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sun news paper artical

Article about: by Matt L Well the problem is really MIAs not just identifying remains- if a family knows a relative was killed that's one thing, but if they're forever in limbo because he's missing, that's

  1. #1
    ian
    ian is offline
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    Default sun news paper artical

    did any of you see the article in the sun ,,, grave robbers it seems the germans are getting very angry about diggers in the east of europe , especialy the taking of dog tags , and the leaving of bones ,un buried , and not reporting finds of bodys , they are talking of very seriouse punishment for this crime ????
    any and all views on this , cheers ian
    more to this thay are saying the russian maffia are encouraging digging for profit ?
    it looks like the guys who do it right and with the best intentions are going to be tarnished with the brush of the bad guys , i think all diggers should be aware of the comeing troubles , becouse the bad ones are going to ruin it for the good ones "AGAIN"
    OH and they are blaming collectors for creating the market
    another excuse for making colecting of TR stuff iligal
    Last edited by ian; 05-15-2010 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    The annoyance is understandable to be sure, but I know people who've found remains and reported them and after YEARS nobody's come to collect them still because the WASt hasn't the funding to deal with all the discoveries (is what I was told). It's hardly the collectors who've caused the problem either- Erkennungsmarken are found by themselves (i.e not with KIAs) HUNDREDS EVERY DAY in Europe- something less than 1.5% of men who ever served in the Wehrmacht were killed, and the other 98.5% had discs that were discarded, confiscated or whatever at the end of the war and those are still out there- dug up in gardens, forest dump sites and a myriad of other places by average people as well as hobby metal detectorists every day. And that's not even bringing in the incredible percentage of fakes that are for sale. I have a friend who's a detectorist and his group of friends over the years have found thousands of discs, and never once any human remains. It's just easy to claim the 'market' is the problem rather than the actual responsible parties...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  3. #3

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    I personally think that anyone who digs remains and takes items without working closely with the graves registration depít in the country where they are digging should be locked up and the key thrown away for good.
    Letís not forget that bones equal real people, no matter who they fought for they deserve to be identified if possible and a proper burial. Removing any item could reduce the chances of the body being identified.
    Lets put it this way: if you where driving down and isolated county road and you came across a body laying on the side of the road, would you stop and look it over and take anything you think is of value and then drive off? No you wouldnít, you would do the right thing and call the authorities. Just because a body has been in the ground for 60 odd years it makes no difference. Also donít forget that it is probable that this body may have living close relatives somewhere.

    There is only ever one person to be blamed and that is the digger, markets and official deptís do what they do but the digger is the only one who has control over the situation when a body is first found, and they bear sole responsibility for behaving correctly.

    You should never dig anywhere without first knowing how to contact the correct graves registration people and bomb disposal people and knowing the law in that country. If you find remains, put back anything you have found, cover it all up and if you can, take a GPS location and hand the information to the authorities. If you do anything else you are a disgrace to the human race and legitimate diggers the world over.

    Rant over.. sorry but I feel very strongly about this.

  4. #4

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    It is sad that the minority spoil it for the majority. As a relic hunter/metal detectorist myself, I feel ashamed for the people who walk away from skeletons after stripping them of all their possessions. I personally just couldn't do it. In fact, I am the kind of MDer that would call the authorities the SECOND I found a single bone. It wouldn't even cross my mind to remove stuff from the body.

    As a slight aside, but still very relevant, finding a dog tag does not equal finding a body, as pointed out above. I am a prime example of this. I have found 2 German dog tags in England, at an old POW camp. I know damn well the guards didn't just bury an inmate behind the huts so I know it has just been discarded. Hundreds of thousands were.

    Steve T

  5. #5

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    I think that the sad fact is that the german graverobbing in the caucasus (especially the Ukraine) region alone accounted for 70% of war cemetries being looted - that is shocking when you find out that there are 150,000 gernan war dead in only 137 cemetries, so at least 100,000 of these graves have been dug up and robbed.However it is pverty that drives this market ,if there wereno collectors there would be no demand - basic capitalismin operation. The problem is compounded by the german - polish businesman Maciej Keszycki who mounts huge expeditions to find missing warplanes and encourages locals to find wrecks so that he can buy them cheaply and sell at a profit - the German Military Grave Registration service find at least one dead german soldier a day but don't have the resources to find more so rely on the german public, and in the sun article a picture is show of a pile of skull and bones but the dog tag has been stolen so no id is possible - after the battle of Berlin, the german dead were just dumped in shellholes or mass graves along with debris and the forest areas still have many dead hidden only to god.

  6. #6

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    It is such a shame that those with the best of intentions are being tarred with the same brush. Those digging purely for profit and with no regard for the fallen are just going to make matters worse although it's not a new problem is it. The diggers in Egypt during the 1920's often found they'd been beaten there... 1000+ years before.

    I only hope that for all I see on these forums, the remains etc. are recorded and reported so that they may receive their honours at last, no matter what nationality they are. If the remains are found with dog tags or other I.D. then at least a name can be given to that grave and should never be removed. The whole idea of two tags was one stays with the body and one for graves registration. In reality, that tag left on the remains is a head-stone. We wouldn't go around taking those away would we.

    I certainly don't condone the stripping of battlefields and "grave robbing" but I do believe in the learning of our history but by way of organised digs. If relics are found, I see them for historical value and know too well that some poor soul may have suffered so badly for that item to be there. It's such a shame that others don't see that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    Guys,

    I know that it does not eradicate the problem as many dead were not found but I won't have a half disc in my collection!

    Jock

  8. #8
    ian
    ian is offline
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    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    from a purely personal point of view , i see it as the german authoritys dont want remains found , becouse it means they have to do something about it and that costs MONEY ,and it sters up things they would rather forget, BUT, that does not mean that people should dig for what they can get without respect for the remains they find , it is a tragedy all round , even legitimate ,good wiled diggers who report finds could end up in an aufull lot of trouble becouse of the unscrupiouse few who have no respect for the dead , which ever country the belong to ,the whole thing is very troubeling to those who care , but when you have "mafia types"involved then scrupels are there least concern ,cheers ian

  9. #9

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    Quote by jock auld View Post
    Guys,

    I know that it does not eradicate the problem as many dead were not found but I won't have a half disc in my collection!

    Jock
    I can certainly see whare you are coming from, nice one.

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: sun news paper artical

    Quote by jock auld View Post
    Guys,

    I know that it does not eradicate the problem as many dead were not found but I won't have a half disc in my collection!

    Jock
    Well the problem is really MIAs not just identifying remains- if a family knows a relative was killed that's one thing, but if they're forever in limbo because he's missing, that's something altogether different. It's the whole tags taken from field graves that are the real tragedy. And half tags, as I've been saying for years and years and years, are NOT necessarily from graves- they're not even LIKELY from graves- it was standard practice in many places to break discs taken from prisoners- sometimes even into quarters, perhaps to prevent different men from using the same disc to identify themselves when the SS witch hunts were going on or some such thing. I have detectorist friends who've searched known POW assembly sites who find all the discs broken. And often enough men who simply threw their identification away broke their discs as well- one of those friends finds many discs broken and the halves many metres (and sometimes years) apart. The last one he found the second half of a disc he discovered several years ago 30m away!

    It's all about knowing the source and trusting that they are not scumbags or will buy from people they don't know. I've only ever dealt with people I felt I could trust did not have anything that might have been looted or stocked stuff from anyone they didn't themselves trust.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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