Obscure Object of Revulsion: Heinrich Himmler’s Merkel Model 201E (Bockflinte) O/U Shotgun

If people want to collect Nazi memorabilia, that’s their business. Although I’m the son of a Holcaust survivor, I don’t want to live in a world where the government or some random committee decides what otherwise legal objects should be deemed illegal by association. Morally, I reckon owning or displaying Nazi stuff is all about the context. Veneration or vilification? You pays your money, you make the call. Not that I like to see Nazi accoutrements held up as objects of totemic worship. More specifically, no matter how it would be presented (or not), this piece REALLY turns my stomach . . .

Heinrich Himmler oversaw the Nazi death camps. He was directly responsible for the suffering and slaughter of millions of innocent people. Not that you’d know it reading jamesdjulia.com’s description of the shotgun coming up for auction:

Historic & Important Merkel Model 201E (Bockflinte) O/U 3-bbl set made especially for Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and presented to him on his 41st Birthday Oct 7,1941 by the SS-Hauptamt. Complete w/ Merkel Factory Provenance.

Click here for more pics, which reveal a scope and an SS engraving. If I were in the auction biz, I wouldn’t want to touch this firearm. Literally. But that’s me. Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be buying anything from Mr. Julia anytime soon.

comments

  1. avatar Ordine Nuovo says:

    Looks like a finely crafted piece made for a history making man. What’s not to love? Most of us goyim aren’t plagued by irrational fears of objects….unlike gun grabbers who think guns are sentient killers.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I am not afraid of the gun. I am revolted by it.

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        I have to ask, why? You’ve pointed out many times in your posts that a gun cannot kill someone on it’s own, it’s the person who uses the gun that causes the deaths – yet now you seem to be contradicting yourself.

        While I’m not Jewish, I had several living German family members who refused to go alone with the Nazi’s and spent years running for their lives.

    2. avatar Magoo says:

      I’m not sure the description “history making man” does Heinrich Himmler justice. It seems to glide over a few noteworthy aspects of the man. How shall we refer to Joe Stalin and Pol Pot? “People in the news?”

      1. avatar HSR47 says:

        “How shall we refer to Joe Stalin and Pol Pot?”

        You can call them either mass murderers, or socialists. The two terms are semantically equal.

    3. avatar Aharon says:

      “Most of us goyim aren’t plagued by irrational fears of objects….unlike gun grabbers who think guns are sentient killers”.

      Are you stating that gun grabbers are mostly non-goyim (to use your word) ie Jews?

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        As a Jew I have to say it: yes. I’ve written about this absurd Jewish thing for gun control many times and it pains me even more than this POS’s shotgun.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          Robert,

          Me too. It is frustrating dealing with the Jewish thing for more gun control. So much for their self-belief in their intelligence level and common sense. Of all people, you’d think the Jewish culture would embrace owning guns and practicing self-defense.

          To clarify, by the numbers, it is true that a large number of American Jews range from wanting to ban all guns, just handguns, and/or semi-autos to abstractly wanting just more gun control in a general sense. A number of Jews are neutral on the subject and then there are those like us that are pro gun owners. I suspect that increasing numbers of Jews have purchased guns over the past decade and that includes liberal Jews who have made purchases quietly. Probably a number want a gun for home protection yet their spouse would throw a tantrum. I really am (not huge yet) sensing a change in the attitudes of Jews to wanting and recognizing a need for gun ownership. A number of Orthodox do own guns (no idea what percent).

          Since I don’t like the personalities, ideas, values, and outlook of many super-liberal reformed Jews and I don’t care for large synagogues, I occasionally go to a local Chabad House. I can’t imagine what the ex New York City Chabad Rabbi would do if a fascist kicked in his front door at 11pm.

          Anyways, to address my point finally, while there are many Jews involved and/or supportive of gun control I suspect they are Not by member numbers the majority group. Ordine seemed to be implying that most of the anti-gun crowd is Jewish if I understood him correctly.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          The phrase “for every Jew a .22” was coined by a rabbi. While I disagree with his choice of calibers, I agree with the sentiment. The organization Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership fights gun-grabbers every day. And aside from a couple of Jewish billionaires named Bloomberg and Soros, the greatest enemy of gun rights in America is the Joyce Foundation, which is behind almost every wingnut scheme. As far as I can tell, the Joyce Foundation in Chicago doesn’t have a single Jew on its Board of Directors. In case you’re wondering, yeah, Obama was a director. He resigned when he was elected god President.

