High objects of State (letters patent from Queen Victoria, each w/ Great Seal):
Author of Balfour Declaration - 1898 diplomatic credentials, for talks with Germany |
Chancellor of the Exchequer letters patent of Gladstone, 1873
The (Swedish General) Viktor Balck Olympic Games- Founding Archive
Swedish gold and bronze medals honoring Viktor Balck | Viktor Balck 1912 Stockholm Olympics book Tower and Sword collar of Viktor Balck
Civil War Gillmore Medal to Jewish officer who helped 1863 "Glory" charge toward Ft. Wagner 1863
Statesmen |Koerber - 1920s friend, then foe of Hitler |The Viktor von Koerber WWI Aviation Archive|
Presentation keys, gold medal to major U.K. statesman Award Documents to important 19th century European diplomats
The JFK and staffers convention badges etc. Archive: I.D. Badges to JFK and Secretary Ev Lincoln Mass. Labor Federation badge (major speech) 1960 Democratic Nomination campaign: aide Bob Troutman
Heroines | "Girl who defied Hitler" at 1936 Olympics: biography Inge Sorensen Archive: items First ever (gold NYC) Women's Club Medal of Honor Award Diplomas to great Jewess opera singer
The Poignant Mayer family Jewish Heroism for (in WWI) and Flight from (pre-WWII) Germany Archive
Presentation trowel etc. to president of "philanthropic" society for troubled girls
Patent leather presentation box, (220 x 268 mm.) with 24 photos of the Reichstag fire trial, participants, etc., gilt-embossed:
his 70th birthday
(from the) Union of Democratic Jurists
Film about The Reichstag Fire Trial (not included in Pritt Archive; described here for historical information purposes only)
(from http://www.filmandsound.ac.uk/collections/records/0002-0000-0021-0000-0-0000-0000-0.html; subscription required)
Description: Bulgarian account of the Reichstag Fire Trial with a focus on the trial of Dimitrov.
International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights, by Arthur Jay Klinghofer and Judith Apter Klinghofer, and another similar book;
In April of 1937, the pragmatist philosopher, John Dewey boarded a train to Mexico City. There, in Frida Kahlo's famous Blue House, the seventy-eight year old philosopher would spend the next several days interviewing the exiled Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, in a series of hearings designed to investigate Trotsky's response to the Moscow show trials. Trotsky had been accused of conspiring with Germany and Japan to foment a terrorist campaign within the Soviet Union. In a trial that would inaugurate what is known as the Great Purge, fifteen defendants publicly confessed to their involvement in the alleged plot and were immediately executed. Trotsky was not actually charged in absentia, but presented as the mastermind of their activities and he hoped that an international commission of inquiry could investigate the Moscow Trial and clear his name. In International Citizens' Tribunals, the Klinghofers quote Trotsky's plea for a parallel investigation, "With what conviction can the democratic countries develop a common front with Soviet Russia against reaction," he asked, "if she descends to the methods of barbarism of the Fascist world?" (56).
The Joint Commission of Inquiry, better known as the Dewey Commission, that formed in response to Trotsky's request, was inspired by an earlier "countertrial" that had investigated the 1933 Reichstag fire. The Nazis had proclaimed that the February Reichstag fire was part of a Communist plot and used it as a pretext for suspending civil liberties, rounding up Communists, and, after winning the March elections, giving Hitler's government the absolute power to make laws. Although a young Dutchman named Martinus van der Lubbe took credit for the fire and insisted that he had acted alone, four Communists, a German and three Bulgarians, were accused of participating in the newly defined crime of "revolutionary arson." A countertrial was organized by the Comintern, which hoped to establish that the Nazis had set the fire themselves as a pretext to seize power. The countertrial took place in London a week prior to the actual trial in Leipzig.
Although both trials were initiated with the goal of legitimating ideological positions, the Klinghofers maintain that the real impact of the countertrial had to do with a commitment to procedure and impartiality on the part of its major backers. Despite the origins of the informal Commission of Inquiry, none of its members were Communist and all were lawyers (Klinghofer and Klinghofer: 23). The chair of the Commission, Denis Nowell Pritt, responded harshly to evidence of prior bias on the part of the other commissioners, and emphasized that "evidence should precede a decision" (Klinghofer and Klinghofer: 24). In reaching their conclusions, the commissioners did not invoke the major political pamphlets circulating at the time, the "Brown Book" and the "Oberfohren memorandum," which aimed to establish the fire as a Nazi plot. The conclusions, based entirely on evidence presented before the commission, were "more temperate than polemical" in suggesting that the Nazis had started the fire. The focus on establishing facts through the presentation of evidence contributed to a positive response to the countertrial on the part of the foreign media. As a result, they argue, the Nazis were "placed on the defensive in their own court ... so the emphasis was more on exonerating themselves than convicting the Communists" (Klinghofer and Klinghofer: 31). The Nazi court opted against in camera hearings and opened the courtroom to the foreign press. They did not interfere with the defense's right to present its own witnesses and they analyzed evidence that had been addressed in the countertrial.
It was their sensitivity to world opinion that compelled the judges overseeing the Reichstag fire trial to acquit the four defendants at a time when the Nazi regime was consolidating power and abandoning any semblance of rule of law (Klinghofer and Klinghofer: 35). It was the dispassionate analysis of the legal team running the informal Commission, they argue further, which persuaded the foreign press to take their conclusions seriously at a time when many leaders around the world remained skeptical about the validity of an unofficial ex parte proceeding. Arthur Garfield Hays, an American Jew who served as a kind of mediator between the countertrial and the Leipzig trial, exemplifies for the Klinghofers, the power of a commitment to impartial procedure as against the manipulation of law for political ends. Hays distanced himself from the other foreign lawyers attending the Leipzig trial, "preferring tact to confrontation." At a time when many Jewish intellectuals were fleeing Germany, Hays wrote to the Leipzig court just before they issued their verdict: "If these men are acquitted, the world will realize that at least one court in Germany is objective and independent and that even in the midst of terror instituted by the Nazis, you judges have shown the courage of your convictions" (Klinghofer and Klinghofer: 41)....
Description: Film biography of Georgi Dimitrov and the coming of the Communists to power in Bulgaria.
Commemorative objects about the Reichstag Fire Trial, and Leipzig (location
of the original trial), presented to early leader of int'l anti-Hitler movement
Awards of Outstanding International Importance to Statesmen and Heroines
German version of Pritt's book about
the proceedings of the Counter-trial, autographed
Commission Chairman Pritt reading the Report from the Reichstag Fire Counter-Trial, in Caxton Hall, London (from a chapter-heading page from Reichstag Fire: Ashes of Democracy, a popularization of Fritz tobias' work, by R. John Pritchard).
IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND APPRECIATION OF THE SERVICE TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE
IN THE ANTI-FASCIST RESISTANCE
DENIS N. PRITT
IS AWARDED THE
MEDAL FOR FIGHTERS
BERLIN, ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1963
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
O. Grotewohl (Signature)
East German MEDAL FOR "FIGHTERS AGAINST FASCISM" 1933-1945, awarded to Pritt in 1963, instituted in 1958, diameter of 32 mm.; it brought the recipient annual honor money of 500 Marks.
Obverse shows portraits of Communist leaders Ernst Thälmann and Rudolf Breitscheid. The reverse shows a 20 mm. large state emblem of the E. German regime; the inscription means "FORWARD AND DO NOT FORGET 1933-1945."
Album's first page, with attached card open:
Presentation album ( 305 x 226 mm.) with 43 pages of photos of events at the Georgi Dimitrov Museum, incl. photos showing Pritt there
Diploma folder is 216 x 310 mm.
Inscription on photo reverse: main paragraph starts with "Council of Ministers awards 'Medal for Fighters against Fascism 1933-1945' "; last paragraph translates as "The British Queen's Councillor Denis N. Pritt accepts the insignia. Right: Bruno Lauschner."
89 mm. diameter white porcelain disk celebrating Leipzig 800 yrs., in green felt (?) case w/ Leipzig arms on cover
"GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
800 YEARS OF LEIPZIG
The D.N. Pritt, Q.C., Fighter vs. Fascism Archive
P.O. Box 300791, Chicago, IL 60630, USA
Electronic mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Prices available upon request.
Cased, 92 mm. diameter, porcelain chocolate-colored disk depicting "VöLKERSCHLACHT Denkmal Leipzig" ("Battle of the Nations monument, Leipzig"); reverse has "Leipzig City Council".
