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Nordwind - Illegal excavation and ransacking of WWII shrines

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Alsa.se, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    There are more and more relic hunters in the northern Vosges (Eastern France) who are looking for treasures from the Second World War, which do not exist (apart from a few rusty relics or dangerous ammunition).

    These people will stop at nothing. They follow the Facebook groups of American associations or forums by becoming members in an attempt to find information that could be useful to them in their nauseating research.
    The excavations in the northern Vosges take on a catastrophic scale. Those people are called "scavengers". Lot of them are re-enactors who wear the uniforms of those who fought here, supposedly to honor them, but don't hesitate to search and destroy the foxholes where American soldiers had fought, where some died or disappeared. No respect for history, nor for those who wrote it (the Americans or the Germans).

    A German soldier from the 6th SS mountain division was found by detectorists last July. They did not hesitate to strip him of all his personal belongings. These scavengers went so far as to break bones to remove his shoes. After their misdeeds, they covered the bones without telling anyone. However one of them felt remorse and went to report the soldier to a German military cemetery. But personal effects are still missing today.

    This type of excavation also removes all historical and archaeological traces which could help to find positions, places of fighting, identify the troops who were on the ground etc ... In the area there are near 18 MIA (US soldiers from the 45th ID)

    The police has started an investigation. Relics hunters have been summoned to undergo a judicial hearing. The case is being processed. In any case the law is strict and if the court is severe, they risk up to several years jail and several thousand Euros in fines (for having stripped a grave and stolen a dead).
     

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  2. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's absolutely disgusting.
     
  3. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Some examples. They film and post photos on social media.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sign of the Times...As retail prices for WW2 memorabilia has greatly increased over the last 3 decades. The fines are less than the payoff for a good haul. Further, the collectors want their trinkets, so they are unlikely to turn the diggers in. Not to mention that it is very hard to police all of the battle sites - the manpower just is not there.

    Business is business, and morality gets left by the wayside.
     
  5. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    It's odd isn't it? If someone has a slouch hat, a whip and is named after a state etc provided that the dead are sufficiently long gone they can rob tombs without censure!
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I do not understand. We cleaned the bombs etc 1945 so it is rare to find anything here.
     

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