WWII French Resistance Archive

Value (2014) | $7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
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GUEST:
This is Madeline. She was a member of the French resistance, and she helped downed British pilots get out of France and back to England. She was caught on October 31st, 1942. She then spent six months at Fran, which was a prison right outside of Paris. Madeline was from a very prominent military family in France. So, the Germans knew her, which is possibly why she survived the first six months. Then, she was taken to Mauthausen, the concentration camp. And later was taken to Ravensbrück. And that is the camp that she was liberated from. The medals were presented to her by Charles de Gaulle after the war. The two items here were done in Mauthausen. We don't know who did the doll, but they did work making socks for the German soldiers, of course. And Madeline took great pride in making lousy socks.

APPRAISER:
When you brought this stuff in, frankly, it shocked me. Because concentration camp items are highly sought after by collectors and museums because this is the seminal event that fixes World War II in our collective consciousness is what happened to these folks in these camps. So there is a huge demand for it not only on the collector market but also from museums. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the stuff that you see out in the world is fake as a three dollar bill.

GUEST:
Mhm.

APPRAISER:
And when you really think about it, I mean, what could be a bigger slap in the face to the people who survived that not only is this stuff viewed as a commodity but there are people making fakes and forgeries of it.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's a real shame. And that's why it’s important that there be documented, identified, well established artifacts with provenance out there in collections, in museums, to tell that story,

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
for future generations. When you showed up with this little doll it really raises the goose pimples.

GUEST:
Madeline had this hanging on a nail in her living room. It had been there for 20 years.

APPRAISER:
I don't know if she told you or not but the material that the little girl is wearing is actually concentration…

GUEST:
Yes, it is.

APPRAISER:
…camp uniform material. Rarely are there personal items…

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
…because they just simply didn't have any personal items…

GUEST:
: Exactly.

APPRAISER:
…in these camps. And most of the folks that got out, simply wanted to get out. Have you ever given any thought as to what this might be worth in the great white world of historical collectibles?

GUEST:
Absolutely no idea.

APPRAISER:
You've got the provenance so beautifully established with the medals, with the documents, with your relationship with this individual. I would estimate a group like this being worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000 to $10,000.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Advance Guard Militaria
Burfordville, MO
Appraised value (2014)
$7,000 Auction$10,000 Auction
Event
Kansas City, MO (August 10, 2013)

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