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Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

Article about: I am curious as to how there are so many german dog tags on ebay these days - everything from immaculate to corroded beyond recognition. Most from eastern europe - poland, latvia, russia, so

  1. #1

    Default Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    I am curious as to how there are so many german dog tags on ebay these days - everything from immaculate to corroded beyond recognition. Most from eastern europe - poland, latvia, russia, solvenkia. Are these legit? Are they from robbed graves? Are these from German soldiers marched off to Russia never to be heard from again? I guess I am curious in a morbid kind of way but I find so many available hard to believe.
    Joe

    (also - I though collecting belt buckles would be challenging; getting into this part of militaria collecting is even more so).

    I rarely see these ID disks here in US at antique/collectible shows or shops but recently saw some at a show at $35 each and one at a shop for $75.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Hello Josephc.

    I have seen german dog tags for sale on ebay for a long time.
    Some things on ebay are probably not legit.
    When talking about forgery, it seem to happen more often with german dog tags that represent a higher monetary value, like SS and other high profile units.
    I think there are many reasons for these items to to be found in eastern europe.
    First of all, more than 4 million german soldiers lost their life fighting in the east, they all wore dog tags.
    In the Volgograd-area alone(formerly named Stalingrad) there is hundreds of thousands german soldiers MIA, KIA.
    To assume that they all are found together with human remains is simply not the case.
    Many dog tags are found with the debri of war or together in hoards.
    Sometimes removed at aid stations/dressing stations.
    Sometimes removed by soldiers before surrendering or removed by the winning soldiers(Russia).
    Some are probably taken from graves.
    Diggers in some eastern countries are very poor and dig war relics to make ends meet.
    Ethics concerning dead people might become less important if you are hungry and poor.

    I get my german dog tags from sources in the east and find this forum great for learning more about the items.

    Best regards
    Anders

  4. #3

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Quote by Laplander View Post
    Hello Josephc.

    I have seen german dog tags for sale on ebay for a long time.
    Some things on ebay are probably not legit.
    When talking about forgery, it seem to happen more often with german dog tags that represent a higher monetary value, like SS and other high profile units.
    I think there are many reasons for these items to to be found in eastern europe.
    First of all, more than 4 million german soldiers lost their life fighting in the east, they all wore dog tags.
    In the Volgograd-area alone(formerly named Stalingrad) there is hundreds of thousands german soldiers MIA, KIA.
    To assume that they all are found together with human remains is simply not the case.
    Many dog tags are found with the debri of war or together in hoards.
    Sometimes removed at aid stations/dressing stations.
    Sometimes removed by soldiers before surrendering or removed by the winning soldiers(Russia).
    Some are probably taken from graves.
    Diggers in some eastern countries are very poor and dig war relics to make ends meet.
    Ethics concerning dead people might become less important if you are hungry and poor.

    I get my german dog tags from sources in the east and find this forum great for learning more about the items.

    Best regards
    Anders
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response to me question. I understand.

    Joe

  5. #4

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response to me question. I understand.

    Joe

  6. #5

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    I'am from Latvia, I dig 10 years and collect German ID tags, I have in my collection about 400 ID tags most of them was found without dead soldiers in capitulation places in Kurland where Germans threw all out. Some half ID tags with one hole was found in rubbish pits near German headquaters. I also sell some ID tags on eBay, but they all were found without bodies.

    If You buy half ID tag with 2 holes than there is a big possibility that it is from grave, if You buy complete ID without blood type and wearing traces than it wasn't issued and was found in headquaters, if it is worn ,than nobody knows where it was found, if You buy half ID tag with one hole than it is from headquaters.

    ID tags from graves are eaten by corrosion, most of them are eaten from sides to center. But that ID tags also could be dug out from toilets in POW camps or from bad ground (red clay, swamps)

    And it is good that You warry about ID tags from remains, because soldier will lost his name if somebody dug out his ID, threw out bones and sold ID tag.... I hate them.

    Regards,
    Andris
    Last edited by Inf Div 121; 09-10-2010 at 02:54 PM.

