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Major Karl Elshorft.

Article about: Hiya! Looking for any infomation about this Luftwaffe Officer. Obviusly highly regarded as promotion certificate hand signed by boyh AH amd HG. Many thanks in advance!

  1. #21


    Would be very grateful KM if you would take the time and break it down for me. Very interested to know your thinking and your opinion tbh. Did think it was a facs originally but wasnt so sure when I examined it close up. I thank you for opening my eyes to other arguements that it may be a facsimile and hope better pics will sort it one way or other! Will accept the concensus of opinion as you guys are the experts. Would hate to sell it as a facs and it turn out to be real! Lol

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    Circuit advertisement Major Karl Elshorft.
    Join Date

  3. #22


    Another example where the signature breaks the seal.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Major Karl Elshorft.  

  4. #23


    2 things there, A the date and B the type of signature

  5. #24
    TWS is offline


    Quote by KMMorris View Post
    The signature on these type of documents are regularly facsimile's, I would be fairly confident in saying that is the case with your document as those 2 signatures are obviously not hand signed.

    Luckily for me in my documents pertaining to RKT Dietmar Wahl, his appointment orders as an officer are hand-signed by Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg.

    His promotion to Oberleutnant is, more typically as you pointed out, a facsimile of Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch's signature.

    A quick look will show the contrast between original hand-signed and facsimile.

    Major Karl Elshorft.Major Karl Elshorft.Major Karl Elshorft.Major Karl Elshorft.
    Former U.S. Army Tanker.
    "Best job I ever had."

  6. #25


    Thank you Todd, I will go into some more of your points when I write my expanded response. Thank you for chiming in

  7. #26


    Thank you everyone who has contributed here.
    To start with the study of signatures is very much a wider field of inquiry, you have to look at the Item, the date, the circumstances around it and ultimately its purpose.

    In this case we have the promotion of Karl Elshorst to Oberstleutnant which is a middle to upper rank. He is as it would seem a member of the Flak discipline.
    Major Karl Elshorft.

    Lower ranking promotion certificates more often than not are facsimiles but seen a few hand signed for higher ranks, identical to this one.
    while this is not a lower rank its not higher as well, I assume there would have been 10s of thousands of Oberstleutnants in the Luftwaffe.

    The document is the usual and formal promotional paperwork with its attached cover leaf, usually you find these removed to be framed or kept by the family so this is good thing for your item. Why a facsimile? the Luftwaffe, Heer and Kriegsmarine would have hundreds of promotions a day and having the Boss and Herman sign them both individually and when they have time would be a very long and poorly optimised process. Thank goodness for facsimile signatures which give the validly of the Fuhrer and Goring name to many documents. This is also the case with many Generals, field Marshals and other ranks that were on issue documents! A good example if the Krim shield facsimile, of Erich von Manstein.

    The questions you have raised:

    Happy if its signed or a facsimile but a well thought out, explained and illustrated explanation and discussion would be most welcome! For me, the areas highlighted show inconsistencies characteristic of a pen and tiny ink spots flicked off whilst signing are evident under high magnification. These are not consistent with the clean lines of a printed facs signature.
    You are correct in saying this is not in line with a printed facsimile. The issue with these documents and most others in the Reich Period is that facsimile signatures are not printed on the document, they are applied, hence why you have tiny little amounts of ink spray around the facsimile signature. Formal Document creation is actually like an art and you would have someone quite specialised.

    As mentioned ,paper compression to the revers and stress marks behind the signatures would also suggest it was done with a pen,or an alternative explanation offered would be nice. Ink has clearly penetrated through to the reverse and as I have never seen that on any other printed documents I am interested in explanations why all the other printed text on the document hasn't also penetrated through.
    This point of the ink and the "stress" pushing through, is because the creator in this case has applied pressure through a stamp to add the signature. here is an example of facsimile stamp that is on your item. It takes a lot of pressure and there is a special way to deliver it to the page, not just like a regular stamp *this is just an example as these are reproduced*.
    All the other text as you see is printed onto the page separately by machine with only the required pressure.
    Major Karl Elshorft.

    Next point, the seal of approval, the Reichsadler seal formalising the document. The question you raised over it:

    The three examples shown in the link as facsimiles do not touch and are no where near the embossed seal. My example crosses into the seal, as seen in posted pictures.
    Its common sense that the person would not sign over a seal, so that has no bearing on the discussion. If the signatory did obviously control would be lost and you would have a very sloppy signature. The seal is usually the last item added to a document, it is a paper emboss. a very easy and common think on documents even today. The document would be placed into this machine then it would be pressure applied usually using a brass emboss mould so no dirt or grime would transfer off other metals . Here is an example bellow. Major Karl Elshorft.

    This is actually for the colonial shire of Maldon in Victoria which still exits on their documents today.

    lastly the document you added into the discussion. Very different, entire new type of discussion. You have a recognition document made in 1936 to the Landesfinanzamt Stuttgart state financial authority recognizing 40 years of loyal service issued to the Präsidenten Ernst Pfeiffer. Its signed in pencil with the earlier AH signature. Again its not just about the signature its about the entire picture, in this case >Pre War > 1936> President> 40 years of Service. So hence why it would be a in person signature.

    Thank you all for reading, enjoy your long Easter weekend.

  8. #27


    @combatzone i hope you have enjoyed your Easter. When you have time please thank eveyone, who has contributed here.

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