When clearing up after floods ruined their home, a German family unearthed an unexpected collection of Nazi artefacts, including an Adolf Hitler portrait, gas masks and a revolver hidden in the walls.
History teacher Sebastian Yurtseven was clearing up his aunt's house, in the city of Hagen, when he made the shocking discovery.
In a shaft behind a plasterboard cover that came loose during the rain last month, he found an issue of the Westfalenpost newspaper from 1945 .
The building his aunt lives in is the former local headquarters of the National Socialist People’s Welfare (NSV), according to reports, which was an arm of the Nazi party and had around 17 million members in 1943. The organisation distributed food and gas masks, and evacuated children to rural areas.
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Yurtseven also found brass knuckles, a party eagle of the NSV, NSV literature, a portrait of Hitler and records of pregnant women, The Sun reports.
“I got goosebumps,” Yurtseven told local press. “I didn’t think it would turn into such a huge discovery.”
He and his aunt had no idea the Nazi objects were there, he told press, and have owned the house since the 1960s.
The objects could have been dumped in a gap between two buildings before US troops took the city in 1845, according to historians.
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They have been taken by the Hagen city archive to examine, and some, which date back to 1928, will be exhibited in the Hagen city museum. The head of the archive, Ralf Blank, said it was a rare find, and that there's little original source material about the NSV.
The group spread Nazi ideology through welfare work, such as providing free meals, medical examinations and vaccinations.
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Blank said: “It is an incredibly important discovery. It sheds the spotlight on the actions and activities of Nazi agencies at the local level. Together with the Westphalian Archives Office of the Westphalian-Lippe Regional Association, the find, which could prove to be a real treasure for research, is now to be preserved."
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