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Relics and grave robbing

Article about: by slados28 I don't really think there's much to argue about there... What I find interesting about this whole fear of relics being brought out of graves/taken off of corpses is that this re

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    Default Relics and grave robbing

    Thoughts?

    Bodies dug from graves to fuel trade in Nazi souvenirs

    Typical British media over exaggeration and hype (illegal to sell "Nazi" stuff...) but the grave robbing that fuels relic and "ground dug" items are well known. One of the reasons I won't touch a relic unless I would dig it myself from a battlefield and not bought off the interweb. I think relics are liked with romantic glorious hopeless battles but I think more often than naught relics are coming from the desecrated graves of the fallen.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    Quote by DougB View Post
    Thoughts?

    Bodies dug from graves to fuel trade in Nazi souvenirs

    Typical British media over exaggeration and hype (illegal to sell "Nazi" stuff...) but the grave robbing that fuels relic and "ground dug" items are well known. One of the reasons I won't touch a relic unless I would dig it myself from a battlefield and not bought off the interweb. I think relics are liked with romantic glorious hopeless battles but I think more often than naught relics are coming from the desecrated graves of the fallen.
    Hi Doug, I thought it was illegal to sell Nazi items in the Countries mentioned in the article, they are not illegal in Britain as far as i was aware, just read the article again, i think i know what you mean now !

    I think the article is stating the bleeding obvious as it were, now the Olympics is over they need something to write about !!!

    I like relics, but i wouldn't say i have any romantic notion about hopeless battles. A relic is a true piece of history, similar to the Roman relics housed in the museum up the road from where i live. It is very unfortunate however how it seems some can be brought to light again as it were

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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    When a sailor meets his end in the depths, he is granted peace. Sad that we are unable to allow those who have fallen on land to rest, for they deserve it also.

    Regards,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  5. #4

    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    I think the media can get confused regarding the looting of known graves and the hard work some of the Russian diggers do looking for MIA soldiers to be repatriated; its a very fine and dark line...

    I often wonder how myself and others would feel if people started walking around Flanders digging holes...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    As you say Doug typical sensationalism surrounding this subject with some not very helpful comments from "experts " such as if you have half a tag it must have come from abody , which is not completely true !! Every tag /helmet / award etc isn't found with a body as the writers of these articles would have us believe.

    That said the overall claim that " black diggers " are in fact operating across much of both western and partculary eastern europe and Russia without any thought of the recovery and indentification of human remains is of course valid !!

    This is of course fuelled by the collectors market and the desire to own that special piece of history and the internet which has brought digger and customer much closer together . I am lucky enough to be in the position of being to find the relics myself or get them from others who i know personally as part of lawfully authorised and ethically driven activities but the market place is being driven by those who turn a blind eye and / or ask no questions as to the origins of a dog tag / personal item/award etc etc.

    Every day items are being posted on all forums that have come from illegal digging where any human remains will have been left behind or thrown away and with many collectors that fact is something they choose to ignore or not think about .

    It's a difficult area and impossible to Police in any way as these digs are not taking place in a farmers field on the Somme or Normandy ( although grave robbing has also taken place in those locations over the years ) but in extremely remote and unhospitable areas of the vast Eastern front.

    regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    I have felt uncomfortable about some things that have been posted here in the past as, I am sure have others. It's a bit of an elephant in the room sort of a thing, and goes often mostly ignored. Of course, I know that much good work is done by legitimate licenced diggers working in hand with the correct authorities concerned with the retrieval of their respective countries war dead, and this is a laudible and noble cause.

    But the ugly head of the black diggers does appear here on occaision, and with it rightful condemnation by the vast majority of the membership, these money grubbing ghouls thankfully get short shrift, but it still leaves an uneasy feeling of, I don't know,....shame(?), on my part anyway.

    I guess it will always be a dark side to what is really a harmless and inticingly historic hobby, and is something that, to whatever proportion, we are all here involved in whether we like it or not. But that we should be broadly tarred with the same brush as these scumbags by uninformed and hysterical media sources is reprehensible, but is something we have to bear; it will never change.

    How many here think twice before confiding their collecting hobby to others, friends, even family? Quite a few of us I'm sure, and that is our cross to bear.

    Vigilance and correct action by members may not stop this vile trade, but it can limit it, if only a little, here on our forum. It may have little effect in the broad spectrum of this field of relic collecting and the wider militaria based hobbies we pursue, but it is the right thing to do, and long may it continue here at WRF.

    Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    The difficulty is that there are tons of extracted aluminium being sent off to the scrap metal merchants every year as well - and THATS history lost for paltry economic gain - you won't see that in the media because it isn't sensational.... and lets not forget the re-profiling of hallowed ground when the 'Chunnel' was built or the leveling of the Kaiserbaracke Crossroads near St Vith .... oh no, can't interfere with progress can we?

    None of us can be 100% sure the relic we purchase has not been separated from it's "in situ" owner but neither can we be certain it came from one of the "big Pits"???? I would love to be so altruistic so as to avoid relics completely just on the off chance - but I cant dig my own and so must trust others who have to have done the right thing.

    Dan

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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    Can this argument only apply to say rusty relics for want of a better expression?? Take for instance a very nice condition SS/WH helmet, how many of those were picked up straight from the battlefield from fallen soldat and shipped off back home in a nice box as a souvenir? I do not feel any part of this hobby is completely clean as it were. All these items belong to a period of history that shaped this world of ours as we know it today, millions of people lost their lives. We do not collect train sets!!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    This article is false from start to finish. Excuse my French here. First of all. To Doug i will say there is tons of relics to found outside graves or on fallen soldiers. This article have only been written to sell a story. It does not reflect reality here. Of course some graves have been robbed. I have seen the results a few times and my crew also had 10 men in plastic bags stolen last year. Some of the people doing this are poor villagers, living under harsh conditions. I do not defend their actions, but seeing how they live i sort of understand them. Some "Russian" gangs might go and rob graves. Real graves. Not trenches on the front. They are hard to find. Besides this you wont get rich from digging.

    I dig with very experienced people and every year we have to do a lot of research to find out where to go, and we for sure do not go and dig up Knights Crosses by the hundreds. I can't see how criminals all of a sudden should have better knowledge than experienced diggers.

    The BS that Russian have no regard for the Russians is a outrageous statement. The majority of people here have more respect for the Germans than the Soviet soldiers. This seller that claims this and are "a British dealer who sells relics lawfully excavated from battlefields on the Continent" is just full of it. How would he ever know if a relic is legally dug or not? He have no way to know. He might get some documentation, but Russia and documents....

    Even comment from The German War Graves Commission is just ridiculous. They should start supporting honest and respectful diggers. We have had a priest connected to Volksbund bury soldiers "black" so to speak, because Volksbund can be "difficult" at times. This priest have been burying fallen for 12yrs. I know there is problems with Volksbund in the Baltic's as well. We have the support of the Russian Volksbund people here. The end of the article just sounds like someone is working on banning selling relics.

    All the best & kind regards, Lars

  11. #10

    Default Re: Relics and grave robbing

    Lars

    Your comment " The BS that Russian have no regard for the Russians is a outrageous statement. The majority of people here have more respect for the Germans than the Soviet soldiers "

    Why is that so ????

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