The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

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The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 22nd, 2021, 12:54 pm

Image

Our cover image this month brands Kalanag for the Nazi that he was.
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The magician Kalanag, who was known by his real name Helmut Schreiber until the end of the war in 1945, has always been a problematic figure. Succinctly put, “Was he or wasn’t he” has been the question since he started touring with his large show outside Germany just after the war ended. In this issue we put that question to rest: he was. Our cover story consists of excerpts from Dr. Malte Herwig’s new German language book The Great Kalanag: How Hitler’s Magician Made the Past Disappear and Conquered the World, published by Penguin Random House of Germany. Not only was Schreiber a member of the Nazi party, he was the favorite magician of both Adolf Hitler and Herman Göring.
Also this month, we have a fine handling of The Universal Card from David Britland in “Cardopolis”; a coincidence effect with a shocking ending from Jim Steinmeyer in “Conjuring”; an elaborate and mysterious mechanism for producing coins in a crystal decanter from John Gaughan’s collection in “Chamber of Secrets”: in “Expert at the Kids’ Table,” David Kaye relates how kids shows are ramping back up, and the unexpected moments performers are discovering; The Queens whisper twice says Jon Racherbaumer in “Exhumations”; Vanessa Armstrong brings us the latest news in detail in “The Eye”; Jonathan Friedman slings three clever tricks your way in “Magicana.” Reviews this month are by Mark Phillips, David Britland, and Joe M. Turner, for tricks, books, and videos, respectively, and there’s even a guest book review by Jim Steinmeyer.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Ted M » May 22nd, 2021, 1:22 pm

Mozzarella? Jonathan Friedman seems unfamiliar with gouda being coated in red wax -- hence the title of the "Gou-Doh" trick.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 22nd, 2021, 1:28 pm

Good catch.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Ted M » May 22nd, 2021, 2:01 pm

Well, I do live in the land of cheese.

He may live in a state that focuses on other things.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 24th, 2021, 3:48 pm

Any enhancements of the images to clear up wand or 'not wand'... and side by side comparisons of the club and party badges?

Odd mention of Harbin in the article. He put a "dream" item into his Demon Magic book? Also, by the way, if you look in that book at the pincushion trick it uses designs including.... you guessed it. Will that symbol ever get freed from its misappropriation?

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 24th, 2021, 4:11 pm

To answer your question, Jonathan, the answer is no.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Grippo's Wish » May 24th, 2021, 7:13 pm

During 1964-1965, Genii magazine published Mr. K's "autobiography" in several chapters / issues.

I suppose this issue will be the magazine's "redemption"

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 25th, 2021, 1:05 pm

Please explain about the reference to an old servile elephant and the child he takes to see the elephants dance. Is this about the elephant making sure the next generation of human masters treats him well?

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 25th, 2021, 1:46 pm

Huh?
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 25th, 2021, 2:31 pm

The politically astute captive elephant which participated in elephant hunts.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Joe Lyons » May 25th, 2021, 4:12 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Please explain about the reference to an old servile elephant and the child he takes to see the elephants dance. Is this about the elephant making sure the next generation of human masters treats him well?

Could be Stockholm syndrome (with Kipling’s Kala Nag). ;)

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 27th, 2021, 8:00 pm

Thank you for publishing the article. And to the author for making book excerpts available. Magic does not need to carry NSDAP/nazi or racist baggage.

That name is right from Kipling's story. How could we pretend* to be as innocent as young Toomai and somehow forget that elephant's participation in elephant hunts? I will seek out the book and look for pictures with items hidden in green ink.

Apparently the guy presented glamour and riches - a spectacle. Richard Hatch's remark about banknotes gone missing during the war connects with Schrieber eliciting audience resentment for displaying splendors in his shows after the war.

TMI time?
*The book "While Six Million Died" was there on the bookshelf at home since before I could read. My teachers spoke of tensions and terrors from that time before WWII - of heartbroken and terrified patriots being told one could not be both a good German and a Jew. The Germans I've met have internalized that disconnect from the time after the 1920s until somewhere around the early 1960s - a hole in history to be avoided.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Peter Ross » June 1st, 2021, 2:41 pm

Any reason this month's issue was delivered in a sealed white envelope instead of the usual clear plastic bag? Could it be because of the giant red swastika on the cover?

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 1st, 2021, 2:45 pm

It was suggested to me that some people might find the branding of a Nazi objectionable.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 1st, 2021, 6:23 pm

Notice the open eye and most of the smile in red 8-) Who gets kudos for the cover design?

