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greg koepp

Russian "Fur Raub und Mord" Iron Cross Found

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I'll try this again................

OK, I went to a Estate Sale and found a old wooden tool box in the Garage and once I pulled it down, I opened and found a bunch of old smoking pipes and a tobacco bag with 3 Iron Crosses and one being a 1870 in outstanding condition! 2 others were Iron Crosses 2nd class?? (I THOUGHT) once I stuffed them back under the pipes and I paid for the box $15.00 I went home to glow on my new buy!

Then when I was done looking at the 1870 I was looking the 2nd classes, when I was re-looking at one of them I didn't know what the heck it was, it had writing on the back with a 1813 date: "Fur" at the top of the rear and "Raub und Mord" in the middle?? The front was weird but couldn't figure what looked wrong til I searched on the Internet and then noticed it was dated 1941???

So I found that Gordon Williamson has in one of his books information on these but I don't have the bookbanghead.gif So I e-mailed him yesterday to ask what he knows about them and he sent me information and a photo of two in an article, and he said they are real? I have found no other photos of one besides the article he sent and those shots are not so good.

Now this cross I have is made with a split frame brass core I think? and 3 pieses all together, not counting the silver ring. I haven't weighted it, or done measuments yet but will. I know what your going to ask and please post photos but I'm going wait til I get better information, because I can already read the responces. (no good and so on)??

If anyone has information or? please post so I can learn more on this item.

I have read that about 500 of these propaganda crosses were made? but have no idea where that Number came from???? On the reverse is the year "1813" and the inscription "Fur Raub und Mord" ("For Robbery and Murder").

any help would be great,

here is a photo of what Gordon sent me so far, PLEASE TRANSLATE TO ENGLISH..... but after closer examination of mine has a base medal center of some type, not brass as I thought. I had to wash it due to the tobacco stuck to it, and there is bubbling under some corners and slight rust in some too.

also once I get more information on this I will post photos, also on the 1870,, I moved it later in the day to a local friend who collects IC's and owns a few hundred of all types, BUT if you want I will go back over and get photos of it if you want me too? (not today) but nothing wrong with it.

I have also read that these were made in 3 pieces, so?

thanks and more to come.

greg koepp

Thanks greg koepp

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Also Gordon said in a note to me that:

I think they were first publicised by some Soviet museum curator ( this was way back in Soviet times before East European countries started flooding the market with fakes and churning out "Nazi" stuff would have been, to say the least, frowned upon).

Absolutely no doubt in my mind that genuine examples of these exist.

So I must say that if these are fake OR faked who has one or photos???

thanks greg koepp__________________

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PLEASE WAIT TIL I POST ALL PHOTOS TIL YOU START IN

17 PHOTO'S COMING

OK let's open this post up with photos.....

First off I don't care if this Russian Propaganda Iron Cross is real or fake.

After putting this Cross under a Microscope it looks like there is a brass core in the middle, if you can see or blow up the photos on your computer at the edges of wear you can see brass under the base medal??? or whatever it is? You can see the bubbling under the paint in some areas, also rust pitting.

I will say some remarks on some photos so you can see what I see?

Thanks Greg Koepp

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There are acouple of repaint patches, on rust or? you can at the corners the Brass under the coating or whatever it is. you can see where at one time there are paint cover up's 2 out of 3, on the rust or?Close up of date 1941, year they went into Russia. Now the BACK!!

