Featured Stein ~ May 2022
1L. VBM 1526 Stein
Base of Reichsparteitag stein showing
1935 date and L. Ostermayr trademark
The Real Holocaust Stein
By Roy De Selms ~ Carolina Steiners
The ageless aphorism attributed to George Santayana in 1905 "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." is echoing again as the spector of a possible WW III rises. In this regard it seems appropriate to visit a beer stein (fig. 1) that appeared without change thru the period 1927 to 1939, presaging WW II and the Holocaust. These steins were ordered without lids by the firm of L. Ostermayr in Nürnberg to be produced and decorated by Villeroy & Boch at Mettlach with the Ostermayr logo printed or incised on the base (see: Stein Marks). These steins were souvenirs made and sold as business arrangements and did not necessarily reflect the political views of the purveyors. The Reichsparteitage (German Government Conventions) of the Weimar Republic were moved to Nürnberg in 1927 because it was a historic and venerated German city, and they continued there thru 1938.
The examples that we know of have been found dating from the time of the occupation of the Saarland after WW I (1927 to 1933) marked "Made in Saar-Basin," and after restitution of the Saarland to Germany (1935 to 1939) marked "Made in Germany". One of the more interesting things indicated by that mark is that these steins were made also for the English speaking world. The Reichsparteitag of 1938 became the last when the expected 1939 event was cancelled due to concentration on the Anschluß (Nazi accessions), probably leaving Ostermayr with some unsold steins. It was the stein dated 1935 (fig. 2) that was of most interest.
Hitler had been handed the chancellorship of Germany by then President Paul von Hindenburg under pressure in January 1933. The Nürnberg rallies were modest at the beginning, but gained in popularity thru the years. However, it was at the 1935 rally that the German Parliament under the leadership of Adolf Hitler adopted the two so-called "Race Laws" that foreshadowed the Holocaust: Reichsbürgergesetz (German Citizenship Law) which prohibited Jews or those with Jewish ancestry from being German citizens, and Gesetz zum Schutze der deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre (Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor) which disallowed intermarriage of Jews with ethnic Germans. Doesn't this sound like what's going on in the world today less than a century later? How soon we forget!