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 1st, 2021, 8:03 pm

Me.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby erdnasephile » June 1st, 2021, 8:08 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It was suggested to me that some people might find the branding of a Nazi objectionable.


RK: Thank you for doing this (and for incurring the extra expense to do so). Our mail not infrequently gets misdelivered in my neighborhood and your decision saved me from having to have to potentiallyexplain the Nazi symbolism on/in a magazine to which I subscribe to. Also, thanks for your printing of this forthright and important article.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Dr. Solka » June 4th, 2021, 5:57 am

Sadly to this day, the Magic Circle of Germany awards a ring of honor named after Kalanag.
https://www.mzvd.de/verein/ehrungen/kalanag-ring

The text reads:
“On the decision of the board of the Magic Circle of Germany MZvD, this Kalanag ring was created in 1983. It is to be awarded to members who have rendered outstanding services to the art of magic and, in particular, to promote the Magic Circle of Germany.
Design and layout by Hans-Heinrich Koch, Wolfsburg.”

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Denis Behr » June 4th, 2021, 9:07 am

"to this day" is misleading. The last time it was awarded in 2012 (still too late, I'd say!), and right now there's a discussion on how to handle this former award, initiated by Herwig's book. I say former award, because I'd be very surprised if another one of those rings would be awarded to anyone.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Hatch » June 7th, 2021, 1:42 pm

Malte Herwig, author of the excellent but controversial new biography of Helmut Schreiber (Kalanag) featured on the cover and excerpted in the June issue, will be speaking on this topic at the upcoming United Magicians for the World free streaming event. His presentation is currently scheduled for 4 p.m. CEST (Rome time) on Thursday, June 17th, which I believe is 10 a.m. EST. I assume a schedule will be posted eventually on the following website:
https://mastersofmagicconvention.com/umw/

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Q. Kumber » June 8th, 2021, 7:56 am

Arrived yesterday in Manchester.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 8th, 2021, 3:27 pm

Really enjoying reading the excerpts in Genii - greatly enhanced by the photos. Looks like he performed very close up for Hitler. I don't know what tricks he was doing for him, but I'm willing to bet none of them were the Squirting Rose.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Zig Zagger » June 8th, 2021, 4:53 pm

:lol: Haha, good one, Alfred!

More likely a card trick, maybe along the "Follow the Leader" plot... :roll:
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby AJM » June 9th, 2021, 3:35 pm

Anyways, how about a little song to break the awkward silence?

All together now...

Haben sie gehort das Deutsche Band
Mit a bang
Mit a boom
Mit a bing-bang bing-bang boom
Aaah, haben sie gehort das Deutsche Band
Mit a bang
Mit a boom
Mit a bing-bang bing-bang boom
Russian folksongs und French oo-la-la
Can't compare with a German oom-pah-pah!
Ve're sayin'...
Haben sie gehort das Deutsche Band
Mit a zetz, mit a zap, mit a zing...
Polish polkas, they're stupid und they're rotten
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that
Schweigen-reigen-schone-schutzen-schmutzen sauerbraten!
Key change!
Ve're sayin'...
Haben sie gehort das Deutsche Band
Mit a zetz, mit a zap, mit a zing...
It's ze only kind of musik
Zat ve huns und our honeys
Love to sing!
That's our Hitler!
Corner-person Begrudger

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby AJM » June 9th, 2021, 3:41 pm

I have to admit my rudimentary German (and Japanese for that matter) was gleaned from the Commando comics that some UK readers will recall from the 70’s.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Bob Farmer » June 9th, 2021, 7:58 pm

For a related topic, see:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unholy ... 1130737398

And to add to Andrew's lyrics, when I was playing in Sandy Wilson and The Bluesjammers, we used to do "Wild Thing" in German because in German it's hilarious (in English it's just stupid):

Real German
Wildes Ding.
Ich denk’ ich lieb’ Dich.
Aber ich moechte ganz sicher sein.
Also komm’, halt’ mich fest.
Ich liebe Dich.

