Relics from Russia's great War

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Nato Standard123, Aug 1, 2012.

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  1. yeah, nicking gold wedding rings and personal stuff and then flogging it down the get a good price tbh.

    Or, just doing a bit of surface sweeping?....and maybe if I did find any bones or MIA's, I'd notify the right people so at least someone back home might find some comfort knowing their loved one had a final resting place?

    Don't let that idea get in the way or your perspective on it though.
  2. Though no particular lover of the abhorrent Nazi regime, during a visit last year to a BW barracks in Bavaria, I noticed a small memorial near the guard post remembering 'fallen comrades and prisoners that didn't return' (well, my bastardised translation) with fresh flowers and red candles placed there on a regular basis. Speaking to a British LO there, he explained that the Signs Bn was captured laregly intact on the Eastern front and most were shipped as prisoners to Siberia. None returned, yet there were reports well into the 1970s of survivors still slogging it out in a Gulag. I feel for the families in this case and the few elderly people who still remember their brothers, cousins, fathers and husbands, and I'm sure they would be thrilled to know that someone is raking through the remains of the fallen to satisfy a lust for grave-robbing, sorry collecting militaria...

  3. Fair comment.....the grave robbing bit and selling items was a joke but don't let that bother you, my interest was the weapons recovery, although I reckon the families would take some comfort if a treasured belonging from a loved one or even an ID tag was returned to them?

    Still, it's just and opinion and we know what they're like......
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  4. Collecting bits of metal from a battlefield is one thing (I have several musket balls and a small bow-chaser cannon ball I picked up from a site some years ago as well as an obigatory musket from AFG), but the (apparently) widespread practice across the FSU of churning up war graves to recover 'attractive NAZI militaria' ie medals etc - for substantial financial gain is abhorrent. Imagine the outrage if this happened to CWGC sites in Norther france, El Alamein....
  5. BW? FSU? Bundesweir? Former serviette onion? The impact of what you say is reduced because one has to stop and decipher your abundant TLAs, a bit like a quiz.


    Nato Standard. I'd love to do that too. Rather me and you than some lesser pikey bastard.
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  6. The difference is the way the German invaders behaved towards the Russians. I expect if you remonstrated with a Russian for digging up Nazis, he would say something along the lines of: "He wasn't invited here, he betrayed our trust, he slaughtered and raped members of my family. I don't respect his ******* remains, and if I can sell his things, it doesn't come close to paying for what he has done."
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  7. That second clip quite clearly shows human remains ( 0.32 ) and dog tags ( 2.07 ). The strange thing with the Russians is apparently they'd bury the German dead but leave there own scattered where they fell and moved on, the bleached bones from the Soviet soldiers are still there lying on the surface in the more remote battlefields.
  8. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Apparently there are over 100,000 Soviet dead above, or partially above ground around Stalingrad alone. And in some other places permafrost is doing its thing.

    Whilst I don't agree with treasure hunting the least they could do is redeposit the remains and mark the spot and if any identification is found to bang it off to the box heads who have a system like ours for repatriation. I think the way you treat human remains says more about you than about them (and that from an archeologist)
  9. I take your point (though if you live in one fo the Baltic States or anywhere in Eastern Europe, you'd be saying the same about the Russians), but it is still a pretty repugnant thing to do to turn over grave sites for trinkets. Imagine, if you were a collector, explaining where your latest Iron Cross or Hero of the Soviet Union medal came from - eg 'Oh, I bought this from some thug who works for an organised criminal gang who plunder graves across the Former Soviet Union. Nice chap, he is. Works as a Mincab driver on the Tottenham Court Road.' Like so many things in life, this is about money and greed.
  10. What's the difference between a battlefield and a grave? If these were consecrated cemeteries they would be marked, bodies laid out and most artefacts removed, esp intact dog tags. These remains are battlefield remains and ownership of them is down to local law. I've just watched a few of these and they all state that human remains are respected and reported. If not, bad form, but they got worse treatment when they were alive.

    People will make money where there's money to be made.

    No outrage here.
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  11. Although I completely agree with comments made about war grave robbing being abhorrent, how long is an acceptable time to leave the remains where they are before they just become archeological artifacts? Nobody complains about Roman and Medieval battlefields or post battle mass graves being dug up, or mummified bodies being removed from ancient tombs and put on display in museums, and we are rapidly approaching a time where there will be no living people who actually knew those who fell. Personally I detest those who are just treasure hunting, the type who dig up a dead soldier, rob his belongings and then casually throw the bones aside (a lot of that in Russia I hear), but I do respect those who dig them up with the intention of identifying them via identity discs and giving the remains a proper burial elsewhere as well as keeping the descendents informed, I read an article not long ago about a German guy who is doing this & funds it himself.

    This is quite an interesting site displaying various relics found on WW2 battlefields, the guy who runs it is respectful of the dead and tries to find the families of of those who's identity discs are found, its a good read as he tries to include the back story behind everything that is found. He also doesnt show any human remains on the site, just material things like helmets, vehicle parts, ammunition clips etc WW2 Battlefield Relics

    This one is quite interesting as well although it does show occasional human remains, its a Ukrainian woman who goes around photographing old defence lines and battlefields Kiev - Ukraine - History of Ukraine - Serpent's Wall

    Just for interest the same woman rode around the Chernobyl exclusion zone taking photos, I found it fascinating KIDDofSPEED - GHOST TOWN - Chernobyl Pictures - Kidofspeed - Elena
  12. These are good points.

    Some people do care about the treatment of the dead from centuries old battles. Last year there was a requiem mass for the dead from St Albans buried on un-consecrated ground.

    The dead from the East front died in living memory. Many of them have living close family. Two Germans who died on the Somme were rediscovered in the last five years and identified through markings on artefacts on their bodies found by skilled conservators. Their re-interment was were accompanied by hundreds of relatives. The thieves who steal artefacts destroy the evidence that could identify these men - and their relatives the peace of mind to know what happened to their relatives.
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