  7. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Well said Andris... it's nice to hear your honest view about this darker side of relic hunting... cheers.. Hansi

  8. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Indeed a great percentage of what you see on ebaY is fake, and discs are found by the dozens or hundreds every day across Europe (when the weather's nice)- one good friend of mine finds a couple a week himself in the spring and summer (and he has dozens fo friends who search too) and has never once found any human remains; it's a myth that ground dug discs, even the top halves, are 'ususally' from graves- again my friend very often finds broken discs- in fact whole ones are not necessarily common. And he's just one example I know of. Remember something like 18 million men served in the Wehrmacht in total the majority of whom would have had a disc- and that's not even counting the unissued stocks (look at the first thread in the forum right now about 10 stock discs)- so the supply is huge. The only real threat to a fallen soldier's identity is if it is a whole disc that's taken from a body- because that means his death wasn't registered, and he's one of the million plus still listed as missing; so in truth, half discs aren't the real problem other than the morality issue. But so so many whole discs are dug up, as I've written, every day- it's absolutely impossible to tell the source of a disc. Even just the math says such things are very rare, fortunately.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  9. #8

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Quote by Matt L View Post
    Indeed a great percentage of what you see on ebaY is fake, and discs are found by the dozens or hundreds every day across Europe (when the weather's nice)- one good friend of mine finds a couple a week himself in the spring and summer (and he has dozens fo friends who search too) and has never once found any human remains; it's a myth that ground dug discs, even the top halves, are 'ususally' from graves- again my friend very often finds broken discs- in fact whole ones are not necessarily common. And he's just one example I know of. Remember something like 18 million men served in the Wehrmacht in total the majority of whom would have had a disc- and that's not even counting the unissued stocks (look at the first thread in the forum right now about 10 stock discs)- so the supply is huge. The only real threat to a fallen soldier's identity is if it is a whole disc that's taken from a body- because that means his death wasn't registered, and he's one of the million plus still listed as missing; so in truth, half discs aren't the real problem other than the morality issue. But so so many whole discs are dug up, as I've written, every day- it's absolutely impossible to tell the source of a disc. Even just the math says such things are very rare, fortunately.
    Where Your friend lives? Because I can't understand how peole in Germany or Poland can find so many ID tags, or may be Kurland was some strange place, because every day in Kurland are found only several ID tags without soldiers, soldirs are rather rare, as You said, but in small Kurland are digging several hundred diggers and capitulated 200000 Germans.

    And about half ID tags if there are sold from bodies which were dug out on frontline than soldier will be Unbekkanter Soldat on war cemetery.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    Quote by Inf Div 121 View Post
    And about half ID tags if there are sold from bodies which were dug out on frontline than soldier will be Unbekkanter Soldat on war cemetery.
    The remains will be unknown if ever found, yes, but that's not nearly so big an issue as remaining missing forever, which is what I was pointing out; I didn't say taking a half from a grave wasn't bad. But one is a family not having physical remains to bury and visit, the other is a family with a lost member, never knowing what became of him...

    And it makes perfect sense that in the western areas lots of discs would be found as that's where the war ended- millions of German soldiers capitulated or just went home, so millions of discs were thrown away by their owners, or confiscated by capturing forces and subsequently dumped, etc. (e.g. at POW camps). Not to mention the aid stations and field hospitals, which were constantly busy and constantly on the move, are also plentiful and concentrated and a signfiicant source. So there are lots of major concentrations.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  11. #10
    ?

    Default Re: Lots of ID idsks on Ebay? Where are they from?

    This is an interesting subject but, forgive my inquisitiveness... I don't really understand what conclusion is being reached here about the original question at the start of this thread. If so many original discs are being found, why is a great percentage of what we see on eBay fake? I can understand that these desirable and personal items are very collectable, and as far as forged relics go, I would imagine when compared to other WW2 items ,that these discs are probably also very cheap, fast, and easy to produce, making easy money for the forgers with relatively little effort... therefore a huge number of them are ending up on sites like eBay. But why do we not also see more genuine discs on eBay if so many are being unearthed? I'm curious as to where all the genuine discs go... all I seem to see are fakes? Cheers... Hansi

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