    4. avatar Aharon says:

      Ordine Nuovo,

      Now I clearly understand where you are coming from since I did a search using your nic Ordine Nuovo. The ‘New Order’ name (originally the name of a radical left wing paper from the 1920s) was later chosen as the name of a radical far right fascist organization founded in Italy in the 1950s.

      The original left-wing advocated for the destruction of the Jewish and Christian religions and the values they represent as a mandatory move before a communist era can be manipulated onto the West. During the past 50+ years the new new communists have been successful at taking over or influencing the West’s cultural institutions and destroying traditional values and beliefs.

      The newer far-right fascists and Nazis are responsible for the mass murders by terrorist bombings of many innocent people in Italy. The mass bombings are believed to have been an attempt by the New Order to manipulate a government move to a more authoritarian state resulting in the people aggressively turning against their government.

  2. avatar Martin Albright says:

    I like the way they use his title “Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler.” I guess that’s so you won’t confuse it with the presentation gun that was given to Heinrich B. Himmler, the guy who chopped meat at the Metzgerei in Dusseldorf.

  3. avatar Ordine Nuovo says:

    Stalin made history too, didn’t he? He certainly is responsible for the Ukrainian genocide and other horrors. But so far, nobody fears and loathes Com Bloc guns (minus some quality control issues).

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Again. Fear no. Loathe (in this case) yes. The idea of Herr Himmler enjoying a nice day’s hunting with this piece (or simply admiring it) while his henchmen were busy gassing hundreds of thousands of Jews (and others) makes me ill.

      1. avatar Jordan says:

        You’re treating the shotgun as if it had a choice in the matter.. it’s an inanimate object.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          I’m not that loopy (yet). But it’s certainly true that those who profit from the sale of this gun have a choice. They could chose not to sell it. I know: it’s a slippery slope. Julia’s mob are not in the business of passing judgement on the morality of guns’ previous owners. But, as Martin points out, they are clearly trading on Himmler’s monstrous past. You gotta draw a line somewhere. That’s as good a place as any.

        2. avatar Jordan says:

          You’ve got a point. I think the idea behind selling it is fine, no problem there, but when someone takes advantage of someone evil just to sell a product.. that IS just a little too much.

  4. avatar Jordan says:

    Yes, Himmler was a terrible human being. I understand your hate for the Nazi Party, being Jewish, but his shotgun? Do you think his hatred was somehow infused into it and will somehow possess you or something? Come on now.. it’s a piece of history, not an evil human being.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Of course not. For me, though, I wouldn’t want to own or traffic in anything owned by that butcher. Except maybe some documents proving his crimes against humanity. Which I would put online and donate to a proper museum.

      1. avatar Jordan says:

        Oh I didn’t think you should BUY it or anything, lol, but there are some extremely serious historic collectors out there, and it’s definitely worth it for them.

        I just think the whole hatred is kind of too much though, when it’s spilling over onto his.. shotgun.

    2. avatar Totenglocke says:

      Heh, sounds like an idea for an episode of Warehouse 13…

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    I think it possible to own this without celebrating the ideals of the people involved. It is an inanimate object and didn’t contribute to the holocaust in any way. Guns given ceremonially do have historical significance even if the circumstances are suspect.
    I respect your feelings towards it, however tar and feathering the seller might be a bit too far. He does not appear to be celebrating it or promoting it much beyond stating factually who owned it and it’s history, that’s almost a requirement for this piece.

  6. avatar Levi B says:

    I have a Hitler Youth knife. My great uncle acquired it during the war, in the traditional sense. I’m proud of it–my great uncle helped free Europe from the Nazis, one piece of crap at a time.

