Large Photo and Document Group from Hitler’s Visit with Il Duce May 1938-There is a letter dated March 24, 1972 that explains exactly what this group consists of and where it came from. The grouping was purchased from Edgar A.J. Johnson, Lt. Col., Ret., U.S. Army (he wrote the letter). This grouping was given to him by Captain David Wik, U.S. Army, at Stuttgart, Germany in November 1945. Captain Wik obtained the grouping from Dr. Karl Weidenbach. The group consists of Dr. Weidenbach’s personal souvenirs which he assembled in May, 1938 when, as a representative of the Stuttgart Neuen Tageblattes (this of course was a Nazi propaganda newspaper during the Reich), he accompanied Adolf Hitler on his state visit to Italy. The folio in this group was presented to Dr. Weidenbach by the Italian Government as a memento of the visit. The group consists of the following items:
- Engraved invitation to Dr. Karl Weidenbach inviting him to a reception at the palace in Venice. The invitation is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the name of the Duce, and is in honor of the “Führer”. It has a seal of the ministry impressed, Italian national emblem, and is numbered on the reverse “126”.
- Staatsbuch des Führers und Reichskanzlers in Italien, May 1938, Fahrplan des Reigerungzuges (Sonderzug III). Time table of government trains, special train number 3. Has complete list of persons assigned to train number 3 and the offices these people held. Among them is Dr. Karl Weidenbach. Much other information, has party eagle embossed in gold on the cover. Printed in Berlin.
- Two menus from Special Train III with silver party eagle.
- Time table of Italian part of the trip, in Italian, from ministry of communications.
- Time table of complete trip, in German. On one page of some book printed by Nazi Ministry of Transport.
- Italian postcard, showing old Roman arena in Verona where operas were staged, unused.
- Group of 13 photos (list shows 15?), all have the name Luce in the lower left corner (Italian institute that took the official photos of Hitler and his party). Almost all show Hitler and the Duce, also shown are Goebbels, von Ribbentrop and other officials. Two have slips of paper pasted to back with description of photo and the name “Instituto Nazionale Luce”.
The grouping also has a photo of a gentleman standing with a large roll top desk. The back of the photo says “Cape Fear Antiques, Mr Curry”. It is dated March 23, 1981. The retired LTC that wrote the letter in 1972 was also an author and a copy of a bookmark from one of his books titled “American Imperialism in the Image of Peer Gynt” is included, A truly unique and incredibly interesting grouping!