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#337117 03/07/2018 02:44 PM
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Dave Online Content OP
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Tom Wittmann, in the current "Banter" on his web site, mentions seeing the image of a stolen dagger at the SOS:


UP JUMPED THE DEVIL

While attending a party in one of the hotel rooms at the SOS, something happened that nearly stopped my heart. While conversing with a group of dealers, the son of one of them got his phone out and showed me a picture of a dagger he said his father bought at the show. The photo pictures an early SS dagger with a large monogram engraved on the top scabbard, "BF".

Last summer I handled a valuable consignment deal from two different dealers. The consignment consisted of a mint Eickhorn full SS R?hm dagger, a mint maker-marked Jacobs SS dagger with exclamation point motto and a pair of weapons belonging to SS-Sturmbahnf?hrer Dr. Bernhard Frank. The pair consisted of an early silver-hilt SS lion head sword and an early SS dagger with his monogram on the obverse upper scabbard fitting. Being an extremely capable and loyal officer, Frank was assigned to Himmler's staff and was in charge of the SS at Berchtesgaten at war's end. When G?ring telegramed Bormann that as per his agreement with Hitler signed in 1939, he would now take over the Reich as it was rumored that Hitler's health and mental faculties were failing. When shown the telegram by Bormann, a raging Hitler ordered that G?ring be arrested and shot. At war's end in April 1945, G?ring was holed-up at his mountain chalet on the Obersaltzberg near the Berghof. It was Dr. Frank's job to carry out the order. Since Frank knew the war was nearly over, he did arrest G?ring, but did not have the heart to carry out the execution, especially after Hitler had committed suicide. Frank was instrumental in getting G?ring to surrender to the Allies. Frank wrote a most interesting book about the episode and lived to be in his late nineties.

These four historical weapons were sold by me to a Russian for the sum of $100,000. Since we can not send parcels into Russia, the box containing the four weapons was sent to the cousin of the Russian, to his factory in Finland. Along with the parcel was a separate package that contained an album with a research dossier, as well as photographs depicting a 97 year old Frank holding his SS dagger which clearly showed the large engraved initials, "BF" on the scabbard mount. Since my basic insurance plan with Collectible Insurance was for $50,000, I had a $50,000 rider put on the policy specifically for this shipment. After about a month, the worst possible words were sent to me in an email, "We have received the dossier package, but have not received the parcel with the edged weapons". I was so worried that I was physically shaking. How could this happen to me? After requesting a search with the post office, it was discovered that the parcel left the country and made it as far as Amsterdam where it disappeared from the postal chart. What a disaster. I had lost some of the best and most historic edged weapons to surface in years.

With great sadness, I paid the consignors of the pieces and proceeded to file a claim with Collectibles Insurance. I never told the consignors that the pieces were lost, as I did not want it to get around that "Wittmann loses your daggers in the mail". Because of the loss amount, the insurance company actually sent representatives to Amsterdam and Finland, questioning the appropriate postal people as well as the Finish cousin at his factory. All the while, I did not know if I would get paid and more than once worried that the Russian customer was sending someone over to America to cut my throat as I explained to him that he would get his payment after the insurance paid me. It took about 6 months of agony, but finally I was paid. This is something you never forget and never want to happen again. Collectibles Insurance are very good people and I highly endorse them.

Well, there was the picture of the dagger with the unmistakable monogram, "BF", staring me in the face atr the party. I lost my cool and yelled, "That dagger was stolen in the mail. Where is it". The silence was deadening and remains so. It appears that the box was not lost in the mail, but must have been stolen by a European Customs agent or a Postal employee and now the piece(s) have made their way back to America. I have reported this incident to the insurance company as it is my signed obligation to do so, as recovered items are the property of the insurance company. Failure to do so would be a breach of contract and would lead to much legal trouble for me. It is my belief that the insurance company will leave no stone unturned in this matter and wouldn't it be wonderful if these historic and important edged weapons can be returned. I truly hope so.

So, for those of you out there that scour the Internet and auctions, please keep an eye out for these SS edged weapons. I have posted pictures below of the four pieces. If you buy them, you are dealing in hot goods and if caught, the weapons will be confiscated and you could be in legal trouble. If anyone knows where these weapons are, please let me know and you will help with solving a major theft here. We all have an obligation to help if we can, as put yourself in the same place and see how you would feel. Our collectibles are everything to each and everyone of us. Let's all help and see if we can't solve this deceitful crime.



Here are the photos he posted. The dagger in question is in the first photo.

I hope to get many more photos in the next few days and will post here.

Keep a look out for them.

Thanks,

Dave







stolen3.jpg (59.1 KB, 310 downloads)
stolen2.jpg (49.54 KB, 311 downloads)
stolen1.jpg (45.78 KB, 303 downloads)
stolen4.jpg (53.07 KB, 297 downloads)
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I think that is a good thing, but where does that leave the person who bought it and was showing it to him? Will he have to give it up since TW filed a claim to the insurance? Buying something stolen? I can see all kinds of legal trouble on this one.

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Dave Online Content OP
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Ron,

Yes, this will probably be complex as it is international in scope.