    1. avatar Totenglocke says:

      True, but you also need to remember that US intervention in WWI directly led to WWII and the rise of Hitler and the Nazis…. so when you put it in that context, the US government is responsible for every death in WWII.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    A Herman Goering presentation drilling recently sold for $142,000. And while Goering was a hunter and might have used his drilling, Himmler was a coward who fainted at the sight of blood. Neither Goering’s gun nor Himmler’s was ever used in the actual murders of anyone. In fact, I doubt that Himmler ever shot this gun. There’s no blood on their stocks, so to speak. So I’m fine with them being collectors items.

    I have my eyes on a Gew. 98, a regular infantry piece that I know was WW2 battle used. I’d love to find a Nazi-marked k98k, especially one that was SS issued, for my personal C&R collection of WW2 battle rifles. As far as I’m concerned, these objects are historically significant artifacts. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    A clown painting by John Wayne Gacy? No. Not historically significant, creepy and made by the fiend’s own hand. A gun? It’s a piece of art and history, no matter in who’s closet it was kept.

  8. avatar J Glanton says:

    I find the gun repulsive. The provenance photo of Himmler goes beyond that. I wouldn’t have it in my house, nor would I want to look at it in a museum. I find myself asking “where is the place for something like that?”. The answer: the world would not be worse off if it is melted. A sycophantic tribute piece from an arms-maker to a vile mass-murderer has no historical value.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      I feel compelled to remind you that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Also, the only thing required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

      It is extremely important to remember that the Nazis were people, just like you and I. The only real difference between us and the Nazis is that we try to do good, and they did evil.

      If we, as a society, choose to forget who the Nazis were, and what they did, then we will have learned NOTHING, and every death they caused, either directly or indirectly, will have been in vain. I cannot live with that.

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        I’d say the real lesson from the Nazi’s is that you should never blindly follow anyone, regardless of whatever “authority” they claim to have over you.

  9. avatar Martin Albright says:

    A bit OT perhaps but have you noticed that if you go to a sufficiently large gun show there’s always at least one table that’s loaded down with Nazi crap? I always get a creepy vibe from those guys.

    Sure, they might say they are offering them as “trophies” or that they appreciate these artifacts for their “historic value” but the gleam they get in their eye when describing this SS cap badge or that Gestapo ID card belies their excuse: These are guys who have a hard-on for Nazi stuff.

    Sad to think there is a market for this stuff, sadder still to think that said market identifies with gun owners. Honestly, we’d be better off without them.

    Keep in mind, I’m not talking about the people who sell all kinds of WWII militaria, which may include some Nazi stuff (but is also just as likely to include a Japanese sword, a US paratrooper smock, and a Dutch Resistance flag.) I’m talking about the Nazi fetishists. If you’ve been to a gun show in the last 30 years or so, you’ve probably seen them.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Go to any motorcycle show and you’ll see the same. I know a Jewish biker with a swastika tattoo. He says the swastika was around for a thousand years before the Nazis appropriated in. Okay, I’ll buy that, but I think it’s all part of the outlaw/storm trooper/dangerous guy cult that those guys are into. In truth, most of those bozos wouldn’t know “Mein Kampf” from “Mein Yiddishe Mama.”

      1. avatar Aharon says:

        Good one. While it is true that the Nazi symbol was taken and modified from Hinduism, the Jewish biker could have chosen many other biker-related tattoos or simply had a patch sewn on his jacket. My guess is that he feels he needs to do it to and is going overboard to fit in and be accepted.

        Separately, the swastika was used in different forms from ancient Persia to India going back to about 2000BC. Its use is even found among the Hopi and Navaho, and different Asian religions.

        “Its Nazi use was linked to the belief in the Aryan cultural descent of the German people. They considered the early Aryans of India to be the prototypical white invaders and hijacked the sign as a symbol of the Aryan master race”.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4183467.stm

    2. avatar Aharon says:

      Agreed. Those sellers are creeps and really do get that gleam in their eye about the Nazis.

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        How is it any different from people getting excited about any other particular military? Every military is guilty of rape, murder, and other war crimes.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          True in absolute terms all militaries are guilty of committing various war crimes that have gone to war. The difference is in the degrees of the crimes.

  10. avatar todd says:

    I don’t eve like the modern use of the Iron Cross in marketing. It was started by West Coast Choppers and caught all the rage with Jesse James TV show.

