Nazi Commemorative Plate: the 'Charlemagne' SS Division
Commemorates the 'Charlemagne' division of the Nazi SS, a division partly comprised of collaborators from Vichy France, which fought on the Eastern Front. This served a propoganda purpose: Hitler thus perpetuated the illusion that he had reunited Charlemagne's empire. The front bears an image of the familiar bronze statuette, though the orb in Charles' right hand has been replaced by a sword. The caption reads: "Imperium Caroli Magni divisum per nepotes anno DCCCXLIII defendit Adolphus Hitler una cum omnibus Europae populis anno MCMXLIII." or (roughly): "The Empire of Charlemagne, which was divided by his grandsons in 843, was defended in 1943 by Adolf Hitler, together with all the people of Europe." Source: Max Kerner, Karl der Grosse: Entschleiererung eines Mythos (Koln, 2001).