Fort Payne Rotary hears from local history experts

During the Jan. 4, 2022 meeting, Rotarian Wayne Woods (right) hosted fellow Rotarian and World War II historian and collector Don Wood. Mr. Wood has been collecting relics and memorabilia from WW II since he was seven, and over his lifetime has achieved an impressive personal collection of unique and rare items from the conflict. Don relayed the historical circumstances which led to Hitler’s rise in post WW I Germany, including their devastated economy and other hardships brought about by overbearing treaty restrictions placed on the country as a result of their aggression during the first world war. Don is pictured with the dress uniform hat of German SS General Otto Von Hoffman, a general that was relegated to an inferior post based on his objection to the treatment of Jews in Germany. Mr. Wood relayed that General Von Hoffman’s objection made the minutes of a critical meeting, those minutes resurfacing years later at the ninth Nuremberg Trial and effectively saving the general from execution. Following his 25 year sentence, General Von Hoffman was told that his uniform hat resided in the US, and was owned by a private collector. When Von Hoffman found this out, he sent Don a picture of himself wearing the hat during the war - shown here in the picture above. 

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