Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Nuremberg Trials Signatures, ca. 1945

    Appraised Value:

    $3,000

    Appraised on: July 10, 2010

    Appraised in: Miami Beach, Florida

    Appraised by: Gary Piattoni

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Miami Beach, Hour 3 (#1503)

    Originally Aired: January 17, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Autograph, Folio
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century, 1940s
    Value Range: $3,000

    Related Links:

    Article: Hermann Goering: Glass on the Lips?
    Find out more about the suicide of this infamous Nazi war criminal.

    Article: Understanding the Market in Nazi Memorabilia
    A closer look at a sensitive but significant area of the antiques trade.

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (3:31)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Gary Piattoni
    Arms & Militaria, Science & Technology
    President
    Gary Piattoni, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My father always wanted to know the value of these signatures. He had the signatures since '46, and so I thought if I ever got on the ROADSHOW, this is what I would bring.

    APPRAISER: The cover here reads "Nurnberg Prison, 1945-1946." And then we have the insignia that was created for the trials. You can see the scales of justice there. But the real interesting part is inside. And here we have signatures of 21 of the first defendants of the trial. How did your father acquire these?

    GUEST: He was the lieutenant of the guard, and they would exchange one cigarette for one signature. So if a prisoner wanted a cigarette, they could sign a signature and then they would get the cigarette.

    APPRAISER: Well, it's a pretty complete grouping. The first trial really were for the major criminals during the war, and they were the leaders and different members of the army, as well as civilians who were tried for war crimes. Many of these individuals ended up being executed. Some were sentenced to a long term in prison. Of note is Hermann Goering, who cheated the hangman by committing suicide right before he had to go. Did your father ever mention an encounter with Goering?

    GUEST: Yes, my father was the first officer in the cell after the guard on the outside door of the cell hollered to my dad that Goering was not moving. He said the first thing he noticed was that there was glass particles on Goering's lips.

    APPRAISER: Some other members here-- he has Hess, who made a supposed peace effort by flying over England, and he crashed, and he was captured, claiming that he was there to try to make peace with the government. He was sentenced to a life term, spent much time in Spandau Prison, later died in prison. We have Albert Speer, who was Hitler's architect, built and designed many of the buildings for the Third Reich, was sentenced to a prison term, but did survive. And here we have Julius Streicher, and next to his name is his cell number. Julius Streicher was defiant to the end, up until the day he was executed. Other ones are interesting because they're dated very close to the date of execution, which was October 16, 1946. We have Jodl, who was also executed. He was the one who signed the surrender document. It was relatively commonplace, though, for jailers and guards to trade for signatures, so I have seen in the past assembled sets like this before. Yours is unique in the way it's presented and in the fact that you have 21 of the major defendants. The key to the value really is the condition of the signatures. The rips and tears in the folder themselves are of note, but don't really affect the value. The main value is on the strength of each individual signature. And certainly some have better conditions than others, but overall they're in good condition. A document like this, at auction, it's conservatively worth $3,000. So I really appreciate you bringing it in, and it's an amazing record, and we're sure proud of your father's service.

    GUEST: Well, thank you very much.







    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube