RESERVED (mk) Exquisite and Historic, “Ritchie Boys” Bring-back Max Wünsche Grouping
Colonel Herb Schader, US Army, was one of the famous “Ritchie Boys” who were military intelligence specialist interrogators recently chronicled in a 60 Minutes special about their unit. Essentially most were German or Austrian born, native German speakers, who conducted special interrogations of enemy POWs during the final months of the war, and into the postwar period. During the postwar time their focus was on hunting down fugitive third reich combatant and leadership figures. During one of these instances, Shader had the opportunity to interrogate the mother of Max Wunsche, from whom he obtained this grouping. There is so much to the story, with real adventure that was captured in the 60-Minutes presentation, which is worth viewing for the full background of that unit. Col. Schader was visited by the historian who owns this grouping, along with Schader’s son, and was able to obtain personal details and atmospherics of the questioning of Max’s mother, right from the source himself. Despite Col. Schader’s extreme advanced age, there were a few tid bits of interest, such as “did you obtain these items from Wunsche’s wife?” with the answer being “no, his mother!” That kind of history is rare and unique in collecting today and sheds tremendous light on these artifacts. The items themselves consist of a period print of Max as an SS-Stubaf, with an inscription written by Schader himself (who learned to write as a young Austrian boy would have), in the ‘German style’ script you see here on the reverse of the photo; plus the common American mistaking of the rank equivalents for Ostubaf, which is in fact a Lieutenant-Colonel, but was often called “Major” in American transliterations–an interesting but important highlight. The items also include a silver cup in its original case, given to Wunsche by Panzermeyer on the occasion of AH’s birthday 1944. Inside that was tucked a rolled up LAH bullion officer’s cufftitle, uniform removed; plus some miscellaneous medals that were Wunsche’s property. The accompanying documents were research obtained through open source by the historian / collector himself, in addition to his being able to directly obtain these artifacts from Col Schader and his Son. An incredible piece of history–the belongings of one of the most famous SS-Panzer leaders, obtained during the unsettled and urgent times of the immediate postwar period. A truly one-of-a-kind opportunity. COA accompanies.
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