I suspect that the dagger now belongs to the insurance company since they paid off on the claim.

Dave

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Thanks Dave. I wonder what their disposition is going to be? It would be a happy outcome if TW could claim ownership if the insurance was repaid. A piece of history that is hopefully not carelessly destroyed by someone not knowing what it is. I don't envy the parties involved! Ron

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Dave Online Content OP
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Ron,

As I see it, the insurance company owns it .... IF they can find that dagger. Who knows where it it is ?

I doubt they would promote it themselves, so maybe they would offer it to TW or others for sale. They have to find it first.

I think that one of the Federal agencies will end up involved and perhaps their counterparts in Europe. Big enough $$$ here.

I hope we eventually get the details of the fraud and how that dagger and maybe the other items got back here.

Dave

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Might I make the suggestion that this story be posted to a few of the other large discussion forums on the Internet? Although this really is the premiere dagger site, it?s only one of many we all visit, and will certainly help widen the net to better help make all aware of this heinous crime and help catch the guilty party or parties involved.

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Dave Online Content OP
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Mike,

I think that is being done.

Dave

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hi dave
yes you are right the insurence company ownes this rare ss stolen grouping lets hope the original owner that bought this grouping from tom wittman winds up with his stolen grouping back . but the money has to be returned in order to get this rare ss groupinhg back on track very sad all these years it finally shows up same thing happned to me at the max show probly over twenty years ago at the old radison hotel i was robbed of a ss honor ring named matzi only name on the dientst list im still praying i might get it back before i die also still have the pittsberg police report on this theft so guys please keep the name matzi in your thoughts god bless every one andy militarynut

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I was in the hotel room when this was discovered by Tom... there was some discussion and concern, but it was off to one side.

The seller of this stolen dagger can be in some big trouble here and I believe that the insurance company will go to great lengths to find out who, in Amsterdam or Helsinki, stole this parcel.

John


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How many "lost" parcels are theft from customs or postal employees...guessing a significant percentage.
As long as the carrier company's generally take the 'cheaper to pay out than to investigate' attitude I'd expect the trend to continue.
Must be nice to be a thief working for customs/postal agencies.
Many times I've heard about criminal incidents within the system but seldom hear of serious consequences that would deter this activity.

Hoping all innocent parties in this case have as good of outcome as possible and the financial burden gets put where it belongs.

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Dave Online Content OP
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Everyone:

What do you think of a separate sub-forum reserved for publicizing lost or stolen items? Pictures and descriptions to Make collectors and dealers aware of stolen militaria.


Dave

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I think that would be a very helpful forum and a good idea. Ron

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I like the idea. One single place to look for this information will make tracking and finding them a whole lot easier and should help us keep the thieves on their toes.

John


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hi members
dave i like the idea of you starting this helpfull forum for us members on stolen items or parcels lost in our postal system or customs office perhaps this new forum will help find my stolen ss honor ring that wa stolen at the max show on 9.26.1997 monroeville police dept report well guess that was some twenty years ago ring dated 20.4.43 slb. matzi approx value at that time was 3,800.00 this loss hurt and ruined my show i feel the same today as i did when this ring was stolen from me i said then and i say now if i do find the thief i will prosicute him to the fullest extent of the law even if i am in another state when this occurs i will get the job done the right way my word is my bond this thief will have a very bad day thanks every body have a great day andy militarynut

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Yep ... been there, done that and the insurance paid for did not materialize as US Paostal Service said Canadian Postal Service needed to pay the insurance out and Canadian Postal Service said because the insurance was purchased by the US shipper it was US Postal Service that needed to payout ... months later, countless letters and an appeal to the ombudsman and in the end no one paid out. Out the purchase price, out the postage and extra insurance, out the item and left holding the bag that I had paid hundreds for!


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"Even if such objects cannot change the soul of man, at least they give him an identity." - Heinrich Himmler
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Dave Online Content OP
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Any more opinions for or against ?

Or suggestions for rules?

Dave

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Originally Posted by JohnZ
I like the idea. One single place to look for this information will make tracking and finding them a whole lot easier and should help us keep the thieves on their toes.

John


I whole heartedly agree that this would be well needed as John has stated.

Regards Larry


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Great idea.
I bet this would have some success.
Even if it just puts a visual of stolen items out there that would help immensely.

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Yup good idea Dave

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Dave Online Content OP
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I just enabled the new forum. It should be just above this one

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Dave..I would think you should require police report.. Or postal inspection report... Or at least be able to show parts of it.. Item must be reported to proper authorities stolen.. Before posted on forum.. I do see recent post referring to police to make report of course this is great...
Regards: James

Last edited by DAMAST; 03/20/2018 01:56 AM.
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Dave Online Content OP
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Jim,

Lets watch and see. Only one report so far and Andy did report it

Vern and I discussed this before the forum was set up and decided to recommend rather than require. I suspect some people don't report theft to the local police if they are not insured, but that should not prevent a report here. ... or so my thinking went.

Also, those of you who belong to other forums please encourage member to here.

Thanks


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