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now here's some of the two part frame, you can also see file marks on the next two shots. great shot here too, the next one will show where they didn't file it down all the way.

greg koepp

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Ok, last photo for now. but you can see where they didn't file it down all the way on one side.

so I will take requests for other shots, but have to charge my laptop and repost on the other forum for Gordon W. and friends.

also I haven't found anyother like this or even a fake out there?? have you guys??

thanks greg koepp

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OK, as another Forum is saying is that they think someone took a frame and made one of these to match this Russian Report that Gordon Williamson has provided? now if this is true then why is there only one found in HOW MANY YEARS? 30-60,, also why only make one for the market to find, AND find in a old tool box with pipes? I know what is going to be said and I have been researching for anything on this Cross (I bet you have too, or will) and not one (1) has came to light on the Internet. Fake sure, I could care less, but for this to have a recorded story way back before fakes were being made, and no one talking about these crosses makes me wonder if this story is 100% reasonable.

who,what,why,where????

so what do you guys think? would be a super IC for an IC collector though!

thanks and I am open minded, so I am leaning more with Gordon that these were made at some time.

thanks and hope you like my find.

greg koepp

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The article by the Russian is guesswork and supposition as to where, why and how they were made.

The BDOS magazine did not control articles... if you sent one they were published... the author was responsible for the content.

The Soviet Union was not an isolated nation.

These could be from anywhere. Made in the DDR in the 1950? in Prague in the 60s? Leningrad in 42?

I would guess in Germany (east or west) post war.

Lets be realistic....

1) the quality is something that takes practice, materials and workers who know how to assemble an Iron Cross... guys were trained to do the work, it was not a case of "Oh... you were a tool and die maker? Well guess what, you are going to make Iron crosses during airraids" and not a one off batch of 500 in a bombed out factory.

2) Propaganda is cheap... leaflets and posters... not a very expensive box of crosses where each has a 1 in 1000 chance of making a single enemy soldier think. The Germans already knew what the Russians thought of them

3) Seriously? Would these have had any effect at all? I am sure the Germans would have loved to have these as souvenirs. It would not have changed anything. I knew many guys in the army who went out of their way to be as brutal as possible to folks we met "on the road"... anything to add to the hard ass reputation... boys will be boys.

4) Does anyone know who the Russian is who wrote the article? His credentials? His sources? It is not because something is in print that it is gospel. Gordon gives him the benefit of the doubt which is fair as nothing is proved one way or another but personally I would want to see more than a page of supposition from Lenningrad.

They could just have well been brought back from Berlin by Russian soldiers stationed there in 1973.

5) You have as little idea as to how it came into the box as the rest of us, could have been bought by the vet at a gun show in Shtsville in 1998 as he was taking his grandson from table to table. As everyone says... buy the piece not the story...

i assume it is up for sale or will be?

(I think for some reason that they look like postwar S+L pieces)

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ya all true.....

but interesting at least, and only found so far? also not for sale but for trade :)

thanks and hope this thing helps others out, I'm not a cross guy and know nothing to say-who/what/why/where. I would think others are out there, and maybe some of our Russian members can look around in their Country and Museums to find out the real deal if there is one???

thanks and respect your knowable opinion.

Greg koepp

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Apart from the First and Second Classes shown in the article, I have seen two First and one Second Class examples. The problem is that if the article is accurate and only a small number were made, it is unlikely that "variants" would occur and I would expect them all to show the same characteristics. However all of the First Classes I have seen have been slightly different in the fonts and exact positioning of the lettering. They can't all be good so at least some of them must be fake. Who and where they are coming from is anybodies guess.

I believe that these are true propaganda pieces (as opposed to one of the many types of pure fantasy designs which have come out of eastern Europe since the fall of Communism, and they have been around long enough that they pre-date these fantasy pieces), but as Chris points out, in the absence of any real evidence either way, we have to accept that they may well have appeared in the early postwar period (maybe even made by the East Germans). Another point to keep in mind is that these are of course not real "Iron Crosses" but anti-German propaganda pieces in the form of an Iron Cross. Many would like to have one simply out of interest, but I suspect purists among Iron Cross collectors wouldn't want one simply because they are not a real Iron Cross. I included them in my book purely for their curiosity value.

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Gordon, I'm trying to follow the logic here. They make an EK with a derogatory statement on it and plant it in an area where a German soldier can find it and it brings about the collapse of the 3rd Reich? Where is the logic in that? Why would they bother with 3 peice construction and where did they get the machinery? Why not an RK and a Grand Cross to influence the decision makers? These are probably made by the same folks that brought us the Hitler Diaries, they were from the East too.

