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Can the dismantling of Third Reich artifacts for research purposes be justified?

Article about: by HPL2008 Basically, I am opposed to destructive examination of period items, but under certain conditions, exceptions are acceptable. Period items (be they medals, badges, insignia, items

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    Default Can the dismantling of Third Reich artifacts for research purposes be justified?

    Following on from points raised in the Mutterkreuz thread and to keep this debate separate from the point of that thread, an interesting question has arisen.

    Is there any justification to be made in dismantling Third Reich - or indeed any - artifacts for the purpose of education and research?

    This will obviously attract comments from both sides of the fence and I will be moderating this discussion with a heavy hand.
    State your points and make your comments in an adult manner, do not resort to insults, jibes or name calling if someone has a different point of view from you. Any posts of the afore mentioned type will be deleted because I am getting fed up with grown ups failing to agree to disagree. Don't waste your time or mine.

    Discuss.

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    Hi Adrian, personally in this day and age if the need arose to "get in deep"with artifacts of any era , I would see no need whatsoever to "dismantle" a piece. Any researcher and historian worth his or her salt can get items x-rayed/cat scanned etc (all be it at a cost). There is no point in destroying history to gain this kind of information , in fact archaeologists are now talking about future times when they will not even need to dig certain sites as the geophysics will have improved to such a level that it will not be necessary! Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

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    I am against it because you will have ruined a piece of history which can not be replaced.
    Morris

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    If I had a 100 SS caps I would tear one apart to see what it was made of no doubt.
    Far as (pride) going back to the started thread. I have thrown out over 50 and did earn them, large trophies ask my wife.
    Back in my motorcycle days.
    This is how we learn real from fake items.
    [h=3]e plu·ri·bus u·num[/h]

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    There are valid arguments to both sides of the coin here, as far as I can see, but it is a Very grey area as to where research ends and permanent destruction begins. Just what Are the limits to research? Would you collect together and destroy, say, 500 DKiG's to be able to divine out the minute details of their constructions and materials? Too rare and costly? What about, say, Spanish Crosses? EK1's? Belt buckles? Common wool armband? Mutterkreuz's, while certainly not highly valuable are still, nonetheless, pieces of History. To see one speak of destroying "thousands of dollars worth" of them to commit research is, in many ways, disturbing to hear. Is there absolutely no other way to collect the needed data other than mutilating and destroying? Is the bottom line end resulting knowledge ultimately worth the sacrifice? Is it all worthwhile, to save a collector out there from spending $20 dollars on a fake mutterkreuz? By that reckoning, to help a collector from spending $10,000 on a fake Ritter it should be even more imperative to do such testing on them as well. I could postulate that it should theoretically be possible to collect together enough damaged beyond saving pins and badges and use Them to test and probe, but, of course, it's quicker and easier to gather specimens at random that are available and not to concern oneself with their loss, as it's for the greater good...the "good cause". I could go deeper here and speculate on book sales and the satisfaction of being a person who is the undisputed authority on a subject, but I'm simply going to let it go here and stop before I ruffle more feathers than initially intended-which is none. This is a Very nebulous area and tempers will, undoubtedly, be flared on one side or the other. Hopefully, manners will not be forgotten in the maelstrom that ensues.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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    I suffer from low maelstrom at my age but I got a pill for it now. But is wish I had the time to study like Jo and if I could I would do just the same as he has done.
    [h=3]e plu·ri·bus u·num[/h]

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    IMO none of these artifacts are "pieces of history". They are simply "things" that existed at a particular point in time.

    History is defined as:
    The study of past events, particularly in human affairs.
    The past considered as a whole.


    It is therefore only by the study of these artifacts that these objects are imbibed with or assume "history" ...so if dismantling of Third Riech artifacts adds to our knowledge of the past as a whole ie. history, then that can only be a good thing.

    But as Voltaire once wrote, "All our ancient history is no more than accepted fiction"... and I think he may have a point
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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    Quote by Eric Zentner View Post
    I suffer from low maelstrom at my age but I got a pill for it now. But is wish I had the time to study like Jo and if I could I would do just the same as he has done.
    Your point, as been said by myself several times, is understood. I actually respect it, and even, somewhat, agree. But the fact remains the person you defend has stated he could tell that the MC was authentic by studying all parts of it. Thus, there is no need to destroy it in order to understand what makes it real!! End of story, IMO.
    It's simple, a peice of history was destroyed here when cause wasn't just. Nothing sufficient was even discovered from it.
    Also, are you really willing to destroy a 100 items of history to learn what's different from real or fake? First off, who are you to do so? Second of all, I promise you there are many other ways to learn the information you search for than destroying a original item. Others have been doing it for many years. You speak of ss hats. I promise you FB knows what's real and what's fake, and he has yet to destroy one. He doesn't even pull the sculls off!! I mean, am I going crazy here? This is not what we stand for, right? Maybe I'm so sensitive because my awards were thrown away, but regardless, it's not your right do to so.

    * To Adrian: Thank you for creating this thread, prior to sending you messages, I didn't know you did so. I apologize for what I said in private.

  10. #9
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    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    This is a Very nebulous area and tempers will, undoubtedly, be flared on one side or the other. Hopefully, manners will not be forgotten in the maelstrom that ensues.
    I can assure you that if any tempers are flared then those members will not be taking part in this discussion and I can also assure you that no maelstrom will ensue because we are all adults and able to discuss different aspects of opinions in a sensible manner.

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    Basically, I am opposed to destructive examination of period items, but under certain conditions, exceptions are acceptable.

    Period items (be they medals, badges, insignia, items of clothing or whatever) are obviously a finite resource. If one is destroyed, a little piece of history is irreplacably lost.
    Also, in the case of awards and decorations that were actually conferred and worn (as opposed to unissued manufacturers' stocks, salesmen's samples etc.), they represent somebody's achievements or sacrifices. Thus, in addition to their historical significance, material value and artistic qualities, they have a special, symbolic meaning of a personal nature. When it comes to such items, we should consider ourselves as custodians and treat them with, for lack of a better word, respect.

    Having said that, I have no real problem with the actual case of the two Mutterkreuze over in the other thread. What makes this acceptable to me are two factors:

    1.) Jo has not vandalized the crosses just for the heck of it, but for purposes of serious, scientific examination. If some mentally-challenged new collector had pried off the roundels with the attitude of a child pulling wings off of dragonflies and the vague musing of "Gee, I wonder how them there thingies are stuck on..." it would be another story, but this is a case of a highly knowledgable collector and bona-fide expert doing it for a very specific reason in the course of extensive, thorough studies.

    2.) These particular items are still very common and readily available. I really cannot see bronze Mothers' Crosses becoming extinct anytime soon. Again, if this were a rare and valuable piece, like, say, a German Cross in Gold with diamonds or a German Order, it would be another story. Obviously, when it comes to destructive testing, we have to draw the line somewhere, but bronze Mothers' Crosses are not beyond that line.

    (Just to make it clear, in order for destructive testing of period items to be acceptable in my book, both factors have to be present: The serious, scientific approach by someone who knows what they are doing and can actually draw information from the process and the commonness of the item at hand.)

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