In april 1945 American soldiers found the imperial regalia (the Aachener copies, not the originals) of the Holy Roman Empire in a mine near Siegen, not far from Köln. In the picture soldier Ivan Babcock, crowning himself – unbekümmert um europäische Traditionen, Mythos und Mystik der Reichskleinodien – “Emperor of the Ruhr River”. Fellow soldier Richard Swenson took the same photo opportunity, but that picture is somewhat harder to find.

To see another copy of this picture search for ‘babcock’ at Spaarnestad Photo (permalinkless). Find a small copy of the Swenson photograph in

One thought on “Fifteen minutes of imperial fame

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