Rare German firearm to go up for auction


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Drizzt
December 23, 2005, 02:03 AM
Gun may have been Hitler's

Rare German firearm to go up for auction

By Brett Nauman
bnauman@pantagraph

BLOOMINGTON -- A rare German gun that may have belonged to Adolf Hitler and ended up in Central Illinois will be sold next month during an auction by a local pawnshop.

Engraved with the initials A.H., the Krieghoff Drilling shotgun/rifle likely was given to Hitler as a gift by the Krieghoff company in the years leading up to World War II, said Wes Lane, owner of Midwest Exchange, the pawn shop hosting the auction at www.gunbroker.

"The gun is in a condition that we'd classify as very good," Lane said while holding the gun Wednesday at his pawnshop. "If the right people see this, there's probably someone in Europe or South America who'd be willing to pay a lot of money to own this gun."

Acknowledging some people may be offended that anything associated with the Nazi dictator would be sold, Lane pointed out the sellers intend to donate the net proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League, a leading group fighting anti-Semitism.

The story behind this particular weapon supposedly starts in May 1945 when the U.S. Army's 506th parachute regiment seized control of Hitler's secret hideaway known as the Berchestgaden.

According to the family that currently owns the Drilling, a man from the 506th, which included the men profiled in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," took the gun as a souvenir during the raid on Hitler's palace in the Bavarian mountains.

The parachutist later sold the Drilling to an Army lieutenant who had no idea it belonged to Hitler. That lieutenant, who later settled in Central Illinois, kept the Drilling under his bed for decades, taking it out only occasionally to hunt, according to his family.

Although the World War II veteran died more than a decade ago, his family does not want the gun anymore and has chosen to auction it anonymously, Lane said, adding the proceeds will be donated to the Anti-Defamation League, a leading group opposing anti-Semitism.

The Drilling, known for its hand-engraved designs and dual use ability as a shotgun and rifle, could fetch at least $7,000 without the infamous connection. There's no telling how much someone would pay for a Drilling that belonged to a person like Hitler, Lane said.

Bidding for the gun will open at $10,000.

While some may question the gun's authenticity, at least one expert on Krieghoff guns believes Hitler probably owned the Drilling. Randall Gibson, who wrote a reference book, "The Krieghoff Parabellum," said the company's owner likely gave the gun to Hitler in 1934 while trying to get military contracts before the war.

Hitler did not like guns and did not hunt because he was a vegetarian, Gibson said. That means there were only a handful of guns connected to Hitler, said Gibson, a retired banker from Midland, Texas.

Gibson said Heinz Krieghoff, whose father ran the Krieghoff company before World War II, told him in the 1970s the company gave Drillings engraved with initials to Hitler, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and former German President Paul von Hindenberg.

"Krieghoff was the No. 1 manufacturer of big-game rifles. He was known for presenting his pieces to various dignitaries and high-ranking officials," Gibson said. "I have no documentation that he presented this weapon to Hitler, but I find it very likely did happen."

Gibson said he's seen photographs of the Drilling that Krieghoff presented to Goering. Except for the initials, the gun looks exactly like the Drilling at Midwest Exchange. Like Lane, he couldn't begin to guess how much someone would pay for Hitler's gun.

"Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty thousand ?| I don't know," Gibson said. "That's why a weapon like that turns up at an auction. Nobody knows what its going to go for.


http://www.pantagraph.com/stories/122205/new_2005122216.shtml

there's probably someone in Europe or South America who'd be willing to pay a lot of money to own this gun
hmmmm..... too bad Simon Wiesenthal passed away. I'm sure he'd like to track down anyone in South America that bough the gun.....

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Declaration Day
December 23, 2005, 02:29 AM
Acknowledging some people may be offended that anything associated with the Nazi dictator would be sold, Lane pointed out the sellers intend to donate the net proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League, a leading group fighting anti-Semitism.

I don't see any reason to be offended, it is a historical artifact.

But if the proceeds are going to the ADL, I declare the gun worthless.

EghtySx
December 23, 2005, 02:37 AM
I couldn't find it listed on Gunbroker.

The link to the story doesn't work so I'm guessing it's old? :confused:

Drizzt
December 23, 2005, 03:36 AM
According to the story, it won't go up for sale on Gunbroker until next month.

El Tejon
December 23, 2005, 09:39 AM
I'm surprised the dealer was not quoted as saying "Best gun I've ever owned", "It's going to be banned next year" or "It's deadly accurate.":D

TexasRifleman
December 23, 2005, 09:42 AM
This came up a few months ago. At that time, the provenance on the gun was pretty sketchy, there was no talk of all this "Band of Brothers" stuff or any proof that it was liberated by anyone from the 506th.

We had a thread on here talking about that very thing, that if it was real they would have some documentation from one of those guys. Now months later they have magically come up with this "proof"?

This thing has SCAM written all over it.

El Tejon
December 23, 2005, 09:55 AM
A gun dealer not tell the truth? Fabricate a history? Like guns with stories ever fetch higher prices.

Shocked, I am shocked, and outraged. Why it's the best gun he's ever had.




O.K., maybe I'm not shocked.:neener:

Rembrandt
December 23, 2005, 11:26 AM
Found some photos of the said gun. Without documentation, it's value will be less than the seller wants. The people that really know are probably dead by now.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Drilling_.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Drilling.jpg

Kharn
December 23, 2005, 12:32 PM
I'm surprised the dealer was not quoted as saying "Best gun I've ever owned", "It's going to be banned next year" or "It's deadly accurate.":DDon't forget 1" groups at 500yds. ;)

Kharn

jacobtowne
December 23, 2005, 12:35 PM
Note the use of the words "may," "likely," and "supposedly."
Experienced collectors have a maxim - "Buy the gun, not the story."
A.H. are the initials of Anthony Hopkins. :)
JT

Tim Burke
December 23, 2005, 12:43 PM
It may have belonged to Adolf Hitler, or it may have belonged to some other Alpha Hotel.

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