What Happened to ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Swastika Props?

As the fourth and final season of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle aired, a post to Reddit’s r/oddlysatisfying asserted that producers were proactive in post-production handling of the show’s many swastikas and other Nazi memorabilia:

Attached to a thread (“The show High Castle destroyed every swastika they used during the show”) was a video of unstated source. In it, plastic storage crates of fabric scraps appeared next to on-screen text stating “burn pile.” The clip then displayed a green cutting mat, a swastika, and a hand-held rotary cutter reducing a small fabric swastika to unrecognizable tatters. A similar post was shared to r/television.

Props from popular television (and now streaming) shows, movies, and other entertainment ventures are part of a market unto itself. On November 18 2019, a Florida news site reported on an auction of non-Nazi props and other related memorabilia:

If vintage animatronic birds, a tambourine-toting doll from “it’s a small world” or an armless Figment prop are exactly what your living room decor is lacking, you may be in luck. Van Eaton Galleries is planning an auction that’s packed with items from Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Included in the catalog are items small (a Pleasure Island pass from 1992) and large (a ride vehicle from the Star Jets attraction.)

Some of the offerings on the WDW section of the auction have historic appeal and are connected to bona fide Disney Legends. Folks will be able to bid Mary Blair’s ceramic-tile work that served as a prototype for that very tall mosaic in Disney’s Contemporary Hotel. Van Eaton estimates that will sell for between $12,000 and $15,000.

In previous months, Star Wars and Batman props were also auctioned off. Socks belonging to Michael Jackson were also sold in November 2019, as were items from various James Bond films, and collectors sought and snatched up such offerings regularly. Amazon itself maintained a section of film and television props for sale.

The final season of The Man in the High Castle began streaming on November 15 2019, and other streaming titles (like Marvel shows on Netflix) had their props auctioned not long after their final seasons hit screens, with items ranging from $200 to $50,000. The premise of Man in the High Castle involved an alternate reality in which Allied forces lost World War II and America was divided between Japan and Nazi Germany.

The fate of its production props was speculated upon on social sites like Quora:

What do the producers of “The Man In the High Castle” plan to do with all the Nazi-themed props, such as the swastika-embellished home decor, after the series wraps? (And no, I don’t want it.)

A question posted in 2018, quoted above, noted the unusually sensitive nature of The Man in the High Castle props. One user said overall props were typically sold, stored, or destroyed, and a second responded:

I recommend a big bonfire and a multicultural party!

That answer included a photograph of a swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag in flames. At that time, no one appeared to have any definitive information about Man in the High Castle‘s Nazi props.

Video included with the thread above was originally shared on Twitter by primary Man in the High Castle cast member Chelah Horsdal, who portrayed Reichsmarschall John Smith’s wife Helen Smith:

Horsdal labeled the video “super satisfying,” adding that the clip was a reminder “that High Castle proudly destroyed all the swastikas that were produced for the show.” Fellow cast member Tamlyn Tomita also shared the tweet, adding that the “Japanese Rising Sun Imperial flag insignia should go, too,” in reference to other High Castle memorabilia.

Horsal responded on Twitter about the broader collection of Axis imagery seen in The Man in the High Castle:

The answer from our producer (Erin Smith) is YES. All flags and symbols that were in any way offensive or sensitive: destroyed.

A popular post on made a titular assertion that Amazon series The Man in the High Castle production crew members “destroyed every swastika they used during the show,” indicating that the newly fabricated Nazi objects would not circulate among prop collectors. Video was originally posted by Horsdal on Twitter, and she confirmed via producer Erin Smith that “all flags and symbols that were in any way offensive or sensitive” were destroyed after the show wrapped.