DESCRIPTION: Baron Hiroshi Oshima was a General of the Imperial Japanese Army and later ambassador to Berlin in National Socialist Germany during WWII. He was the son of a prominent Japanese family; his father, Oshima Kenichi, was the Minister of War from 1916-1918. Oshima graduated from the 18th class of the Imperial Japanese Academy in 1906 and from the 27th Class of the Army War College in 1915. He served as a military attaché to Budapest and Vienna from 1923-24. After his return to Japan he was made Commander of the 10th Field Artillery Regiment form 1930-31. In 1934 Oshima became Japanese military attaché in Berlin with the rank of Colonel; he spoke perfect German and soon was befriended by Joachim Von Ribbontrop, Hitler’s Foreign Policy advisor. Oshima’s importance for the Fuhrer during his service can be seen in the fact that following the conclusion of the anti-Comintern pact, the US Ambassador in Japan Joseph Crew estimated that the agreement was pretty much the result of Oshima’s doing without the participation of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under Ribbentrop’s guidance, Oshima met privately with Hitler in the fall of 1935. With the full support of the N.S. leadership and the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff. He progressed rapidly while in Berlin obtaining the rank of Lieutenant General and being officially appointed Ambassador to Berlin in October 1938 according to official sources and presented at the Nuremberg Star Chamber “trials” in 1945.
During his early months as Ambassador he was plotting the assassination of Stalin through Russian agents that were sympathetic to the N.S. cause. In a conversation he had with Heinrich Himmler on January 31, 1939 he expressed the hope that a German-Japanese cooperation in the field of intelligence would lead eventually to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. His ideas were sound and had they played out the present world would have been quite different. Oshima’s close relationship with Hitler and Von Ribbontrop gave him unparalleled access for a foreigner to German war plans and national policy. The left leaning author and yellow rag journalist William L. Shirer in referring to Oshima’s so-called anti-Communist fanaticism said that Oshima was “more Nazi then the Nazis.” It is true that he was very much admired by the officials of the National Socialist scene -- he was honest, forthright, outgoing and considered brilliant. He was a constant guest at the Ribbontrop estate and visited with Reichsmarshal Herman Goring at Karinhalle many times. He often was invited to the homes of the other Party and military officials and they considered him to be the personification of the ‘Valiant Samurai” of old. His honor code seemed to harken back to the saga of the warrior class of old Japan. N.S. Gaulieter Hartmann Lauterbacher of Sud Hanover who had been a highly placed Hitler Youth Leader and member of the Allgemeine and Waffen SS was particularly fond of Oshima and they attended many diplomatic corps events together; the Gauleiter and his wife often entertained the ambassador and some of his entourage in their home. The Gauleiter knew that Oshima had a penchant for fine blooded horses and in December, 1941 while the war was in its second year going on its third, Gauleiter Lauterbacher presented to Ambassador Oshima a fine thoroughbred riding horse. Oshima was highly appreciative of this and sent him a letter from the Japanese embassy in Berlin thanking him for the horse and a notice of appreciation for flowers sent by Lauterbacher's wife. The original letter that is dated 36 December 1941 is offered here. This was the same month of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The letter reads translated - - -
‘My dearest Gauleiter,
After receiving the wonderful flowers from your dear wife I take the liberty to send a small present and beg you to present this to your wife with my best wishes. I do realize that it represents a post Festival (after Christmas) present but I would be honored if your wife accepts the small present.
The horse you so kindly presented me with has now found a home at the Tattersall “Tiergarten.” I do ride it often and think of your generosity always. I am sure you will like to hear that the horse is in the best of health.
I hope you had a pleasant and I send you and your wife my heartfelt congratulations and happiness for the New Year. My best wishes from my home to your home. Dear Gauleiter. Oshima
*The reference to the Tattersall Tiergarten refers to a Park in Berlin similar to Central park in N.Y. where they had a bridle path used for equestrian riders. Oshima jests a bit when he refers to the Tattersall “Tiergarten” This would be a zoo.
The Gift - This is a very charming what-not box in 800 silver. It is a very beautiful little box that has a distinctly oriental look over all, with a Japanese version of the Greek key pattern running all around it in a band that surrounds its middle section and around that between the various sections of the Greek keys. A floral leaf design also in Oriental style can be observed. In the center of the top is a badge or escutcheon that looks like the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun surrounded by once again the Greek key design. On the front section there are the engraved words: An Frau Lauterbacher in Dankbarkeit und Respekt’- Oshima I Januar 1942. Translated –“To Frau Lauterbacher in gratitude and respect. Oshima 1st January 1942.” Obviously he wrote on Dec. 30th but made the gift in the first of January 1942. On the back of the box are the words: Ein Gluckliches Neues Jahr ( A Happy New Year!). This is a great historical relic very important yet beautiful in its simplicity and artistic style.
PRICE: $5,800.00 For the gift and the original letter signed by Oshima