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Gordon, I'm trying to follow the logic here. They make an EK with a derogatory statement on it and plant it in an area where a German soldier can find it and it brings about the collapse of the 3rd Reich? Where is the logic in that? Why would they bother with 3 peice construction and where did they get the machinery? Why not an RK and a Grand Cross to influence the decision makers? These are probably made by the same folks that brought us the Hitler Diaries, they were from the East too.

Hi,

there is a precedent with propaganda crosses....ie. the WW1 ones. http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=22759

These are crude (Gordons book mentions one piece crosses which would fir better to the purpose than a three piece fantasy cross pictured here)

The WW1 ones were NOT, NOT, NOT made to give to German soldiers... imagine risking a plane and pilot to drop an expensive box of crosses over a trench in Flanders.

Most would sink in the mud and the few that would have been found would have been prized souvenirs by the Germans.

Assuming there were one piece, crude crosses (as mentioned in Gordons book) then they may have been made as propaganda crosses in the war to sell and raise funds for the war effort (as were the WW1 crosses). That is assuming the Russians did things like that.

A last thought.... the Germans believed they were the goodies.... a simple cross showing the Russians think the Germans were the baddies would not really have convinced any german that its time private Schmitt declared the war over.

Note as well.... crude earlier examples have "FUR" and this one has evolved to "F?R"... also very unlikely that they corrected this within the batch?

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Here is my observation - The fake EK's that started showing up in Hungary and supposedly made by Ungarn and Horvath have frames exactly like these! They were interesting curiosities with the rounded inner conrenrs and the die flaws on the beads. The frame shown in the article clearly has sharp innner corners. Regardless these are interesting pieces, but knowing how it all goes - if someone can make a buck off of making anything - human nature dictates that they should and they do...

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Regardless these are interesting pieces, but knowing how it all goes - if someone can make a buck off of making anything - human nature dictates that they should and they do...

Exactly ! Which is why I have always considered these as little more than curios and certainly not something that any signficicant sum of money be risked on. I have never seen one that I could say with certainty was a 100% verified original. The only thing that would have made them really interesting to me would have been if it could have been established that the Soviets had manufactured such things by reworking captured stocks and thus they had begun life as "real" Iron Crosses, (an iron core would be easy enough to cast without fancy tooling), but if such things had been totally Soviet made as the article suggests they would, for me, be of little interest.

What tends to make me think such things may be genuine ( as anti-German propaganda pieces, but not necessarily , as the report suggests, made on the Leningrad Front during 1942 - as a for instance, perhaps created around 1957 as a "protest" at the West German regime authorising the EK to be made again in its 1957 form) ) is that so few of them have surfaced. Fakes usually leach out onto the market slowly at high prices then once exposed can be found everywhere at knock down prices. In around 20 years or so since I first heard of these, I could count on the fingers of one hand how many I have seen. No logic in going to great lengths to create pieces, complete with background story, like these which could no doubt be sold to some at high prices, then sell so few that only a handful appear over 20 years or so.

Unless more is discovered about these, I don't think we will ever be in a position to categorically declare them good or bad, so people will just have to make thier own minds up about them.

Here is one I had the chance to examine a little while back. Looks to be identical to Greg's.

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I would find it hard to plop down a sum of money for these either as more than just curios. There could be several explinations, but it could be that Ungarn and Horvath got their dies from whoever produced these EKs. either in 1941 or 1957? Still for $15, not a bad little piece to throw in the dispaly cabinet, even if its not 'wartime'...

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One thing I have noticed on the couple of First Classes I have seen is that the "R" in "RAUB" sits fractionally lower than the other letters. Whether that is an indication of "Good" or "Bad" is anyones guess.

