Attending an auction of Nazi memorabilia in Gloucester - and getting kicked out for questioning its morality

John Christie reports on an auction of stuff collected by some guy in Quincy:

It was all disturbing, but lot no. 181 turned my stomach. Inside the glass case were a half dozen armbands, including two with the Star of David and one from the Nazi extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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stuff like this

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should either be donated to a museum or destroyed.

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Voting closed 35

OOOOooooo Please

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Lots of people in the US have Nazi memorabilia. Most if not all taken by US services men WHO FOUGHT the Nazi during WWII.

My Grandfather has imperial Japan memorabilia because he was in the pacific.

Cut the shit with trying to be offended by everything, also stop trying to whitewash history.

Also im sure this guys attended many protests where people are flying the hammer and sickle.

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I didn't realize Curt

I didn't realize Curt Schilling was a poster here. I hope you don't make it into the hall of fame, man.

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Numbers-wise, no.

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216 wins doesn't get you into the HOF. The ditto-heads want you to consider him a big game pitcher and who's teams won 3 Worlds Series, and give that special consideration. I would rather point to the fact that he collects nazi memorabilia and loaded up on Kruggerands because he thought Obama was going to sabotage the world economy, and keep him out. Call it special consideration.

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Voting closed 7

Schill's Baseball HoF worthiness is debatable.

But the Crazy Bigoted Right-Wing Fuckwad HoF? He's a first-ballot lock. That blithering, hate-spewing dolt is a card-carrying QAnon member, so harebrained he believes in PizzaGate.

There might be dumber humans in the baseball Hall, but I'm struggling to think of one. Outside of the Hall, he's got plenty of company: Manny, Johnny Damon, and Len Dykstra all come to mind.

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Objectionable Racists in the Hall

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Just off the top of my head: Steve Carlton and Ty Cobb. Probably plenty of more we don't know about.

I never thought I'd defend Schilling, but he deserves to be in there too. Maybe they can add a wing for the ignorant nut-jobs? Knowing the educational level of most baseball players, it'll probably fill up fast.

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I'd vote no. Character

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I'd vote no. Character matters. Plenty of conservative ballplayers who get plenty of respect, because they don't go out of their way to be assholes.

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sure, plenty of

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sure, plenty of servicemembers took a few items. when my grandfather died, he had an iron cross in a box in a closet. ended up giving it to a good friend of mine who's a WWII scholar.... an iron cross. singular.

a handful of items, recovered from the battlefield, sure.

if you read the article, this was dozens of items, all from a single collector, who wanted to "show both sides" in the words of the auctioneer himself. that's not somebody's war spoils, that's a fetishist.

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my grandfather too

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he had a big trunk full of stuff he grabbed while he was in Germany.

difference was, he never tried to make a profit off of it by selling it to other people who probably have questionable personal interests.

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There's a bigger point here.

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Not so much that this crap is "historic" and represents war trophies gathered by virtuous victors, but there's a growing legion of neo-nazis and assorted nitwits out there who worship this detritus of a failed 1000-year reich. Its continued existence and availability helps them keep that nightmare alive. All such stuff should be treated like ivory, illegal to possess/sell/trade unless it is to benefit the victims (allied vets, holocaust victims, etc.), better yet, let them decide what should be done with it, melt it down, burn, put in a museum, drop in the ocean, whatever they want, as long as it signals that the nazis lost and humanity won.

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This

The people showing up to bid on this stuff aren't US service members who served in WWII.

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Never forget

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Sure, soldiers brought home war loot. But this is something different -- decency, or the lack thereof.

Did it occur to you that the armbands were once worn by victims of genocide? Or how utterly distaste that profiting off of the victims of mass murder is?

BTW -- the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was this past Sunday.

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Exactly.

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My old man's old man was in the Soviet army marching into Germany from the east. He helped himself to some of the fine German-made stuff he came across. None of it's got swastikas on it but it came from German factories. Should we throw it on the bonfire because orange man bad? I'd say no, on account of it would be tremendously disrespectful to the memory of people who died fighting that war and the memory of people who came home from that war.

