GERMANY – A rare Nazi photo album has been discovered, the personal property of Nazi SS officer Karl Höcker.
A tattered old book brought to the German version of Antiques Roadshow known as Kitsch oder Kunst?, (in English: Kitsch or Art?) has become one of the most intriguing and unusual items ever seen on the show.
Antonia Steingröver arrived at the taping with a medium sized book bearing a weathered leather cover. When she presented it to the experts, she explained that she had never opened the book as her family had always told her that the book should be kept in a secret location, hidden from everyone they knew.
“My ancestors would kill me if they knew I was doing this,” Steingröver said. “They wanted to me to keep this a secret forever.”
“I figured that not knowing the contents of the book would increase my chances of getting on TV,” she continued. “So I never opened it, not even once. I have no idea what’s inside.”
But seconds later, Steingröver could hardly believe her ears when she learned that the book was actually a finely crafted scrapbook celebrating the Nazi regimen of 1930’s Germany.
“This is a fascinating example of the love for Hitler and the love for craft,” said Dietrich Uhlmann head of the Graphics and Drawings department of Antiquitäten & Auktionshaus Adamski, a German art and antiquities auction house based in Constance, Germany.
The book was determined to belong to Steingröver’s great aunt, Ursula Haberkamper, a Nazi sympathizer and amateur scrap booker. Dated entries show that Haberkamper produced this masterpiece from 1932-1938. This six year epic illustrates the rise of Hitler through the eyes of an awe-inspiring artesian.
“When I saw what was inside I was shocked. I had no idea that it contained such sordid content. I was left speechless,” said Steingröver, “I didn’t know if I should be pleased by its rarity or not. All I really wanted to know was how much it was worth.”
As it turned out the value was all but a moderate sum of 150-300 Euros. “Although a fine specimen, this is the type of thing that most people don’t really want to show off,” explained, Luis van der Neut, renowned German scrapbookologist.
You can see Steingröver’s scrapbook and others like it on National Geographic’s new documentary series, Nazi Scrapbooks from Hell. Be sure to catch the latest episode on Tuesday, December 14, at 5 pm.
PHOTOS by BOY MACK