    To me it still represents the enemies of our nation in WWII to which my father was drafted.

    The kids just don’t understand the history behind the symbol.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Um, you mean the Crosse pattee?
      (from Wiki) A cross pattée (or “cross patty”, known also as “cross formée/formy”) is a type of cross which has arms narrow at the centre, and broader at the perimeter. An early English example from the start of the age of heraldry proper (i.e. about 1200) is found in the arms of Baron Berkeley.
      Derivatives of the cross pattée are popular amongst bikers, hot rodders and metalheads.

      Firefighters, especially in the United States, commonly use a version with triangular arms for patches and medals, though the cross pattée and the cross of St. Florian are both commonly mistaken for the Maltese Cross. The cross pattée is used on the Marksmanship Badge in the United States Army, and United States Marine Corps.

  11. avatar Gossven says:

    That thing should probably be in a museum somewhere, but I’m not sure if there is such a thing as the “museum of monstrous assholes who deserve to reside in satan’s anus for all eternity”

  12. avatar J Glanton says:

    Joe Dimaggio’s shotgun would be fun to own. Now there’s a conversation piece to have on the mantel. One that won’t make visitor’s darkly uncomfortable at first sight.

  13. avatar ScottH says:

    Agree that profiting off of ‘this’ shotgun is distasteful. But Robert, I’m not sure what to think with regards to the timing of your article’s publication.

    Rosh Hashanah began at sundown last night. Shana Tova to all.

  14. avatar Charles says:

    It’s repulsive for what it represents, but I think you are doing the right thing by seizing upon the teachable moment. It’s what I do when something repulsive finds it’s way to my children’s attention. I use the object or utterance or whatever it is to explain to them why it’s wrong and inoculate them in case of another exposure.

    Would you destroy it if you could?

    1. avatar Martin Albright says:

      I can’t speak for Robert, but I would. Unceremoniously. Just remove the wooden parts and throw them in a fire, then drop the metal bits in a smelter.

      1. avatar HSR47 says:

        And because of this, I think you are willfully ignorant of history. Those who forget history, are doomed to repeat it.

        1. avatar Martin Albright says:

          Wrong. Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s historically relevant. What significance does this gun have, other than the fact that it was presented to Himmler? As has been pointed out, the seller of this particular shotgun is trading on the notorious reputation of its owner in order to boost the value of the gun, which is itself despicable.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        Ironically, you’d be acting in the same manner as the Nazi’s when they held their book burnings.

        A work of art should never be destroyed for any reason. That weapon there is truly a work of art. Who owned it is entirely irrelevant.

        1. avatar Charles says:

          Well, sometimes I destroy them, but then I’z the one who made them.

          Seriously, I see where you’re coming from, but destroying the Nazi gun wouldn’t be the moral equivalent of Nazi book burnings. If the Nazi’s were wrong to do what they did, destroying the gun would be a symbolic gesture, a way of saying “I see what you have done and I do not concede.”

        2. avatar Totenglocke says:

          No, because this gun is a work of art, the same as if they burned a copy of The Prince. The gun is not evil because of when / where it was made. Hell, it most likely was never fired (by Himmler anyways).

          If it was a gun specifically designed to be used to kill Jews, then yes, I could see your point. This was a hunting gun though and as such has no connection with the Holocaust.

        3. avatar Martin Albright says:

          The seller obviously doesn’t think it’s irrelevant. In fact, he seems to think it’s the very essence of the piece, hence the juxtaposed photos of Himmler and the gun.

  15. avatar Don says:

    My cousin has a Nazi stamped High Power. This item has totemic value in our family because we had 5 uncles fight the Nazis in WWII, and one of them killed the Nazi who was carrying this gun, and likely killed some more Nazis with it during the remainder of the war.

    -D

  16. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I have a wartime G43 and a Wermacht-stamped P-38. Other than pictures in history books, they are probably the only two depictions of Nazi Swastikas in my home, and certainly the only ones made by actual Nazis. They were both brought to America in the duffel bags of returning GIs, and holding them gives a person an immediate sense of connection to history.

