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Auction: Conflicts of the 20th Century
was auctioned on: 29 January 2021
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WORLD WAR II: BATTLE OF THE BULGE.

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Estimate: US$5,000 - US$8,000
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 43, Views: 28

Directional road sign "BANDE 1K". [Belgium: Recovered from a cross roads near Bande after January 1945.] Double-sided enameled road sign, white letters on dark blue enamel ground, taken from a road junction 1 km from the hamlet of Bande. possibly from the junction were Rue Tahee and the main road to Bande meet. Dark blue enamel base with slightly raised white enameled letters, 89drilled holes to secure the sign. Slight wear to the sign, several bullet holes, and rust to edges. 12 x 51 inches (300 x 1300mm). Provenance: An English collector of Battle of the Bulge relics. A poignant directional road sign to Bande, a small hamlet west of Bastogne. It was a village that was engulfed in the tides of war in late 1944 and 1945. On September 5th 1944 a unit of Belgian Marquis attacked a German Unit killing 3 soldiers, and before the Germans could respond, American forces moved in to occupy the area. Moving forward to December 22 1944, the German forces pushed forward and retook Bande, and on December 24th, a unit of the German SD (Sicherheitsdienst) set about arresting all the men in Bande and the nearby village of Grune. They were questioned about the events of September 5th and those under 30 separated from the older men. The younger men were lined up in front of a local cafe, and then marched to a burnt out house, where as they walked through an open door inside, were each shot point blank in the neck. Some 34 men, aged 17 to 32, were killed, and only one man managed to flee to give his testimony. On January 10th, 1945 the village was liberated by British and Canadian troops who discovered the massacre; they helped the town bury their dead. Just one man from the SS, a Swiss national called Ernst Haldiman, was identified as being part of the execution squad and was arrested after the war.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Bonhams London
Title: Conflicts of the 20th Century
Date of the auction: 29 Jan 2021
Address: Bonhams London
New York