Swastika

The background

Collectors either strongly favour their originality while others think they are fake. I actually do not know.  Clearly some cameras (others say all) are not genuine. The story begins in January 1942, when VEF was put under German Control (VEF became part of "AEG") 

WaR124_16146.jpg

The Heereswaffenamt Codes

The german army ordered equipment from several private companies. All equipment was tested/verified before it was send to the army. The tested equipment would then recieve a special swastika grasping eagle and a WaA number. These symbols are referred to as Heeres "Waffenamt"-Codes (Army Weapons Office). This office was responsible for testing equipment for the german army. An official Waffenamt team would  be stationed within the company/manufacturing site and cetrifying the equipment. Each Waffenamt symbol consisted of an abbreviation of "Heereswaffenamt" which was represented either by "He.Wa.A",  "HWA", "WaA", or "Wa.A" plus a number of 1,2, or 3 digits. The number would refer to a one specific Waffenamt inspector team associated with one specific company/ company manufacturing site.


One example:  "
Mikrofona Brüder Knotek, Telefon- u. Radiotechnische Fabrik" was a German army supplier. The company supplied the german army with various items suich as field telephones, electric switches, etc. They had 2 manufacturing sites. One was located in the Czech Republic and one in Poland. Each plant therefore had different Waffenamt inspector teams and thus different numbers: WaA 504 for Poland and WaA 506 for Czech Republic.

Swastika Minox, genuine artefacts of WW2 history?

In Favour:
A never dying story under collectors is, that Hermann Goering gave some of these little cameras out as presents to selected Nazi personalities. This story was given support by the camera inventor Walter Zapp. If true we, we would not know if these were "civilian" or "WaA army" Minox cameras.

Against: The evidence against these cameras are as follows:

Conclusion: Its is evident that it is more a matter of proving that they are indeed real and genuine! If someone wants so make a strong case that they are real they will have an uphill struggle.

However, WaA codes are being researched for several decades now and maybe
a "VEF-assigned" WaA code can be found in one of these lists. Or the used WaA code could be ruled out to be genuine by identifying  that it was assigned to a different contractor.

So If you own one which Serial number 16000+, bad luck! If you own one with WaR, probably bad luck! If you own one with WaA504 bad luck too! The rest there may be some faint hope -but- you have to proof they are genuine.

Status Today: Currently, "16" cameras are known:
# Serial Number Correct Serial No? Waffenamt Code Correct WaA? Corresponds to
1 11273 Yes WaA 505
unidentified
2 12276 Yes Wa? ???

3 12327 Yes WaA 508
unidentified
4 12641 Yes WaA 509
unidentified
5 12661 Yes WaA 508
unidentified
6 13051 Yes WaA 503
unidentified
7 13111 Yes ?

8 13533 [X] Yes WaA 504 Unlikely [X] assigned to: Microfona Bruder Knotek, Telefon und Radiotechnische Fabrik, Poland
9 13546 Yes ?

10 13681 Yes ?

11 13719 Yes ?

12 14083 Yes WaA 5??

13 14092 Yes ?

14 14426 [X] Yes WaA 504 Unlikely [X] assigned to: Microfona Bruder Knotek, Telefon und Radiotechnische Fabrik, Poland
15 16146 [X] Unlikely [X] WaR 124
WaA 124 assigned to: Graetz A.G, Elsenstr. 90-96, Berlin SO 36
16 16584 [X] Unlikely [X] ?