    For many people including myself, that connection is a slightly uneasy one. The stain of Nazi evil is faint on them, since they seem to be simple war prizes taken from ordinary German soldiers. Not so Herr Himmler’s personalized relics; it may be an overreaction but I feel a palpable revulsion even looking at pictures of them.

    1. avatar Martin Albright says:

      I think the provenance of the article is relevant. A Nazi flag someone bought from Aryans-R-Us is different from a Nazi flag your grandfather took off the SS officer he just drilled through the brainpan with his 1911.

  17. avatar Aharon says:

    I find history and historical artifacts fascinating yet emotionally I do find this shotgun different. Probably because the Holocaust occurred during my parents lifetime and I’m Jewish.

    Since this article was posted here today, I’ve asked myself if the historical item was the sword of Genghis Khan the leader of the Mongols (a mass murder who conquered most of Asia and some of Europe) would I want his sword destroyed? My answer would be no and I would be fascinated to see it in a museum. Books and pictures can often only go so far in teaching about history. Students or people often tune out emotionally and just note the facts in a typical boring academic documentary. Yet, to really ingrain or deliver a message the emotions often need to be appealed to. I think in the correct museum setting that teaches about the Holocaust and the brutality of the SS in the general fighting this shotgun, this physical object, could be part of a larger exhibit.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      It looks like I’m not the only one who gets it. Bravo.

  18. avatar Mark says:

    To exclaim “Revulsion” for a firearm because of it’s alleged owner is to embrace “firearms CAUSE gun violence”.

  19. avatar Wes S. says:

    I guess it would depend on the gun. I too have an interest in old military guns, and have long wanted a wartime-issue Walther P.38 for my collection…but I can’t say I want one owned by/traceable to a particular Nazi, any more than I’d knowingly want to buy a Nagant pistol supposedly used (for example) by Lavrenti Beria himself to execute enemies of the Soviet state.

    That said: there’s a lot of history in many of those old wartime guns. I once had the opportunity (and stupidly passed it up) to purchase an old WWII-vintage K98 Mauser with both Nazi and Israeli proofmarks. Seems when the state of Israel was formed in 1948, they were initially armed with weapons from leftover WWII stockpiles, including German ones. So this rifle had the Waffenamts on the receiver, and Israeli markings on the barrel from when it was rebarrelled and rechambered to 7.62 NATO by the Israelis in the 1950s. It also had Hebrew markings painted on the stock; I was told that the Israeli Army used these guns for reservists and training in later years.

    Maybe you might find my interest in this particular gun morbid, but I find the notion of a Nazi rifle (perhaps one even assembled by Jewish slave laborers) being used to defend the Jewish state against its many enemies to be…fitting. And just.

  20. avatar Chuck says:

    A bit OT but I once heard a friend use the phrase “the P-38, like lightning, seldom strikes twice in the same place.” I always wondered if the P-38 was really inaccurate.

  21. avatar AD says:

    I tossed this around a while. I think there are many objects that have historical significance but I feel that it is morally wrong for profit to be made (read: Manson’s, Hinkley’s, VT shooter guns, etc). I think they should rather be a memory and on display to show the great power a right of ours is as well as a reminder of misuse of this awesome freedom. Just my 2 cents.

  22. avatar Hank says:

    I recently came across Himmler’s Merkel O/U Dbl shotgun/rifle on a James D. Julia Inc. Consignments Wanted ad. in the March/April Shooting Sportsman. The portrait of Himmler’s Merkel is again featured on the the page with a Himmler portrait and the sale price of $115,000. So at this point James D. Julia Inc. has its money but still glorifies Himmler with the photos of the Reichsfuhrer and his gun. So it is clear that James D. Julia is pleased to remind us of their success; perhaps it will become a permanent fixture of their advertisements in future. I agree with Chris Dumm (Sept 29)”For many people including myself, that connection is a slightly uneasy one. The stain of Nazi evil is faint on them, since they seem to be simple war prizes taken from ordinary German soldiers. Not so Herr Himmler’s personalized relics; it may be an overreaction but I feel a palpable revulsion even looking at pictures of them.”

    I certainly don’t need this reminder as part of my subscription to Shooting Sportsman.

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