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Value of Historic Newspapers? Found Almost 100% 1939-1945 German Newspapers

First off, I live in Germany, thats important I guess.

So yeah, an old guy died in the house that I live in and my landlord is cleaning out the house. My wife and I checked the mail and went to recycle the junk mail and WHOA, the entire paper recycling bin was full with WWII newspapers.

Anyhow .. we looked through some of the papers on top and they all had dates like 1939, 1940 etc etc, seemingly in order. Id say there is about 25-30 gallons of perfectly stacked 70 year old newspapers in the bin. They have covers and pictures like the following.

Are they worth anything? Im pretty sure they are illegal to sell in Germany. But yeah .. they might be worth something somewhere else.

Berlin Illustrated Newspaper July 11, 1940 Cover

Illustrated Observer June 13, 1940 Cover

Illustrated Observer June 13, 1940 Pages 1-2
there has to be someone out there would buy them. if finding a buyer proves difficult, i'm absolutely sure that a museum or library would take them in, especially a special collections library. cushing library at a&m would probably take them for the ragan military collection.
I am interested in these maolivarez2 at gmail.com
If they are for sale I'll buy them!

bellaire04 at hotmail

for sale?

how much do you want for them?

They are definably illegal is Germany and definably have
If you find anything else like knifes, helmets, ect ect plz let me know!
Why are they illegal to sell in Germany?
Because they have swastikas on them and are related to Nazi Germany...

I collect WW II memorabilia and you see it quite often in auctions of Nazi items on ebay. The seller will say Not for sale in Germany, Italy ect ect ect...I few countries do not allow Nazi paraphernalia period...

Have you not seen or heard about the above?

I don’t know the exact law but I do know that many Nazi items are not allowed to be sent back into Germany. Out might be another animal but I don’t think it is an issue.
i will buy These Pay And for Shipping to The States
I dont think that it is worth me trying to get them all out of the trash, smuggle them out of the country and all of that for whatever anyone is going to offer.

I consulted an expert in collectible newspapers and stated a quote for what each would be worth. I just dont think that it would be worth actually dealing with the whole issue.
I would save the best 10 or so for yourself and sell them when you get back state side...
Yeah that may be an idea, Im at work today (I work with all Germans, as Im not here in any capacity with the US company or the DOD) and I will see what they think.

Mostly what Im worried about is that Customs will open it up before it leaves Germany and then I will get arrested if I try to ship it out. They are really serious about this stuff, recently some star over here got arrested and got a tapestry confiscated because it belonged to Göbbles. He had bought it somewhere, but then he was showing it off to people and someone ratted him out.

The point being, if I got caught, I would lose the shipping costs and the police would pay me a visit, possibly at home (better) but maybe at work (very bad). I work for research at Daimler and if the police came and took me out of work, it could seriously damage my desire to stay in Germany for a while.

As I said, not really worth it. But yeah I might keep a few for myself and see. I dont think that they go for the entire war period now and I have seen a few from 1936 now (house Im living in was built in 1936), so I figure that they belonged to the parents of the old guy that died, or the family who owned the house and he lived in their house. No idea.

[This message has been edited by Randy03 (edited 9/28/2009 3:50a).]
Some of the pre-war issues are just as valuable, historically, as the war time issues! People tend to focus on the war and not the time period and actions that allowed Hitler and the Nazi party to rise to power. Contact the Smithsonian Institute. You are sitting on an historical gold mine. I would have fallen over backward if I had been in your shoes.
They are in German and I contacted an antique newspaper collector in the US and he stated that due to the newspapers being in German, their value among collectors are very low.
I doubt you'll get busted shipping it out. Box it at your house so the post office in the fatherland doesn't see it! But then again, this is coming from someone who doesn’t have a career or a badass job on the line!

Do they have Nazi newspaper sniffing dogs?
Beauty of the internet - you have already sent copies to us.

Pictures worth something - the rest little or nothing.
If you are concerned about the legal consequences of selling them, couldn't you donate them to A&M or some other institution? It sounds like you aren't really worried about possessing them so I would think donation might not be an issue. The historical value of the newspapers is probably worth the effort.
These are not illegal in Germany. Yes, they do ban public displays of Swastikas, but they are not the thought police. I would contact the U.S. Department of Customs to verify, but you should have no problem getting them back to the U.S.
The following is courtesy of Aalan94's German-language translating service, a free courtesy to History board members:

Photo 1:
Berliner Illustrated Newspaper
Box: In this Issue, A Flight to the Front with Balbo (whoever that is) by Wolfgang Weber.
Below picture: In the Middle of the Vosges (mountains). (The rest is too blurry)

Photo 2: Illustrated Observer (as Randy notes). The Voelkische Beobachter was the official Nazi Party Newsletter, and this is one of its picture editions). At bottom, "New Photos from Flanders."

Photo 3: "The Fuhrer with the Troops in Flanders." Top photo: "Jubilation for the Fuehrer at his arrival at the memorial cemetery for German (too blurry here). The captions of the other ones are too blurry.

Photo 4: Bottom photo "The Fuehrer at the memorial cemetery of Langemard." (I'm guessing that this is probably a WWI German cemetery in Belgium that he's visiting.

Post more pics if you get a chance.

What I would do is go to the Bundespost and mail them book rate. Throw in a few books and on the customs form just write books and newspapers. You're telling the truth. But in point of fact, no one will open them. They might x-ray them, but I seriously doubt that. Most likely, a drug-sniffing dog is all that will be used.