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Here?s an example that I bought from a Gent in Germany a few years ago. I?ve heard ?rumblings? about these for years and since it was cheap , I bought it as a ?curiosity? item . My example also has a slightly lower ?R? like the one Gordon just posted and to tell you the truth , I know mine's a fake?it?s got to be. The construction is too good (multi-piece, nice finish ,tight hinge etc). And that fake silver finish with the Black washed age shadows always raises a flag before I look at any other details

But something tells me that at some point the Russians did make these.

The Soviet Propaganda machine was in overdrive ..and we shouldn?t dismiss something as ridiculous simply because we are judging it by today?s standards. Consider some of the wacked out Propaganda Items we (the Allies) , and the Germans produced -- ?

Postage Stamps with Hitler?s Head being a Skull ?

<a href="http://www.psywarrior.com/Cornflakes2.html" target="_blank">http://www.psywarrior.com/Cornflakes2.html</a>

Pornographic radio programs?

<a href="http://www.psywar.org/cripps.php" target="_blank">http://www.psywar.org/cripps.php</a>

Fake Cigarette Papers ?

QUOTE --?One disguise which appealed to me-as a non-smoker- was a wafer-paper version which was packed inside a well-known German make of cigarette papers for smokers who `rolled their own'. In the P.T. handbook, as in the Hymn book and the time-tables, the first few pages were identical copies of the German original. In the cigarette packets too, the first papers were genuine cigarette papers. It was only when you got further inside all of these `covers' that our `health instructions' made their appearance.?

<a href="http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:4UVb_...;cd=3&gl=us" target="_blank">http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:4UVb_...;cd=3&gl=us</a>

Propaganda Medals or Coins/Plaques were common during WW1 and I?m sure the ?lesson? was remembered during WW2. Here are a few examples including the well known Lusitania ?Medal? ?

<a href="http://ansmagazine.com/spring06/cavall.html" target="_blank">http://ansmagazine.com/spring06/cavall.html</a>

Goebbels even went as far as creating his own Nazi-sponsored German propaganda swing band (Charlie and his Orchestra) British listeners heard the band?s ?re-written? versions of popular songs every Wednesday and Saturday at around 9 pm.

Here?s a site where you can hear them ---

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_and_his_Orchestra" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_and_his_Orchestra</a>

By our standards today ..much of this sounds laughable and it?s hard to believe that any Country would seriously endorse any of these programs ..but , it was a different world 60 years ago and ..I can see them doing it.

Without a doubt , many Factories in Leningrad were working right through the Siege ..PPS43?s were being produced as well as M36 Helmets being refurbished etc.

I honestly don?t think stamping out 500+ simple one piece EK?s wouldn?t be a big deal for a Factory mass-producing stamped Machine Gun Parts.

Given the ?quality? of WW2 Soviet factory production in Leningrad (using the PPS43 as an example) ..I?m sure it would have been a one piece , cheaply made crude Cross meant for a one-time use. I'm also not so sure about 2 classes being made ..one Class would do the job.

They wouldn't be trying to fool anyone ..they wanted to get a message across

The question is ..what they were made for. Could they have been ?pinned? to German Soldiers killed by Partisans behind the lines as a Terror ?tool? ? (like a calling card)

One Collector thought they could have been a fund raising ?token? given out the way that ?TO HELMET DER KAISER? Cross was in WW1 (I doubt it)

The only explanation that?s plausible to me would be the Terror Tool idea ..selectively placed on murdered Soldiers behind the Lines ..the only problem is , we have never seen or read anything about that ever being done.

Maybe the program never got off the ground...hopefully someday something will turn up in the archives .

BTW guys ..these are just my feelings , I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion on them. I'm just trying to keep an open mind

Edited by Mike

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The only explanation that?s plausible to me would be the Terror Tool idea ..selectively placed on murdered Soldiers behind the Lines ..the only problem is , we have never seen or read anything about that ever being done.

Maybe the program never got off the ground...hopefully someday something will turn up in the archives .

Then why make EK2s? They are not really worn.

Seems to me body mutilation etc was used quite often and more effectively.

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