Craig Gottlieb

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Craig Gottlieb
Craig Gottlieb Press Photograph.jpg
Craig Gottlieb Press Photograph.
Born 1971
Occupation Historian, antique dealer, author, reality TV personality

Craig Gottlieb (born 1971) is a militaria[1] and antique dealer, writer and historian. A regular on History Channel's television program Pawn Stars, Gottlieb is known for uncovering notable military artifacts, including Adolf Hitler's desk set, on which the 1938 Munich Agreement was signed,[2] Benito Mussolini's hat, and Hitler-owned paintings of the dictator's parents.[3] In January 2014, Gottlieb discovered and purchased what he believes may be a false passport belonging to Auschwitz concentration camp physician Josef Mengele.[4]


Gottlieb focuses on rare and valuable military antiques in his dealership and auction operations. In 2010, Gottlieb discovered the desk set used by Adolf Hitler to sign the Munich Pact of 1938. Procured from Hitler's Munich office by 2nd Lieutenant Jack McConn in 1945, it had been with their family ever since.[2][5] Gottlieb also has sold a pair of paintings of Hitler's mother and father; they had been lost since the end of World War II, but Gottlieb discovered them in southern California in the hands of the family whose relatives had removed them from Hitler's Berghof.[6] In 2011, he sold a Luger pistol once owned by Howard Hughes and used on screen in the 1930 film Hell's Angels.[7] In 2012, Gottlieb handled the consignment sale of materials connected with the long imprisonment of quixotic former Nazi leader Rudolf Hess.[8] In October 2013, Gottlieb uncovered what he believes to be the Italian passport of Josef Mengele. The document, possibly used by Mengele to escape imprisonment and flee to Argentina in 1949, was uncovered by Gottlieb through a contact in Buenos Aires.[4]

His most recent acquisition is a group of artifacts belonging to Adolf Hitler, including the dictator's hat, uniform, medals, and other personal effects.[9]


Craig Gottlieb has authored three books, including, History's Jackpot: Investing in Antique Collectibles.[10] and The SS Totenkopf Ring: An Illustrated History from Munich to Nuremberg.[11] His third book, Gau Decorations in Hitler's Germany, on Nazi political decorations, was released in 2013. Gottlieb is also a contributor to the AOL Lifestyle website Mandatory.[12]

In 2012, Gottlieb first appeared on the History reality TV show Pawn Stars, in the episode "Family Feud," which first aired May 28, 2012. He has since appeared on more than 20 episodes, and is now a regular on the series.[13][14]

Prior to being brought on as a regular for Pawn Stars, Gottlieb appeared on episodes of Auction Hunters, a reality show on the SpikeTV cable network in the United States, as an expert in military antiques and collectible weapons.[15] On March 25, 2014, National Geographic announced Nazi War Diggers, a documentary series set in Eastern Europe. Gottlieb is one of four principal cast members.[16] The show was pulled on March 31, 2014, after criticism by archaeologists.[17]

Gottlieb has been featured in TV and newspaper stories, including those by the Fox News Channel,[18] Perez Hilton,[19] and the Wall Street Journal.[9] In March 2014 Gottlieb appeared on the cover of the Jewish Journal.[20]


Gottlieb has been criticized for being a war profiteer and inappropriately capitalizing on Nazi memorabilia and the Holocaust.[21] He has publicly responded by noting his own Jewish ancestry and his personal mission of historic preservation.[22]


  1. ^ Austin, R. (December 14, 2011). "Craig Gottlieb Auctions reports record sell-through". Military Trader Vehicles.
  2. ^ a b Young, Noel (2011). "Hitler's World Shaping Deskset Found". Edit International.
  3. ^ "Lost family portraits of Hitler's parents go up for auction". Daily Mail. August 3, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Zabala, Liberty and Young, Joe (January 2014). "Calif. Historian Uncovers Passport Believed to Be Used by Nazi's "Angel of Death"". NBC 7 San Diego.
  5. ^ Welch, Diane Y. (February 15, 2011). "Solana Beach: Hitler desk set temporarily on display at collector’s office". Del Mar Times.
  6. ^ Martinez, Brian (August 3, 2011). "O.C. resident selling authentic portraits of Adolf Hitler's parents". Orange County Register.
  7. ^ Suciu, Pete R. (June 24, 2011 ). "Rare Howard Hughes Hell’s Angels Luger Pistol to be Auctioned". AmmoLand.
  8. ^ Warth, Gary (May 3, 2012). "SOLANA BEACH: North County business auctions Rudolf Hess items". U-T San Diego.
  9. ^ a b Erica E. Phillips (March 25, 2014). "Sale of Items Linked to Hitler: Good Business or Bad Taste?". Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Gottlieb, Craig. "History's Jackpot: Investing in Antiques & Collectibles #3291". Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  11. ^ The SS Totenkopf Ring: An Illustrated History from Munich to Nuremberg. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Gottlieb, Craig (May 13, 2012). "5 Guns That Changed History". Mandatory.
  13. ^ "Experts". Pawn Stars. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Scannell, Christy (July 7, 2012). "SOLANA BEACH ANTIQUE DEALER LANDS GIG ON TV SHOW". U-T San Diego.
  15. ^ "Reel Money - Episode 225". Auction Hunters. SpikeTV. November 22, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  16. ^ Munn, Patrick (March 25, 2014). "National Geographic Orders ‘Nazi War Diggers’ Factual Series". TV Wise.
  17. ^ Mashberg, Tom (March 31, 2014). "National Geographic Channel Pulls 'Nazi War Diggers' Series"
  18. ^ Koch, James (February 10, 2011). "Hitler's desk set for sale in Solana Beach". Fox 5 San Diego.
  19. ^ "A Set Of Hitler's Glasses Sold At Auction"., June 23, 2011
  20. ^
  21. ^ Van Schaick, Megan (February 12, 2011). "$1 Million for Latest Hitler Memorabilia Is a Crime". The Stir.
  22. ^ "Hitler artifact could bring $1 million". UPI. February 7, 2011.

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