Phonetic + Fake German
Vill-dess Fraulein.
Ish denk ish leeb dish.
Aber ish gans sicker sign.
Alzo come halt come mick fest.
Ick leeb a dish, Fraulein.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Dr.Tinkerpaw » June 10th, 2021, 2:49 pm

Disappointed, disturbed and perplexed. Why is there a magic magazine with a big red swastika on it's cover celebrating a dead nazi who supported a genocidal maniac and fascist slavery for all humanity, on my coffee table? There are plenty magicians of the past that deserve recognition (Benjamin Rucker perhaps). I don't see anything particularly special or important about the magic that he did to warrant forgiveness for the sake of his magical innovation. (Unlike Hanussen, who did have a notable style and innovation, that deserved looking at. But ultimately, his story ended with a Nazi bullet in his skull.) I did read the article hoping to find something redeemable and justifiable for its presence on my coffee table.
But I could not.
The story was not about a magician who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was about a Nazi who happened to be a profitable Nazi magician.
I cannot forgive him because of his politics, because his politic was genocide. Which included my family ancestors in Poland and my Great Grandmother who survived to tell me her story.
I am not particularly a fan or supporter of cancel culture, but I take issue with this issue. It has now been removed from my coffee table and placed into the garbage bin.
Sadly, this is my very first subscription issue of this magazine. Hopefully the upcoming issues will inspire magical enthusiasm, rather than inflict unsettled disgust.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Ted M » June 10th, 2021, 3:01 pm

Dr. Tinkerpaw,

Kalanag had previously been celebrated in magical culture, with his Nazi loyalties swept under the rug.

Genii has now made Kalanag's Nazi identity unmistakably plain for all to see, and unavoidable to discuss in future.

Genii Editor Richard Kaufman is not in the practice of celebrating Nazis. Rather, he has just publicly outed one.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Bob Farmer » June 11th, 2021, 10:21 am

The scariest thing in that issue is the picture of Kalanag performing for Hitler. There must be some long lost promo material that this was used in (post WWII). I can't imagine the caption that was used, but maybe, "D-Day was not the first time der Führer got fooled."

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Leo Garet » June 11th, 2021, 11:18 am

I haven’t seen the issue in question, so I can’t comment on the article. I am an occasional subscriber to Genii. I’m sure the Chief Genii will be thrilled with that. But I do buy single copies from the semi-local magic shop. I will be getting it in the not too distant future.

Anyway, from the tone of comments on this thread I infer that the articles are anything but a celebration of Kalanag. Does the Genii piece display any forgiveness of the man?

Dr Tinkerpaw’s comments indicate that from his reading of the article it is precisely that.: A celebration, going so far as to say:

“The story was not about a magician who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was about a Nazi who happened to be a profitable Nazi magician”.

Isn’t that the point? Being about a Nazi who happened to be a profitable Nazi magician? Not a celebration of a magician at all. The fact that Dr Tinkerpaw didn't find anything redeemable in the article emphasises that point.

I’ve read a few books on the Third Reich and more than several more on WWII in general and even more on various conflicts, from before the Battle Of Hastings. Some of the Third Reich books have photographs of Hitler “emblazoned” on the covers, often accompanied by swastikas and his cronies. None of the books I’ve read has been a celebration of anything to do with the Nazis. The only people who gain any plaudits are the opponents of the regime.

Should these books not have a Hitler picture on the covers? Or perhaps a disclaimer of some sort.


Incidentally, if Dr Tinkerpaw is interested in Hanussen, may I suggest he/she acquires a copy of Genii, July 2004, volume 67, issue 7.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Chris Aguilar » June 11th, 2021, 12:03 pm

Dr.Tinkerpaw wrote:....

I am not particularly a fan or supporter of cancel culture, but I take issue with this issue. It has now been removed from my coffee table and placed into the garbage bin.
...
.

Sounds like you are a "fan and supporter" of a culture you purport to disdain.

Ah well, first (and only post) from an anonymous user. Industrial sized pinch of salt taken.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 11th, 2021, 1:13 pm

Zig Zagger wrote::lol: Haha, good one, Alfred!

More likely a card trick, maybe along the "Follow the Leader" plot... :roll:


That would indeed be appropriate. :mrgreen:

BTW, Zig Zagger, I enjoyed your interview of Malte Herwig from whose book the excerpts in the Genii piece are taken:
https://zzzauber.wordpress.com/2021/03/ ... te-herwig/

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Bob Farmer » June 12th, 2021, 4:44 pm

Recently, the program for Kalanag's close-up show for Hitler surfaced. The effects performed using Reichcycles cards were:

1. Munich Opener.

2. Triumph ("of the Will" version).

3. Master Race Assembly.

4. The Four Jackboots.

5. Three Card Bernard Montgomery (Monty).

6. The PaSS.

7. Himmler's Ambitious Card.

8. Blitzkrieging the Aces.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 12th, 2021, 9:21 pm

Bob, you have a truly jaded sense of humor.

