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Kevin Wheatcroft's collection

Article about: Outstanding... Wheatcroft Collection This man owns the largest collection of Nazi artifacts | New York Post Dan

  1. #1

    Default Kevin Wheatcroft's collection

    Outstanding...

    Wheatcroft Collection

    This man owns the largest collection of Nazi artifacts | New York Post

    "The French theorist Jean Baudrillard once noted that collecting mania is found most often in “pre-pubescent boys and males over the age of 40”; the things we hoard, he wrote, tend to reveal deeper truths."

    Dan
    Last edited by Dan Miller; 08-31-2015 at 04:36 AM.

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    Anyone been lucky enough to visit, i am only 20 miles away imagine how cool this place is
    Kevin Wheatcroft sleeps in Adolf Hitler's bed and has £100m Nazi memorabilia collection | Daily Mail Online.


    Wheatcroft Collection
    Last edited by greatwhite; 01-29-2016 at 04:25 PM.
    "and when he gets to heaven,
    to saint peter he will tell:
    "Just another marine reporting, sir
    I've served my time in hell."

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    Can't believe this didn't get more comments?

    Including from me...

    Read it back we it was posted, some very interesting facts in there, interesting perspective on collecting also, his wallet is definitely in the right place, but when you hear him waxing nostalgically about Hitler and Goring...

    I'm going to go back and read it again.

  4. #4

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    I forgot to mention that I was going to quote a bunch of it here, and blow it up some for some of us with aging eyes...

    I did quotes instead of the whole article to emphasize some of the text.

    While the rest of us fight for the scraps, and I ponder whether I should quit spending money on stupid stuff for a while... As he says "all of your money is tied up in your collection", that's not a reality I can afford, but it's close enough to the truth...

    The last part (actually from two thirds of the way down the article) is where he veers a little off the deep end for me.

    Widely regarded as the world’s largest accumulation of German military vehicles and Nazi memorabilia. The collection has largely been kept in private, under heavy guard, in a warren of industrial buildings. There is no official record of the value of Wheatcroft’s collection, but some estimates place it at over $160 million.
    He readily admits that his urge to accumulate has been monomaniacal, elbowing out the demands of friends and family. The French theorist Jean Baudrillard once noted that collecting mania is found most often in “pre-pubescent boys and males over the age of 40”; the things we hoard, he wrote, tend to reveal deeper truths.
    Despite being one of seven children, Wheatcroft was the sole beneficiary of his father’s will. He no longer speaks to his siblings.
    It is hard to say how much the echoes of atrocity that resonate from Nazi artifacts compel the enthusiasts who haggle for and hawk them. The trade in Third Reich antiquities is either banned or strictly regulated in Germany, France, Austria, Israel and Hungary.
    Naturally, exact figures are hard to come by, but the market’s annual global turnover is estimated to be in excess of $47 million. One of the most-visited websites is run by Holocaust denier David Irving, who in 2009 sold Hitler’s walking stick (which had previously belonged to Friedrich Nietzsche) for $5,750. Irving has offered strands of Hitler’s hair for $200,000, and says he is currently verifying the authenticity of charred bones said to be those of Hitler and Eva Braun.
    There is also a roaring trade in the automobiles of the Third Reich — in 2009, one of Hitler’s Mercedes sold for almost $7.8 million. A signed copy of Mein Kampf will set you back $31,000, while in 2011 an unnamed investor purchased Joseph Mengele’s South American journals for $473,000.

    As the crimes of the Nazi regime retreat further into the past, there seems to be an increasing desperation in the race to get hold of mementos of the darkest chapter of the 20th century. In the market for Nazi memorabilia, two out of the three principal ideologies of the era — fascism and capitalism — collide, with the mere financial value of these objects used to justify their acquisition, the spiralling prices trapping collectors in a frantic race for the rare and the covetable.
    Wheatcroft had recently purchased two more barns and a dozen shipping containers to house his collection. The complex of industrial buildings, stretching across several flat Leicestershire acres, seemed like a manifestation of his obsession — just as haphazard, as cluttered and as dark.

