframed.

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