I like that.

Oh, there was actually one more in his set, which he was always ready to do just in case Hitler didn't like one of the other tricks:

The bullet catch.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Zig Zagger » June 13th, 2021, 5:03 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:BTW, Zig Zagger, I enjoyed your interview of Malte Herwig from whose book the excerpts in the Genii piece are taken:
https://zzzauber.wordpress.com/2021/03/ ... te-herwig/

Thank you very kindly, Alfred!

BTW, the leading German news magazine DER SPIEGEL has just published a story on Kalanag, including many photographs:
https://www.spiegel.de/geschichte/helmu ... 86f5bb2cb2
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Hatch » June 14th, 2021, 1:08 am

The United Magicians for the World schedule has been posted online (subject to change without notice) and the good news is that many of the presentations will be replayed 12 hours after the livestream including my conversation with Dr. Herwig on the topic of "Was Kalanag a Nazi and does it matter?" at 10 a.m. EST and repeated at 10 p.m. Thursday the 17th.
For the complete schedule, click on the "Discover the Program" link downscreen here:
https://mastersofmagicconvention.com/umw/

If you think the June GENII has already answered the first question, I encourage you to tune in. Also, if you have any questions you want addressed on this topic, feel free to post them here for consideration.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Dr. Solka » June 14th, 2021, 10:36 am

The website of the Magic Circle of Germany
https://www.mzvd.de/verein/historie/geschichte-des-mzvd
states:

… Despite his (Kalanag's – Dr. Solka) pandering to the Nazi leadership, there is no evidence that he shared their politics and ideology. There are severe documents in the Federal Archives that testify that Schreiber helped and protected Jews during the Nazi period. …

I (Peter Schuster in "Zeitreisen") can only confirm the assessment formulated by Hannes Höller in 1999: "Schreiber was undoubtedly not a Nazi. In 1936 he was not a member of the party and certainly not an anti-Semite. But he had influence and an insatiable hunger for a career. He was a controversial figure. He was an opportunist. …

I think:
Due to the German prohibition of betraying trick secrets, it should be generally accepted outside Germany that Kalanag was an active fighter of the most secret resistance. His resistance fights have been so top secret that nobody and even the Fuehrer himself couldn't know about them, although Kalanag was awarded personally by the Fuehrer in 1943. Kalanag became a bearer of the War Merit Cross WITH swords.

According to my knowledge, this was the highest German war medal for civilians, and the swords were (actually only) awarded for involvement in combat. Why did he not wear his war medal after WW II? I can only guess.

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Richard Hatch » June 14th, 2021, 2:33 pm

Dr. Solka wrote:I think:
Due to the German prohibition of betraying trick secrets, it should be generally accepted outside Germany that Kalanag was an active fighter of the most secret resistance. His resistance fights have been so top secret that nobody and even the Fuehrer himself couldn't know about them, although Kalanag was awarded personally by the Fuehrer in 1943. Kalanag became a bearer of the War Merit Cross WITH swords.

According to my knowledge, this was the highest German war medal for civilians, and the swords were (actually only) awarded for involvement in combat. Why did he not wear his war medal after WW II? I can only guess.


I believe the reason the film producer (and amateur magician at the time) Helmut Schreiber did not wear this medal is because he never received it. I believe you have him confused with this SS Captain with the same name who did receive it (and many other military medals) in 1943:
https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/913 ... ment-3.htm

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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Zig Zagger » June 15th, 2021, 6:54 am

I'm not sure, Richard.

It is mentioned in the "Magie" in 1944 (special issue "Arbeitstagung in Bad Aussee", p. 6) that the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords was awarded to Schreiber by the Fuehrer at his headquarter (late in 1943 or early in 1944) after Schreiber's trip with Albert Speer to the polar region for the entertainment of troops.

However, as I've read, these merits and awards came in bulk. They were awarded to millions of soldiers, but also to many civilians for behind the front or home front activities.
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Re: The June Issue of Genii Features the Nazi Kalanag on the Cover

Postby Dr. Solka » June 15th, 2021, 8:24 am

@Richard Hatch
The intention of my words “I think ...” was a sarcastic one. I hope I was able to make it clear.

I’m sure you mistooke Helmut Schreiber/Kalanag with Helmuth Schreiber / SS.

@Zig Zagger
Jan, you’re correct (as every time).

It speaks for the civilian Schreiber's craving for the prestige that he did not receive the civilian but the military version of the cross. That was undoubtedly pure coincidence. (Sarcasm!)


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