    Leaning against the wall of one of the warehouses, I spotted a dark wooden door, heavy iron bolts on one side and a Judas window in the centre. Wheatcroft saw me looking at it. “That’s the door to Hitler’s cell in Landsberg. Where he wrote ‘Mein Kampf.’ I was in the area.”
    Wheatcroft’s home sits behind high walls and heavy gates. There is a pond, its surface stirred by the fingers of a willow tree. A spiky black mine bobs along one edge. The house is huge and modern and somehow without logic, as if wings and extensions have been appended to the main structure willy-nilly.

    When I visited, it was late afternoon, a winter moon climbing the sky. Behind the house, apple trees hung heavy with fruit. A Krupp submarine cannon stood sentry outside the back door.

    One of the outer walls was set with wide maroon half-moons of iron work, inlaid with obscure runic symbols.

    “They were from the top of the officers’ gates to Buchenwald,” Wheatcroft told me in an offhand manner. “I’ve got replica gates to Auschwitz — Arbeit Macht Frei — over there.” He gestured into the gloaming.
    On the walls huge iron swastikas hung, street-signs for Adolf Hitler Strasse and Adolf Hitler Platz, posters of Hitler with “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer” written beneath.

    “That’s from Wagner’s family home,” he told me, pointing to a massive iron eagle spreading its wings over a swastika. It was studded with bullet holes. “I was in a scrap yard in Germany when a feller came in who’d been clearing out the Wagner estate and had come upon this. Bought it straight from him.”
    On the walls huge iron swastikas hung, street-signs for Adolf Hitler Strasse and Adolf Hitler Platz, posters of Hitler with “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer” written beneath.

    “That’s from Wagner’s family home,” he told me, pointing to a massive iron eagle spreading its wings over a swastika. It was studded with bullet holes. “I was in a scrap yard in Germany when a feller came in who’d been clearing out the Wagner estate and had come upon this. Bought it straight from him.”
    We climbed the stairs to find more pictures of Hitler on the walls, swastikas and iron crosses, a faintly Egyptian statuette given by Hitler to Peron, an oil portrait of Eva Braun signed by Hitler. Paintings were stacked against walls, bubble wrap was everywhere. We picked our way between the artefacts, stepping over statuary and half-unpacked boxes. I found myself imagining the house in a decade’s time, when no doors would open, no light come in through the windows, when the collection would have swallowed every last corner, and I could picture Wheatcroft, quite happy, living in a caravan in the garden.
    “I was in Munich with a dealer,” he said, showing me the tailor’s label, which read Reichsführer Adolf Hitler in looping cursive. “We had a call to go and visit a lawyer, who had some connection to Eva Braun. In 1944, Eva Braun had deposited a suitcase in a fireproof safe. He quoted me a price, contents unseen. The case was locked with no key. We drove to Hamburg and had a locksmith open it. Inside were two full sets of Hitler’s suits, including this one, two Sam Browne belts, two pairs of his shoes, two bundles of love letters written by Hitler to Eva, two sketches of Eva naked, sunbathing, two self-propelling pencils. A pair of AH-monogrammed eyeglasses. A pair of monogrammed champagne flutes. A painting of a Vienna cityscape by Hitler that he must have given to Eva. I was in a dream world. The greatest find of my collecting career.”
    Wheatcroft drove me to the station under a wide, star-filled night. “When David Ayer offered to buy the collection, I almost said yes,” he told me, his eyes on the road. “Just so it wouldn’t be my problem any more. I tried to buy the house in which Hitler was born in Braunau, I thought I could move the collection there, turn it into a museum of the Third Reich. The Austrian government must have Googled my name. They said no immediately. They didn’t want it to become a shrine. It’s so hard to know what to do with all the stuff. I really do feel like I’m just a caretaker until the next person comes along, but I must display it, I must get it out into the public — I understand that.”

    Collecting was like a disease for him, the prospect of completion tantalizingly near but always just out of reach. If he was mad, it wasn’t the madness of the fulminating antisemite, rather the mania of the collector.

    Many would question whether artifacts such as those in the Wheatcroft Collection ought to be preserved at all, let alone exhibited in public. Should we really be queueing up to marvel at these emblems of what Primo Levi called the Nazis’ “histrionic arts”? It is, perhaps, the very darkness of these objects, their proximity to real evil, that attracts collectors (and that keeps novelists and filmmakers returning to the years 1939-45 for material).
    His latest find, he said, was a collection of Nazi artefacts brought to his attention by someone he had met at an auction a few years back. The story is classic Wheatcroft — a mixture of luck and happenstance and chutzpah that appears to have turned up objects of genuine historical interest. “This chap told me that his best friend was a plumber and was working on a big house in Cornwall. The widow was trying to sort things out. The plumber had seen that in the garden there were all sorts of Nazi statues. He sent me a picture of one of the statues, which was a massive 5 ½ foot stone eagle that came from Berchtesgaden. I did a deal and bought it, and after that sale my contact was shown a whole range of other objects by the widow. It turned out that this house was a treasure trove. There’s an enormous amount I’m trying to get hold of now. I can’t say an awful lot, but it’s one of the most important finds of recent times.”

    The owner of the house had just passed away; he was apparently a senior British diplomat who, in his regular trips to Germany in the lead-up to the war, amassed a sizable collection of Nazi memorabilia. He continued to collect after the war had finished, the most interesting items hidden in a safe room behind a secret panel.

    “It’s stunning,” Wheatcroft told me, by telephone, his voice fizzing with excitement. “There’s a series of handwritten letters between Hitler and Churchill. They were writing to each other about the route the war was taking. Discussions of a non-aggression pact. This man had copied things and removed them on a day-to-day basis over the course of the war. A complete breach of the Official Secrets Act, but mindblowing.” The authenticity of the papers, of course, has not yet been confirmed — but if they are real, they could secure Wheatcroft a place in the history books. “Although it’s never been about me,” he insisted.
    This is from earlier in the article, but I'll finish with it, because it shows his attachment, which we all have to our stuff, but his admiration of Hitler and Goring is a little over the top for me. Then again, I can't afford any Hitler's autographs, or body parts...

    “I brought David Ayer in here when he was researching Fury,” Wheatcroft told me. “He offered to buy the whole lot there and then. When I said no he offered me 30 grand for this.” He showed me a fairly ordinary-looking camouflage tunic. “He knows his stuff.”

    We were standing in front of signed photographs of Hitler and Göring. “I think I could give up everything else,” he said, “the cars, the tanks, the guns, as long as I could still have Adolf and Hermann. They’re my real love.”

    I asked Wheatcroft whether he was worried about what people might read into his fascination with Nazism. Other notable collectors, I pointed out, were the bankrupt and discredited David Irving and Lemmy from Motörhead.

    “I try not to answer when people accuse me of being a Nazi,” he said. “I tend to turn my back and leave them looking silly. I think Hitler and Göring were such fascinating characters in so many ways. Hitler’s eye for quality was just extraordinary.”
    “I think I could give up everything else,” he said, “the cars, the tanks, the guns, as long as I could still have Adolf and Hermann. They’re my real love.”














    Last edited by Larboard; 01-30-2016 at 12:24 AM.

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    Yes it is simply outstanding beyond belief. Must be awe-inspiring to see. Thanks for a outstanding thread.

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    Neat eh, this guy is so close to me i can smell him,, the bugger wont open to the public i wonder if a cheeky email will do, i would dust them down FOC
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    "and when he gets to heaven,
    to saint peter he will tell:
    "Just another marine reporting, sir
    I've served my time in hell."

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    Quote by Larboard View Post
    I forgot to mention that I was going to quote a bunch of it here, and blow it up some for some of us with aging eyes...

    I did quotes instead of the whole article to emphasize some of the text.
    Is it really necessary to post that much of the article?
    I think those that want to read it can go there and do so.
    In fact, why not copy and paste all of it? That way members don't have to go there at all, they can read the whole article right here!
    Waste of space, IMO
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

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    Space is something he has, acres of it mostly filled with WW2 goodies, i mean for gods sake he sleeps in Addies bed, more busts than silicon valley , i think he needs to become a member and re start the raffle at xmas.
    "and when he gets to heaven,
    to saint peter he will tell:
    "Just another marine reporting, sir
    I've served my time in hell."

  9. #9

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    Quote by greatwhite View Post
    Space is something he has, acres of it mostly filled with WW2 goodies, i mean for gods sake he sleeps in Addies bed, more busts than silicon valley , i think he needs to become a member and re start the raffle at xmas.
    Can't imagine accruing a collection of this magnitude!! Could not imagine trying to place a price tag on such a collection. Quite a thrill to look at!

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