Korifaeus Magazine

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German Script used by the Founding Fathers ?

The Double S
By Korifaeus

I have a passion for reviewing old documents, from written documents to photos, which often times serve as documents, as well – photos that is, as well as old paintings. Since we live in a world where forgeries often find their way into art galleries, even museums of antiquities or private collections, it’s become quite fascinating how forgers have been able to get away with forging art, even documents, while often times leaving some of the most important details out every expert would look for. For example specific corrosion on stone sculptures, oxidations on metals or patina on art or clay artifacts. But quite a few forgers are getting away with their forgeries.

Forgeries most often end up in homes of private collectors, after they paid large sums of money for them believing they’ve actually made a deal on an ancient artifact, which in actually was made in someone’s backyard.

I sometimes wonder how many of the alabaster statues of Greek and Roman Gods used on the Paramount Studio sets, and eventually sold, made it into museums ? One never knoweth, really. A few years back i was witness to a little history blunder in Alexandria, Virginia, while visiting the “Carlyle House”. The tour guide showed the group around, and when coming to the master bedroom, she explained what the tools, from the 1800’s, lying on the dresser were all about. She held an old hair-curler” in her hand telling us it was a “scissor”.

Aside from the house no longer being true to its original structure, thus actually lacking authenticity – because it must have originally been a brick building, with the bricks exposed in the cellar – looking into the backyard through the back window i saw a big old oak barrel, which was fastened in ways as though it was once used as a manually rotating “washing” barrel. Seeing the barrel it suddenly occurred to me that George Washington may’ve lived in that mansion, where he invented the ” Washing ton”. George Washington the inventor of the washing ton. 😉

Some time before that i was in Philadelphia visiting Independence hall. I found it odd that there’d be huge columns inside the brick building because architecturally and historically it just didn’t fit. I went to one of the columns and knocked on it to see if it was massive stone, or wood. Well, it was hollow, just a set design, i suppose ( which didn’t fit the era ?). A security guard noticing my knocking on the columns told me it was not permitted to touch the columns. So remember, you’re not allowed to knock, but i can tell you, should you be curious, too, they’re hollow.

The main room was furnished with english pub chairs of the 20th century, green table cloths covering the tables with phony writing feathers atop, and all in all it just seemed like a set design trying to fit the image of the painting in another room, ( which appeared to be authentic) depicting the signing of the Declaration. The only thing inspiring me to ponder somewhat, was a painting placed inside this cage like structure, the defendant’s stand, which i took a photo of, see below.
You can click to enlarge


Some years back, reviewing some letters supposedly written by Nazis during the second world war, i was somewhat surprised that they were all written using common western script. Germans began using ” Sütterlin” script which was taught in schools since 1911 and continued to be taught until 1941 to prevent forgeries, and authenticate their letters. Sütterlin was not only a very difficult script to read/decipher for those unfamiliar with the script, it was also meant to authenticate official German letters. (?)

Sütterlin Script taught from 1911 until 1941, and used until the mid 1950’s.
You can click to enlarge it

Which brings me to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I’ve occasionally commented on the ” inconsistency” of the letters in the Declaration, which i satirically called ” sloppy”, it was meant in good spirit, tho. I’m a fan of both and feel they’re both two of the finest documents ever written. The inconsistency of the capital letter A, however, is kind of curious, unless there were two writers, or a writer who was not American or English schooled, thus had a slight inconsistency in the letters.

PHOTO – Declaration Letter A
You can click to enlarge it
See the letter A, once written in German Kurrent-script and once written in English/American script.

But most astounding, in both documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, it was penned with use of the letter SZ, which is exclusively used in the German language. The SZ ( ß), also called the sharp S, long S, or a double S, was written in German Kurrent-script. Though the long S, or SZ has been found in Latin, Italian and French documents of the 1700 and 1800’s, German scholars had in those days often been hired as pen men, or designers of government documents, thus incorporating spelling words with use of the SZ.

Declaration of Independence
You can click to enlarge it

For example Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a 19th century German polymath, who also designed and penned Law articles, as well as designing government Constitutions for other countries, him having been a scientist, lawyer, playwright/poet, politician, as well as translator and interpreter of works of the antiquities ( amongst other things) was also a master linguist – speaking, reading/writing in German, French, Latin, Arabic, Italian and English. The use of the SZ in other languages would thus remain an authentication as to the origin of the works, or it’s writer/pen man.

You can click to enlarge the photo

Aside from Goethe having been a contemporary of the founding fathers of our country, he also had a fondness for America and supported the fight for its independence, which he mentioned in numerous of his literary works. Like George Washington, Goethe, too, was a Mason and unlike in modern days Free Masons were a not made of just any members who could join the group, rather a fellowship of common tribe’s men ( belonging to the same tribe/family tree) members were born into, dating back to ancient Egypt, with the ” Order” given the sacred “burden” to keep safe the wisdom from way back then.

It is thus not unlikely that the founding fathers also acquired the assistance of fellow Masons in regard to designing Laws and a Constitution in consistence with their ideology.

Letter SZ in the Declaration of Independence
You can click to enlarge it
Declaration - Excerp SZ

Letter SZ in the Constitution
You can click to enlarge it

Neither does it seem unlikely that Goethe himself may’ve written the Declaration and Constitution. First of there is the use of the inconsistency of the letter A, as see above. Then there is the use of SZ in German Kurrent script apparent in both documents. Third, the handwriting, curling of letters, tails and bows, as well as the “slant” is just about identical to Goethe’s handwriting, when taking into consideration that more effort is put into writing “official” documents as opposed to taking notes, or writing a poem.

Placing the handwriting of Goethe above either of the two documents, the similarity of penmanship becomes quite apparent.

Handwriting of Goethe and Declaration and Constitution placed above one another, note the slant.
You can click to enlarge it.


The final test to verify or authenticate a writer’s handwriting would be to look at “pressure points”, dentations on the “back” of the paper, with the pressure of the pen by the writer usually being identical, which is where most forgers flunk the authentication test = ” Pen pressure”.

Every writer creates a very individualistic pressure on the paper using a pen, though it’s most apparent in pencil or ball pen writing, feather works, too, show pen-pressure.

Then there is the famous Poem called Ginkgo Biloba, by Goethe, in which he wished to reveal something that could be interpreted as him possibly being a ” twin” or having played a double part in life.


Ginkgo Biloba ( translation by Korifaeus)

This tree’s leaf, which from the east was entrusted in my garden; gives taste of secret senses, as sung by knowing barden. Is it a being real and alive, divided from within, or are there two who strive and thrive, known as one, that’s how it’s been ? To answer such queries avoiding much trouble; can’t you tell my lyrics tune
that i’m one but i’m double.

Keeping that in mind and comparing the features of Goethe with Washington, the strong resemblance can’t be denied. To see just how much the features would fit i placed the faces above one another, see below.

You can click to enlarge it

As to the speculation that George Washington is said to’ve had wooden teeth. The reason why he always kept his lips tied, or mouth close, if you will, may well have been symbolic for keeping secrets; Masons having the reputation of being a secretive or rather secrets-keeping Society. However, Masons did reveal secrets, though not verbally, which is against their law, instead in art, from literary works to paintings, etc. In this painting of Washington, for example, it was revealed that he did not have wooden teeth, rather a left wooden leg.


And artist’s portray of Goethe, meant to also reveal something about Goethe’s left leg, left hand on right leg, with left leg covered means he to suggest he had no left leg, also referred to as ” Phoenician” ( Masonic ) – meaning Phoenix which is a Flamingo because Flamingo’s stand on one leg. See picture below, which you can click on to enlarge.



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