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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. #1

    Default Reinhard Gehlen Letter

    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 (FHO), and near the end of the war reached the rank of Generalmajor. His story is quite interesting, including leading an intelligence agency in Germany in conjunction with the CIA during the cold war, and having a minor role in Operation Valkyrie where his role managed to get covered up.

    Information on Gehlen: Reinhard Gehlen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I believe this to be an authentic letter given the benign, personal, and somewhat uninteresting content of the letter, at least based on the kind of garbled Google translation. Not sure exactly what is said, but the transltion I have is below as well. The signature is in my completely novice eye, not a 100% spot on match to the 3 others I found, but it is quite similar. The blue ink on the signature isn't quite as bright as the picture makes it look.

    I was hoping to see how everyone feels about this one. Thank you!

    The letter:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	gehlen_letter.jpg 
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Size:	202.4 KB 
ID:	773183

    Google Translates to:

    Oberstlt.R.Gehlen
    Staff VII / a FHO.

    Pullach the 20/12/43

    Dear Agnes & Children

    Again it is Christmas and I almost forgot, revision is called something. Since my last visit in K. has probably done a lot with you.

    From the divisional staff. I heard that even now Lorenz in the hospital Eichsfeld is.

    Send me please times the FP.Nr. How are you two brats? The Leo will soon be Entlassunsreif right? Well, I put Leo and Willi with a small gift of money, have yourself a little time and opportunity to buy. I understand now has survived an attack MG. Hope you can still read in peace.

    Yes, now I will close and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

    Also on Therese because I do not have your address.

    With kind regards.

    Reinhard (Gehlen)
    Last edited by avenger; 12-05-2014 at 04:23 AM.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

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  3. #2
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    Hey bro,

    Looks period. Are there any watermarks with the Wehrmacht eagle or stamp? It does seem odd to just have letter head with one swastika in left. I do have some letters from about 3 photo albums and some don't have any letter head headers. I am not sure on this but looks to be okay . Guess it depends on also where you are acquiring as well. Not sure I was much help bud.


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  4. #3

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    The Swastika in the top corner just looks odd. I would expect at least an eagle holding it or something. And with regards to the signature, when it comes to faked award citations a common tactic is to sign the signature over the typed name/rank/position so as to make it more difficult to authenticate. And the signature does look kind of sloppy.

  5. #4

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    Thanks Hucks. Have you ever seen them sign over the typed name on an authentic document, or is that about always forged?
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote by avenger View Post
    Thanks Hucks. Have you ever seen them sign over the typed name on an authentic document, or is that about always forged?
    I can't say I have seen it done on authentic documents. You said yourself that it doesn't match other examples you have found - I would say go with your gut feeling.

  7. #6

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    It had enough similarities that I took the chance on it. But, I can return it too. I know I don't always end up with identical signatures when I sign stuff, but the general letters and style tends to be the same way.

    Here's a couple of other signatures I found online. I don't know if these are authentic, but it's all I could find. The one with the fingerprints should definitely be authentic as it was taken by the military when he was captured.

    Name:  gehlensigs.jpg
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    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #7

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    Look at the 1943 dated signature you have and notice how shaky it is compared to the lower two on the post above. Ignore the one dated 1973 as that could be just old age if original. Comparing the period signed one and yours I would say that yours was signed by someone who was looking at another example of the signature while attempting it.

  9. #8

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    I see what you're saying.

    If this is a forged fake, it strikes me as an odd choice. Gehlen is interesting enough of a figure I was lured to want one of his letters I guess. Still, he's more obscure than many other figures they could fake, and a Christmas letter to someone he knows of all things. The things people choose to fake in this hobby sometimes really surprises me.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  10. #9

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    Of course signatures can change over time and even hour to hour. But the "R" in the 1973 document is a completely different style and flow than that in the fingerprint document fragment also true of other characters in the signature samples?
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  11. #10
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    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.

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