Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 30

Reinhard Gehlen Letter

Article about: I took a bit of a gamble on this Reinhard Gehlen letter addressed to "Agnes & Children". Gehlen was an Oberstleutnant at the time the letter is dated, in the Fremde Heere Ost (

  1. #11

    Default

    Quote by duska View Post
    One thing I have noted from all his signatures online, they are all perfectly level, whereas yours is curving downwards, I realise most signatures are 30 years after yours, but it seems to be a consistent theme of his signature.
    That's the part of the signature that made me want to get people's opinions here. But, in the context of what Hucks was saying about someone looking at a signature while faking this, I can see that happening. The paper is see through enough that it would have been better to just put it over something and trace it. I had to tweak the image brightness, contrast and saturation quite a bit because the paper let so much light through, it about washed out the whole thing when I scanned it.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Age
    2010
    P
    Many
     

  3. #12

    Default

    I am not an expert in this field and hopefully other, more knowledgable members will chime in [EDIT: I see they already have while I was still fiddling with my post!], but here are my two cents:

    First off, I must say that the swastika strikes me as a bit strange as well. Another aspect that concerns me are several errors in interpunction (missing commas, specifically) and the fact that the word "das" [the] is used instead of the correct "dass"/"daß" [that] on two occasions. These are the sort of errors I would not expect from an educated man... Also, the closing formula "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" is rather odd. This is the standard formula used in official/business letters or formal correspondence, but not in a private letter to a friend or relative.

    Anyway, now for the contents of the letter... Online translators are only good for giving one the general drift of a text. A better translation is:



    "Oberstleutnant R. Gehlen
    Staff VII/a FHO

    Pullach, on 20 Dec. 43.

    Dear Agnes & children!

    Once more, Christmas is drawing near and I would have very nearly forgotten about it. Being overworked is what that is called.
    Surely a lot has happened with you since my last visit at K.
    I have heard from the division staff that Lorenz is now in the military hospital at Eichsfeld.
    Please send me the field post number. How are the two brats? Leo will soon be up for graduation*, right? Well, I include a small gift of money for Leo and Willi; I have very little time and opportunity to do any shopping myself.
    From what I have heard, M-G** has come through an attack alright. Hope you were left alone.
    Well, I will come to an end now and wish you all a merry Christmas.
    To Theresa as well, as I do not have her address

    With kind regards.


    [signed]

    Reinhard (Gehlen)"


    *) From the context, this appears to be the likeliest translation. The term in question [Entlassung] can also mean discharge, dismissal, release etc.
    **) Most likely the city of Mönchengladbach

  4. #13

    Default

    Thanks HPL2008. That makes a whole lot more sense. It's a nice letter in its content at least.

    It looks like there's more or less a consensus. The signature over the typed name, and odd punctuation and misspellings seem like the hallmarks of a forged document, even if it seems a strange one to be forged. Unfortunate, but the good news is the letter made me aware of an interesting figure in WW2 and cold war history. And, I can add some knowledge for assessing the next document with a known figure associated with it.

    I felt comfortable taking a chance on it with this particular seller, and I'm sure he felt it was original. Everyone can't know everything, and it's the first thing he's sold me that was suspect. I hate to have to send it back to him, but it is what it is. Too many questionable aspects.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #14
    ?

    Default

    For me i agree that Kevin has identified enough points in this document for it to be suspect , the signature over the name is always a no no for me , who in any correspondance etc would do that when sufficient space is available on the paper to sign underneath !!

  6. #15

    Default

    Thanks for the comments Paul. I'll definitely be looking for signatures over the name going forward.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #16

    Default

    I heard back from the seller. He says he has no problem with me returning it, and he agrees that the swastika letterhead is odd, but that he bought the letter from Wilhelm Gehlen, the nephew of Reinhard Gehlen. I looked him up, and that is in fact the name of a nephew of his, and appears to live in Tennessee where my seller is located. He wrote a book called Jungvolk : the story of a boy defending Hitler's Third Reich. I found it on Amazon, and looked inside the sample. Willi as the letter references is probably Wilhelm, and Agnes who the letter is addressed to is his mother. Theresa who's mentioned at the end is his aunt. The "two brats" are Wilhelm and his brother Len. I would imagine "Leo" is supposed to be "Len". That is a bit odd. He did have an uncle Leo, but that wouldn't make much sense in the context of the letter.

    He did have a father, who fought in the war, and is probably why the letter (if authentic) would have been addressed to just his mother and the kids, as the dad was deployed.

    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    **) Most likely the city of Mönchengladbach
    This is correct. The book indicates this is the town he lived in during the war.

    --------------------------

    I've asked if he has any documentation showing he got it from Wilhelm, so I can tie that story to the piece tangibly. Would that kind of provenance help?

    More to come!

    The sellers email:

    Hi Scott,
    I have no problem at all with you returning the item. However I'm quite confident of the letter's authenticity as I acquired it directly from Wilhem Gehlen, the general's nephew. I agree that the swastika letterhead is odd for a Wehrmacht man, & have seen it on no other documents of his.
    Last edited by avenger; 12-06-2014 at 10:14 PM.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #17

    Default

    Interesting development on this letter.

    The seller contacted Wilhelm Gehlen, who has graciously okayed the seller giving me his email address and mailing address, which matches the town and state of residence in his book. I've contacted Mr. Gehlen with the image of the letter and the concerns posted, in hopes he might clear things up. I also asked if it would be okay for me to mail a copy of the letter for him to sign and verify, so that I could keep with it going forward.

    I'll post again when I hear back!
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #18
    ?

    Default

    Name:  untitled.png
Views: 48
Size:  175.1 KB

    The little Brat, Wilhelm

  10. #19

    Default

    Quote by avenger View Post
    Interesting development on this letter.

    The seller contacted Wilhelm Gehlen, who has graciously okayed the seller giving me his email address and mailing address, which matches the town and state of residence in his book. I've contacted Mr. Gehlen with the image of the letter and the concerns posted, in hopes he might clear things up. I also asked if it would be okay for me to mail a copy of the letter for him to sign and verify, so that I could keep with it going forward.

    I'll post again when I hear back!
    Try asking him to provide other documents from that period with the same letterhead and signature.

  11. #20
    MAP
    MAP is offline
    ?

    Default

    Awesome thread. I really hope it turns out as legit.

    Michael
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. SS Soldbuch Reinhard Heydrich Rgt

    In Soldbuch, Wehrpaß, Ausweis, etc
    09-29-2010, 11:32 PM
  2. SS Soldbuch Reinhard Heydrich Rgt

    In Photos - Papers - Propaganda of the Third Reich
    09-29-2010, 11:32 PM
  3. General Reinhard

    In German photographs & Postcards
    08-24-2010, 12:33 PM
  4. Reinhard heydrich film

    In SS Uniforms and insignia
    12-30-2008, 06:40 PM
  5. The Grave of Reinhard Heydrich

    In After the Battle
    12-27-2008, 03:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •