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Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Document


Formal Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross Document (Verleihungsurkunde zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) in Folder (Ritterkreuzmappe) as awarded to Oberst "Karl Specht" on 8 September 1941. On 1 September 1939 Adolf Hitler reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First, Second and Grand Cross Classes and established the new Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The Knight's Cross was the highest award made by Nazi Germany to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership. Hitler reserved the right to personally authorize bestowal of the Knight’s Cross and all ranks were eligible for the award. In total it is estimated that roughly 7360 Knight’s Crosses were awarded during World War II. The Knight’s Cross award folder is measuring 36 x 45 cms, the folder is in good condition with some light scuffing to the exterior and some small damage at the corners. The folder contains a 4 page Knight’s Cross award document which is held in place by a red leather string, the string is broken at one point, see close up photo. There is some minor red staining on the outside folding crease coming from the award book itself. The document states that the Knight’s Cross was awarded to Oberst "Karl Specht" on 8 September 1941, the document was personally signed by 'Adolf Hitler' at the Führer Headquarters (Führerhauptquartier). 

Karl-Wilhelm Specht (22 May 1894 – 3 December 1953) was a general in the Wehrmacht, he was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. He served as 'Generalinspekteur für den Führernachwuchs' (Inspector General for potential officers and NCOs) on the "Court of Military Honour," a drumhead court-martial that expelled many of the officers involved in the 20 July Plot from the army before handing them over to the People's Court. The Knight's Cross Award Document comes together with an original period Get Well Soon Card, dated '13.August MCMXLIV' (13 August 1944). The card is measuring approximately 38 x 48 cms. When opened there is a large black&white photograph to the left, showing Wehrmacht Infantry troops together with Hitler-Youth boys marching. To the right is written "General der Infanterie Schmundt, mit den besten Wünschen für baldige Genesung!" (General of the infantry Schmudt, with the best wishes for a speedy recovery). The card is dated, Potsdam, August 1944. The card is personally signed by Generalleutnant "Specht". Specht wrote this get well soon card to 'Rudolf Schmundt', Schmundt was one of the casualties of the failed 20 July plot, planned to kill the German dictator Adolf Hitler. One of the conspirators, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, placed a bomb in a briefcase beside Hitler. Generalmajor Heinz Brandt moved it behind a heavy table leg and unwittingly saved Hitler's life, but as a consequence, he lost his own. Severely injured in the assassination attempt, Schmundt initially made a promising recovery, but ultimately died of complications resulting from his injuries on 1 October 1944.

Also included in the grouping is an original period photo-postcard from the famous 'Hoffmann' Knight's cross bearers (Ritterkreuzträger) series, depicting 'Oberst Karl Wilhelm Specht', the postcard is personally signed by Specht himself. Specht surrendered to the Soviet forces at the end of the war and died on 3 December 1953 in captivity.

Extremely rare original piece of history!

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