July 1, 2015

The 1937 Third Reich Militaria Mystery

Tinnie 01 May 1937

Speaking of Privacy

In all the years I visited my grandparents in Olympia, I never thought to, nor was I ever asked to, go through anything on my Grandma Josie’s dressing table.  In fact, it was many long years from the 1950’s to 1984 when my Grandpa died that I finally felt comfortable going through any of their things. Grandma had died in 1981, and even then Grandpa retained his room when my parents moved in with him in about 1982-3.

Having said all that, it wasn’t that I was never in my grandparent’s bedroom when they were alive, but I didn’t ‘touch’ anything.  Grandma wasn’t mean or anything, it was just a matter of respect for her things that I never tried.  But I remember the tableau on her dresser as if it was yesterday.

Grandma’s Dressing Table

The dressing table itself was what they call “waterfall” and that’s about all I know of it, other than it was part of a set with a dresser for Grandpa and I think they had a matching headboard for their bed.  On the dressing table were crocheted dresser scarves and two dresser jars with ‘do dads’ in them.  The above picture is a set of jars like Grandma’s that I bought on eBay some years ago.  They were very close to what Grandma’s look like, and I have the her originals.

Nazi Memorabilia

Getting to the point, inside one of the glass jars were two items that seem quite odd for Grandma to have in her possession.  One is what they call a tinnie and is dated 01 Mai 1937.   I scanned the pin thinking it might pick up the details better, but the results are a little dark.

1937 May Day Celebrations Tinnie

A tinnie for the 1937 May Day. As a socialist regiem, it was traditional to hold a worker’s celebration day annually on May 1st. Motif was of Child holding a oakleaf sprig (symbolizing strength) giving the fascist salute, supported by a “benevolent” party. Measures approximately 1.25″ in diameter.

The other piece of memorabilia in the jar was a very small iron cross that looks almost like some sort of charm.  I would doubt it had anything to do with Nazism because it’s a symbol older than that, but with them being together in Grandma’s things and the pin having a swastika on it, it makes me wonder.

Grandma had a son named Andrew Scribner, from her first marriage to Lee Scribner, who was in the military during the time of World War II, but I don’t know if he went to Europe or not.  It may have been something he found if he was over there.  I can’t imagine anyone else giving it to Grandma.

Neither the pin or the charm are that rare or worth much money, so the value in them for our family is the mystery of how Grandma came to have them. No, ours are not for sale.

Do you have memorabilia from Germany, or World War II?