Ever since Pritt's 1933 Report on the Reichstag Fire electrified the Western World, controversy has raged among historians about his conclusion about a Nazi plot to maunfacture an excuse to destroy civil liberties in Germany. The politicization of this controversy is becoming a vivid microcosm of the increased polarization in the US and elsewhere; the Left generally sees him as a maligned hero, the Right sees him as at best a Red dupe.
See "The contentious debate about the Reichstag Fire and the related trials".
On 27 Feb. 1933, four weeks after Hitler had become German Chancellor, and six days before a crucial national election, the Reichstag (parliament) building burnt to the ground. Hitler immediately issued an emergency decree suspending most civil liberties. Within days arrests began to rope in Communists, four of whom would stand trial along with the Dutchman caught at the crime scene. For the world, it was the Trial of the Century.
The 1933 Reichstag Fire was one of the great Whodunits of the century, exceeded in magnitude only by the JFK assassination.
Pritt's 1933 Findings on the Reichstag Fire electrified the Western World, and thus did much to galvanize anti-Nazi sentiment; it was thereafter the standard view of the Arson of the Century until Tobias' work, excerpted below. From then on, to the Right, Pritt was a sucker for manipulation by Commies amply funded by Moscow. To the Left, he was a hero whose work has been smeared by the (progenitors of today's) Right Wing Noise Machine.
We at Awards of Outstanding International Importance do not purport to be qualified to adjudicate this emotionally-charged historical/political dispute; at this link, we present key passages from the most respected writings of each side of this debate.
Reichstag Fire Commission of Inquiry in London, 14 September 1933, members standing, commencing second from left - Garfield Hays (U.S.A.), Dr. Bakker-Nort (Holland), Mr. D. N. Pritt, K. C. (England, red arrow), Mr. Vald Huidt (Denmark, High Court), Senator George Branting (Sweden) half concealed, and extreme right Dr. Vermeylen (Belgium).
BELOW: Same as above, only with the members sitting. The original of this photo is included in the Archive for sale.)
Included in this Pritt Archive are the following books:
The Brown Book of the Hitler Terror and the Burning of the Reichstag,
by the World Committee for the Victims of German Fascism
The Burning of the Reichstag, by Douglas Reed (1934)
Insanity Fair: a European Cavalcade, by Douglas Reed
(Random House, New York, 1939);
International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to
Advance Human Rights, by Arthur Jay Klinghofer and Judith Apter
Klinghofer (St. Martins', New York, 2002)
Pritt's Reichstag Fire awards etc.:
Magnetic tape "Anklagefsch.rift in der Straffache gegen Van der Lubbe v. Genossen 15J86.33", (recording of the proceedings in "the case of Van der Lubbe vs. Society") and book containing transcript of tape's contents, all in leather bound presentation box (244 x 386 x 39 mm.) with gilt-embossed arms of Leipzig. (Van der Lubbe was the man convicted and executed for starting the 1933 Reichstag Fire.)
Diploma (1963) for E. German Medaille für Kampfer Gegen den Faschismus 1933-45, ("Fighter against Fascism") in folder; medal, in case of issue; photo of him receiving award.
Porcelain white disk, 89 mm. diameter, celebrating Leipzig 800 yrs. (1165-1965), in green (felt?) case of issue, w/ Leipzig arms on cover.
Leipzig presentation photo album for the 800th anniersary celebrations 1165-1965, with 43 pages of photos of events at the Georgi Dimitrov Museum, incl. photos showing Pritt there. First page is inscribed "Herrn Kronanwalt Professor D. N. Pritt... zur Erinnerung an die Widerstand der ständigen Ausstellung... des Georgi Dimitrov Museums am... 25.9.1965" (Mr. Queen's Councillor Professor D.N. Pritt, at the remembrance of the reopening of the permanent exibition of the Georgi Dimitrov Museum....").
Porcelain chocolate-colored disk, 92 mm. diameter (in case of issue) depicting "Völkerschlacht Denkmal Leipzig", the monument commemorating the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, in which Napoleon's defeat led to his fall from power in 1814.
Georgi Dimitrov Museum, Leipzig, presentation photo album: "DENIS NOWELL PRITT, HONORARY CITIZEN OF THE CITY OF LEIPZIG, A GREAT FRIEND OF THE GEORGI DIMITROV MUSEUM"; with 16 photos, of Pritt's visits to the Museum (1957-1970) and of a Memorial gathering held there after his death in 1972.
P.O. Box 300791, Chicago, IL 60630, USA
Electronic mail email@example.com
Prices available upon request.
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