An Open Letter to the War Relics SS Forum and a Note of Thanks to David Delich
I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere thanks to David Delich for his kindness and generosity with not only his hard-earned knowledge, but with his collection- a collection that is the most inclusive collection of SS-related items known to be in private hands. We are all fortunate at this forum, and this forum exclusively, to have a rare glimpse into and enjoy Mr. Delich’s items. Furthermore, we are able to discuss these items in a collegiate manner with the good intentions of placing said items into historical perspective and, perhaps, gleaning some insight into the period regalia which is not common knowledge. We have the benefit of trained historians, authors and lecturers with intimate knowledge of both the U.S. and German military’s innermost workings and customs, avid readers of scholastic works that are only published in German who are willing to share and translate pertinent data for us all, and, most important to the continued function of this environment, we have a membership that possess a sense of proper etiquette.
Recently, there has been a departure from our good form here and I am respectfully raising a flag of caution. When a member posts an item for other members to study, it does not necessarily mean it is posted up for review for authenticity, especially when the majority of those reviews are prefaced with “I have never handled one of these, but…” Items that have been passed around for seventy to eighty years, either in the hands of Russian film studios or private collectors, have the potential to have some tampering with. I own two tunics that are from Russian studios and when I have posted them to share with our members they elicit unsolicited private messages dissecting the item from afar by unknown individuals who have thinly veiled ulterior motives. I, for one, am in favor of these items being as costly as they are because at this point it mitigates the likelihood of someone treating the item as a toy rather than a historical object. Regardless, these items come to their current custodians as is, and the item’s state of preservation is part of the history of the item, a history that, as we have witnessed, is convoluted and inflammatory. It is shameful how we have allowed others with larcenous intentions to force us to adopt a type of hyper vigilance towards any item that is unearthed for others with less experience to view and then responded to this generosity with accusations and innuendo.
If we wish to continue our forward progress into the true academic study of these items and their relationship to a brutal and violent time in humanity’s past, we must not divert from, nor tolerate, a lack of proper decorum. Finger-pointing and accusatory remarks have no place when a clearly authentic items is displayed. To do so will only chase away those who are generous with their knowledge and collections and leave this forum a materially and intellectually defunct wasteland, a prospect that should conjure for our members a time that harkens back to the general condition of a populace smothered by thuggery within the period of human history that is the focus of our studies. Note the quote in my signature below.
Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.
Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.
01-31-2016 10:09 PM
"It is shameful how we have allowed others with larcenous intentions to force us to adopt a type of hyper vigilance towards any item that is unearthed for others with less experience to view and then responded to this generosity with accusations and innuendo."
I associate myself with Dr. CMH's manifesto and especially underscore this sentence, which especially captures a phenomenon that I deplore.
The willingness with which a few cast into doubt the otherwise open motives of some of us here is a total outrage.
This is the world in which we live and posting anythig on a public venue invites people to comment. Of course it would be nice if people were allowed to be less vigilent but that is a double edged sword is it not?. I keep reading the thread in question and cant see " larcenous " but do not know the poster or his intentions. Tunic is posted for public view and those with less experience notice that the insignia has changed from the time its posted to when its originally found and off of a photo pre dating the new post, whos fault is that?. Seems the louder one crows about it the more attention it brings.
All kinds of motives on the internet Friedrich, you know that. You are correct in your outrage to a certain level and that is only offset by someone who notices something has changed with photographs over a span of time in a hobby where people get robbed every day by changes without photographs or questions. Its not a country club, its the internet and knowing an outcome in advance of showing an item is not really something you can count on, as you can see.
I see your reason for frustration and I understand the changes personally, but you posted it so how can you blame a collector for stating the obvious?.
Educational topic that went off the rails, i see it. Can't control that.
No harm or mischief was intended; now or ever.
Serious collector who knows would yawn, a couple P.m's, close the thing up and be done with it. A second thread and harsh words and in a weeks time you have the Kennedy assassination.
I did not who you were hiding behind that name all these years, your one of the original bird dogs of yesteryear, yes?. Would explain the polaroids and i think I have a stack of those upstairs myself that have accumulated.
The subject of larceny has nothing to do with any member posting in the subject thread we are discussing, rather, it is in reference to how we respond as collectors regarding items shared by people who are really not under any obligation to do so. The item in question is not for sale, and believe me if it were, the general readership would be at the end of a very long queue of advanced collectors with deep pockets. The concern I have is what is outlined in my letter above, and simply sitting back and stating "This is the world in which we live" is not an appropriate response.
Though not a country club, this is a paid membership forum and the members as such are subject to certain codes of conduct, as are the guest members. The point being, the above post is to call attention to this fact, and that it is imperative that we maintain a courteous dialogue in order to elevate this place above all the other internet brouhaha. It takes work and thought regarding what one posts.
The blame placed upon another member stems from when there is an accusatory posture taken by the posters regarding something that does not pertain to their interests.
plural in·nu·en·dos or in·nu·en·does
a : an oblique allusion : hint, insinuation; especially : a veiled or equivocal reflection on character or reputation
b : the use of such allusions <resorting to innuendo>
I believe this is a forum worthy of maintaining but, as with any form of maintenance, it will take effort on the end users part.
Their not under the obligation to but if they choose to they understand the risks all too well and also understand that such statements as a result regardless of intent are of no consequence in the market behind the scenes and based on your own statement you are aware of that. Thruth is this is the world in which we live and that is bigger than your control of information or an attempt to control such or any member base on this type of platform. It is certainly an appropriate response because its true and I would have never posted that tunic on a forum or any SS garb for that matter.
Courtesy is subjective and I am looking at a discrepency and someone calling it, did the poster know that polaroid was out there and would be popped up?. Doubt it, but you try and control that and you will be a country club and a very small lonely one because the market has many more crooks than it does staples of the community. There is nothing in the dialogue but a knee jerk call on an insignia change based on a photo that was not anticipated. Make a big deal about it and you look bad, censor it and you look bad, argue with me and you look bad. See the problem?.
This is the world in which we live, that is bigger than you and I. Some pip squeak on another forum called a helmet two years ago as suspect and got his ass kicked for it, turns out their all fake now upwards of 500,000.00 U.S and from a highly credible source, you really think you can control that? You get out of the way of that because that changes things and you cannot do anything to stop that, That fuels mistrust.
Thank you for your comments. This highlights exactly what I am speaking of, namely, that one needs to take on some sort of "risk" in order to share an item and some information. Under this modus operandi one would be averse to posting anything of merit and, consequently, the bullies and Internet braggarts would be victorious in their operations to suppress and control knowledge. The change in insignia is not the the problem, the question posed about it is not a problem, the ramping up to hysterics about "who did this" is what is at issue. Innuendos.
The Polaroid photo was posted by the original poster, so, yes, he was acutely aware of its presence in the digital realm. In this place, we endeavor to separate the crooks and isolate them from the members. In no way am I implying that anyone is a crook here, however, there have been those in the past who try to sow seeds of doubt and paranoia in an effort to devalue collections and dissuade competing collectors.
Courtesy is subjective, and quite different from, say, a country club as opposed to a biker bar. We need to stop and ask ourselves what level of mutual respect would we like to see here? And there is no argument here between you and I, nor between any other member. There are tactful ways to bring up questions and discuss discrepancies in an item. This courteous discussion platform is, from my understanding, a part of this forum's mission statement.