I bought a ton of stuff at flea markets. Mostly WWI, but some WWII. Just threw it all together and mailed it and no one cared. Send it "mit Schiff" because they are less fastidious about stuff that doesn't go via airmail.

In 1998, I bought a German helmet from a farmer in Czechoslovakia. The farmer had scratched off the swastika which probably knocked off half the value. When the German border patrol folks saw it, the guy asked me where I got the helmet, and I said Czechoslovakia. Then he said, "This is German." I was very tempted to say, "Yeah, you left it there." But I simply said I was a history student and was going to ship it back to America. He let me go. Not sure if the Swastika would have made a difference.
save and preserve as many as you can. Great historical value! Find the right organization/museum/library and donate them

Too many idiots are denying the events recorded in those papers after only 60-70 years
Well I have until Friday to get them out of the trash, I guess I will go ahead and maybe do that this afternoon so the recycling truck doesnt take them away.
Randy, you need to go get these out of the bin right now. All of them. Seriously.

Can you imagine the historic value of these papers. The other point of view of the war. These would be great in a historic archive at some University in the US.

FWIW - I was helping my dad clean out my Great Aunt's house in Waco circa 1984 or so. We found the newspaper from the day FDR died. It was amazing to me that it had survived 40 years of Texas summers. That was 25 years ago. I can't remember what we did with the newspaper. We couldn't really take it with us because we were headed back to Saudi Arabia.
Randy, I am pretty sure I can find a home for them at the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene. If not there I have some connections that would know the best place to archive these papers.
Okay, so I decided that all of yall cant be wrong, so I went down and sorted through all the trash and got them both out of the recycle bin and all of the sacks of trash downstairs.

I completely underestimated how many there are. I now would estimate that there are about 100-200 newspapers between 1936 and 1945 (there are some torn up ones from as late as 1947).

Also something I found interesting, there was a Dec 1945 edition of "Die Neue Zeitung" the new newspaper, that says it is the 17th issue of this newspaper ... an American newspaper in German. Mostly its talking about "where do we go now from here". Pretty interesting.

However, most of them are from the war period, like 90% of them and Id say that they are in pretty darn condition.

Also Hollywood, I figure that the newspaper stayed preserved well due to the heat and lack of humidity, things that eat cellulose (paper) would be things that thrive on humidity and cool, like bugs and mold and etc. Since they were in the attic, thats a way better place than in a basement.

I just fired off an email to K-State's expert in German history. He is on sabatical over there right now. I am trying to get a course of action that you might follow for preserving the papers.
well done
Randy are you in Berlin? If not what area are you close to?
I live in Stuttgart

I figure that the newspapers were out of Berlin, because at the time, Berlin was the capital and the center of Germany (so says my wife).

After the war, München and Frankfurt became more important and now have the two biggest national papers (Frankfurter Allgemeine and Süddeutsche Zeitung), however they only became more important through the US occupation.

Also had the house I live in been more towards Untertürkheim, where I work, it would have been blown to pieces, as most of Stuttgart and Untertürkheim (Daimler) was flattened. However, I live nearer to Esslingen and it was not bombed, thank goodness, because its a really nice little town.
Randy you are damn lucky. I love Stuttgart. I got to spend a couple weeks up there "training" which basically meant going to the range a couple of days of the week and spending the rest of the time roaming the streets.

Not much in the way of history museums in that area that might want the papers from what I can see.

However, you can contact the Dr. Wolfram Pyta of the History Department at the University of Stuttgart and see what he thinks. From I have discussed with Dr. Maner of K-State, the papers are not illegal and depending on the circulation size are quite possibly valuable as far a historical research goes.

Department recent history:
Chair: Professor Dr. Wolfram Pyta
e-mail: wolfram.pyta@po.hi.uni-stuttgart.de
The priorities of the Department of recent history are on one the central political choices of European and German history (Vienna Congress; first world war; fall of the Weimar Republic; Holocaust) to investigate. On the other it is therefore to ask the cultural resources of political domination and accordingly systematically specifically to take the imagination power of literature for the foundation of collective identity in sight.

Good Luck. I hope you find a home for these!
I was very tempted to say, "Yeah, you left it there."


Now the thing that I call livin' is just bein' satisfied with knowin' I got no one else to blame
Yep the Illustrierter Beobachter was the official party illustrated newspaper.

I went ahead and googled it.

Also a good friend of mine was a Professor of German at A&M and now has left (because A&M sucks for liberal leaning and humanities people). Anyhow he does German media studies, so Im sure he will be interested more in the content than a lot of war libraries that cant read them anyways.

After I discuss with him what he thinks I may contact Uni Stuttgart
Congrats on your find! I'm still waiting for my first diamond in the rough estate sale or something along those lines. The best I've had is my mom's friend sent me back some old Nazi stamps and parcel from the Netherlands. One thing had an eagle and swastika wax stamp and another one that I remember was a pass to go out on the streets for new years! Pretty cool find ya got there! Whatever you do grab all that you can and hold onto them!
can you check to see if any of the january 1940 issues mention american college football in the sports section?

I was very tempted to say, "Yeah, you left it there."


I thought the same thing when I read that.
Can you imagine the historic value of these papers. The other point of view of the war. These would be great in a historic archive at some University in College Station, TX.

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