I inherited my collection of WW2 memorabilia about 5 years ago (some items earlier) from my grandfather. Each piece was directly brought back to the U.S. by my grandfather at the end of the war.
He brought back three German flags, but threw one away before they got to me, due to the extensive moth damage (you can see some moth holes on the war flag). The German War flag measures about 10 feet x 6.5 feet, and the banner measures about 9.3 feet x 3.5 feet.
There is an interesting story about one of these (although, I don't know which one). I'm somewhat of a skeptic, so (in my head) I try to poke holes in the story, as Iím sure some of you will do the same. My grandfather went to the Eagleís nest and Hitlerís house on August 4, 1945 (according to his journal entry). There are a couple pictures of him at one or both of these locations. Iím really not sure which is which, so hopefully one of you will be able to identify the location, once Iím able to scan in the pictures.
As the story goes, there was a flag (he did not distinguish between the flag and the banner; called them both flags) hanging over the balcony in the Eagleís Nest (might also be Hitlerís house) when the picture was taken. He said that he ripped the flag off and stuffed it in his bag, after the picture was taken. My memory of the story was a little hazy, so I called my mother and she confirmed the story (without seeing the picture). She swears that the flag came from the Eagleís Nest and that my grandfather took it, right after that picture of him on the balcony was taken.
Now, my main problem with the story is that my grandfather didnít get over there until August. Iíve read that the soldiers who originally liberated those areas (in May) took lots of souvenirs. Iím sure the soldiers who came after them in June and July did the same thing. For the sake of discussion, assume the story is legit. I think it would have to be the banner (and not the flag) because the soldiers who came before my grandfather would not have left a war flag hanging there. The banner, on the other hand, seems much more likely to have been overlooked (or ignored) by the previous soldiers. If it was hanging from the balcony in the picture, it probably only could be viewed by leaning over the edge.
Anyway, any comments/identification/etc. would be appreciated. Iíll post a couple of his pictures and the journal entry soon.