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article imageFrench champagne seized by Nazis in 1940 set to be auctioned off

By Layne Weiss     Jun 6, 2013 in World
Two rare bottles of French champagne are set to be auctioned off in the United Kingdom. These bottles have a bit of an unusual history. They were confiscated by the Nazis in France in 1940 during World War II.
They were recovered by an unidentified member of Great Britain's Royal Force Air Force and kept in perfect condition by his daughter for decades, the Huff Post reports.
The bottles were snatched up by Hanson's Auctioneers about 10 years ago. They are a Chateau de Mareuilsay Montebello 1937 and Monopole Red Top by Heidseick.
Both bottles are stamped with read labels that read, in German, "Reserved for German Army, Not for resale or purchase" and "Sale in the free market are prohibited."
Around 80% of French champagne was confiscated by the Nazis following the 1940 invasion, The Daily Mail reports.
Auctioneer Charles Hanson said the Nazis consumed vast amounts of French champagne to flaunt their victory.
He commented about how remarkable it was that these two bottles still exist.
Hanson's junior valuer and researcher Elizabeth Bailey remarked that the Nazis seemed to have an "unquenchable thirst for French champagne," the Huff Post reports.
The Nazis set up an office at Reims to control champagne production in order to control a constant supply, The Drinks Business reports. Whether they really enjoyed the way it tasted or they wanted to flaunt the fact that they have invaded France, they just really wanted to ensure they were always well stocked with champagne.
Elizabeth Bailey revealed that some of the last planes flying in Stalingrad in 1942-1943 were actually carrying crates of champagne to German military offices.
The bottles will be auctioned off at Hanson's Auctioneers in Derbyshire on June 20. According to the Huff Post, they are expected to go for between $151 and $227 each.
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