The World War II Hesse Jewel Robbery
Germany Prussia gold 1888 10 Marks
1. Germany Prussia 10 Marks 1888-A (Berlin) - Frederick III
Gold, 19mm, 3.98gm, fineness: 0.900
FRIEDRICH DEUTSCHER KAISER KONIG V. PREUSSEN
(Frederick, Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia)
DEUTSCHES REICH 1888 / 10 MARK
(German Empire / 10 Marks)
Several years ago I read an account of the 1945 Hesse Jewel robbery, committed by three
American Army officers stationed in Germany.
one of the royal families of Germany, the Hesse family.
which was otherwise unidentified.
belonging to the Hesse family, located near Frankfurt.
(Women's Army Corps or WAC) in charge.
He got some German civilans to knock down a wall and discovered hundreds of bottles of wine.
He also noticed that the cement floor had been patched.
He called Nash who had the floor dug up.
A crate containing the crown jewels of Hesse was found, including tiaras, bracelets,
and many other valuable items.
The pair and a Major David Watson decided to help themselves and began
separating the jewels from the settings and mailing the items to relatives the United States.
to get married and wanted to wear her jewels. When she could not get them,
she complained and her complaints eventually reached US Army investigators.
Sophia was well connected, her brother Philip was also planning to get married,
to Elizabeth, the older daughter of Britain's King George VI.
Army investigators followed the three and eventually arrested them.
Durant claimed that he sold some jewels to fences in Chicago, and buried some
near Falls Church, Virginia (attention metal detector fans).
He gave her some items and pawned some other items, including a
"German gold ten-mark coin".
who had married one of the Hesse family members, Prince Philipp.
"The ten-mark coin bore the head of Emperor Frederick III,
grandfather of Princess Mafalda's husband, and had been given to her
by Queen Margaret of Italy".
settings that the recovered items were worth 1/10 of the previous value.
but they were not prosecuted.
but the film changed many of the details from the actual case.
one-year type because Frederick III was king of Prussia for only about three months in 1888.
I do now.
Visit to Kronberg and Frankfurt - March 2012
2. Kronberg Palace front
The scene of the crime, now a luxury hotel.
3. Kronberg Palace parking lot
4. IG Farben building, Frankfurt
US Army Headquarters in 1947; the jewels were kept here for exhibition.
5. Masonic lodge on Finkenhof Strasse, Frankfurt
This was the Army's Community Center in 1947, the site of the court-martials.