I don’t mean the innocuous figurines of rabbits and foxes, which still command the exorbitant prices online. Collectors are paying not for the rabbit. No, they acquire a prized possession, an item with the Allach mark. Two crossed bolts, insignia of SS. It was the rune of victory.
SS were, so to say, effective and efficient managers of the great business empire, the truly multinational corporation, operating in the Reich and occupied countries. Nothing much is left of the quite small company division, the porcelain factory in sleepy Allach, next to no less sleepy Dachau.
I went to the Granatstrasse, to have a look on the nondescript building of cream stucco. The structure, probably, housed the guards, or the storage or something no less business-like. It could have been the broom closet, for all we know. The plaque, in sombre dark stone, simply says that slave labor was employed here, by the Nazis.
The same thing could be said about much bigger enterprises, but for now, Allach.
Any antique collector is aware that real deals are to be found far beyond the internet. Nothing of the great value is presented online. The rabbits, by the way, still command the prices over half a thousand euro.
But I’m not here in pursuit of a forest animals. No, I want the white, spotless, gleaming little drummer boy, with a perfect, Aryan face. Price on request, item on hold, the usual staff. It is futile to make any enquires online. The business is cautious, the trust is fragile, just like a porcelain itself. My request will vanish in the spam folder.
I make few phone calls, in fact, five, using my connections among the antique dealers on Trodelmarkt. Finally, I get a reply. There is a guy in Anklam, who is prepared to discuss things. Of course, it is going to be cash, and, of course, the Hitler Youth boy is unavailable. I’ll have to settle for Luftwaffe pilot. Well, better pilot, than nothing.
Mind you, Anklam, another sleepy town, is in a middle of nowhere. I’ll have to change three trains before I hit the Baltic coast.
On my way to the kitchen I pick up my own rabbit. It is exquisite, with large ears and innocent, brown eyes. The figurine is no bigger than my little finger. The workmanship is precise, the colors did not fade. It is as beautiful as seventy years ago. I turn the rabbit and look at the runes. I remember the mark from my childhood. For the reason, unknown to me, nobody bothered to remove the bolts, or to paint them over. I saw the insignia every day, playing with the figurine.
No, I did not grow up in the Nazi house.
I grew up in the house of a man, who fought Nazis.