Super Re-creation of the Tapestry of SS-Obergruppenführer and Hereditary Prince Josias von Waldeck und Pyrmont
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Here is a re-creation of the tapestry that hung in the office of a royal prince of a royal German house. Prince Josias was one of the earliest members of the SS, and one of the first of the royal lines to join the ranks of the Schutzstaffel. The Erbprinz (“hereditary prince”) had an extraordinary and varied career and enjoyed an especially close relationship with Heinrich Himmler. He was born in Arolsen at the ruling family’s castle, as the eldest son and heir of Prince Friedrich of Waldeck and Pyrmont, and his consort Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe. He was the nephew of William II, King of Württemberg, and Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Queen Regent of the Netherlands. He was badly wounded in WWI (including being a victim of a gas attack) and highly decorated receiving the Iron Cross First and Second Class and other decorations. He later volunteered for the Free Corps, (Freikorps) where he fought in Upper Silesia against the communists in 1919. Josias joined the Nazi Party in 1929, and the SS in 1930. He had married one of the sisters of the Hereditary Grand Duke Nikolaus of Oldenburg (1897-1970). Von Oldenburg’s two sisters married an SS major who was a prince of Schaumburg-Lippe; and SA Colonel Harald von Hedemann, making this a tight-knit circle of aristocratic NSDAP officials. During his first year in the SS, Josias became the chief of Himmler’s personal staff. Later, in 1933, he became the aide-de-camp of SS General Sepp Dietrich, who headed up Hitler’s personal security. That same year, he was promoted to major general (SS-Grüppenführer); this was part of his precipitous rise in rank. He also had a brief appointment as a counselor in the foreign office in 1933, and held a seat in the Reichstag throughout the era of the Third Reich. As of 1936, he headed the SS division of Fulda putting him in close proximity to Prince Philipp of Hessen, who was also an NSDAP royal and a high-ranking SA leader. Both Prince Josias and Prince Philipp were based in the city of Kassel. In Kassel, Josias created the Bureau for the Germanization of Eastern Peoples, which promoted the idea of SS-directed settlements in Eastern Europe. In 1939, he was appointed the higher SS and police leader in Weimar and in this capacity he had supervisory authority over the concentration camp at Buchenwald. The prince was also a general of the Ordnungspolizei (“regular police”) being personally appointed by Hitler in April 1941. Prince Josias was severe, hard driving, and ambitious. To cite an example, he oversaw an SS execution commando action at the Stadelheim Prison near Munich during the Röhm purge in June 1934, when he had to order the executions of several former comrades. It gave him no pleasure, but it was necessary to the future of the NSDAP, which he would defend with his own life, if necessary: “Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch true”: the motto meaning: “If all become unfaithful, we remain loyal.” The city of Kassel was the main headquarters of the prince, but the SS-Oberabschnitt Fulda-Werra, headed by Josias, was in the town of Arolsen. The stately Arolsen Castle, which continues to serve as the family home of the former ruling family of the Principality of Waldeck and Pyrmont, is also located in Bad Arolsen. The innermost offices of Prince Josias were in the castle itself and the original of this tapestry that we offer graced the wall of his personal office in that regal castle. The symbol of the eight-pointed star—seen in different forms—is seen in the coat of arms of Arolsen; sometimes, the Waldeck arms are shown with a six-pointed star, but the prince chose to have the eight-pointed version on his personal tapestry. Note: the tapestry, like the famed Ahnenerbe example, has in its borders a series of geometric patterns that resemble a continuous pattern comprised of the letter “H” joined. Was this in honour of Heinrich Himmler? The background of the tapestry is decorated with alternating swastikas and runes, while the Irminsul Ahnenerbe tapestry has in it a background with alternating N.S. eagles and runics. We believe this is rather evidentiary that both of these tapestries were designed by the famed SS-Oberführer and Professor Karl Diebitsch, the originator of the SS Allach porcelain firm. So, dear collector, here is a chance to procure a great and accurate replica of a very important relic of the Reich.