Art enthusiasts around the world are today celebrating after the discovery of a collection of rare pogs, gathered together by the Nazis, that were previously thought lost to history. The find, being dubbed ‘The Great Pog Hoard’, was made in the United States by Simon Ashton of Decatur, Michigan.
“My grandfather, who was a captain in the US Army, passed away recently. I knew he was in Berlin at the end of the war but he never said any more about it,” said an emotional Mr. Ashton. “While we were going through his belongings we found this dusty old box in his attic that hadn’t been touched in years. I thought it might be Nazi gold, but I was shocked when I saw that what was inside was even more valuable.”
The hoard features some of the most sought-after pogs of all time and is causing great excitement amongst collectors and pog scholars alike. The items found include a set featuring silent film stars Buster Keaton and Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle, a 24-carat gold ‘slammer’ once owned by Frederick the Great of Prussia, and some works from Picasso’s short-lived ‘pog period’. Prominent Nazi party officials also appear on limited edition Third Reich pogs.
Historian Jane Isset told us about this lesser-known aspect of the Nazi regime: “The Nazis were avid collectors of all art, antiques and collectables, particularly pogs. Indeed, anecdotal evidence from the time suggests that Hitler was a big fan of pogs and played it to relax in his bunker in Berlin. He would of course fly into a rage if anyone beat him.” A minor party official from Bavaria was rumoured to have been executed after such an altercation, and some conspiracy theorists claim the Führer ordered his most valuable pogs to be burned with his body to prevent the Allies getting their hands on them. “The discovery also raises ethical concerns, as many of the pogs were probably confiscated from wealthy Jewish families,” added Isset.
Long time collectors of the small discs of cardboard are also said to be worried about the effect such a large influx of rare pogs will have on the value of other pieces. “I collected thousands of these when I was at primary school on the assumption that they would one day be worth something,” said long-time collector Timothy Hartnett. “Last week I reckon I could have gotten a fortune on eBay, but when I put them up today the only bid was £5 for my whole collection. I was going to retire on my pog fortune – damn those Nazis!”