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I'm curious

Did you buy anything at the auction today or do you already have your full uniform?

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Yeah, so

None of it's got swastikas on it but it came from German factories.

Yeah, so, not really comparable at all. I wonder what your old man's old man would think about Americans who collect and display Nazi memorabilia.

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I don't hear anyone calling

I don't hear anyone calling for bans or arrests or bonfires. Are you hearing voices in your head?

OTOH I'm encouraged that you agree that the people who collect and display such memorabilia are anti-American idiots.

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Well that's an interesting development

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On this very thread, we have

...All such stuff should be treated like ivory, illegal to possess/sell/trade unless it is to benefit the victims (allied vets, holocaust victims, etc.), better yet, let them decide what should be done with it, melt it down, burn, put in a museum, drop in the ocean, whatever they want,...

https://universalhub.com/comment/711387#comment-711387

That sure seems like a call to ban, arrest, and throw it on the fire.

Let me say this just so there's no ambiguity: It should not be illegal to be an idiot. And I will come to the defense of any idiot for the very simple reason that once you're done with him, you're coming after me. And you know it.

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At least you can admit

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that you're an idiot. Big strides today, but we're out of time so.....

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You know what they say...

And I will come to the defense of any idiot for the very simple reason that once you're done with him, you're coming after me.

You know what they say...

First they came for the Nazis
And I said "Fuck those genocidal assholes"
Because I'm not a Nazi.

The End

And you know it.

I don't say this very often, but I hope you're right!

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Voting closed 9

That's cute

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The poem starts out with "first they came for the socialists."

By your reasoning, I suppose I could say: "fuck those equally genocidal thugs" because I am not a socialist.

I don't say this very often, but I hope you're right!

Let's refrain from making actual threats against each other, OK comrade? For the children.

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As others have mentioned before

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That idiot will be happy to have you killed regardless of your kinship and affiliation because that idiot believes certain things about you are not changeable.

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Which is why

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I advocate for all people of good conscience to become proficient in the use of firearms, to keep one at home, and to carry if they are able. To keep the idiots from getting ideas. See how that works?

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Do you guys

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want to tell him he's the subject, not the object, of that sentence? Or do I get to do the honors?

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lol cool your 9mm handgun's

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lol cool your 9mm handgun's gonna be real useful against a sniper drone, ok roman

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Do you really think people

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Do you really think people change an economic/political structure to socialism or communism and instantly fall down that slippery slope to genocide? I am sure you are more versed in history than I am, but isn't it more bad people in charge? as apposed to a economics/political structure that CAN down the road include (but not always) genocide?

I hope that made sense and I am more than happy to be wrong.

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That did make sense

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and my answer to you is that those economic structures create environments where it is more likely for "bad people" to bubble up into positions of power. Socialism is less efficient at ensuring a high standard of living than free-market capitalism is. Thus socialism will create scarcity. Scarcity will create fear. Unscrupulous people will ride that fear into power. Every single time.

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Holding it privately

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Holding on to war trophies out of respect for the sacrifices your old man's old man made is one thing. Trying to profit off them is another. And "both sides of the story" is an abdication of morality when one side committed objectively heinous atrocities. This auction and the attitudes of the people profiting from it and trying to excuse it are just sickening.

Anyone who has material like this that they don't want to keep in the family should donate it to the Holocaust Museum, which has the standing to decide what to hold and what to burn.

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Ah I see

Standing up for Nazi profiteers to own the libs?

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besmirching the fine hobby of

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besmirching the fine hobby of cosplay, here. anime nerdos and drunken renn faire wenches, by and large, reject hate and bigotry.

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My dad was in both Europe and

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My dad was in both Europe and the Pacific during WW2 (PT Boat). We played with the Japanese rifles and bayonets as kids. Some things he had sent home my mother burned. Dad saw combat for too many years and that may have affected his judgement on what was a good souvenir, LOL.

We've still got a few things from the war and I look upon them as historical and will keep them forever.

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"Orange Man Bad"

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Sort of interesting how you bring up the "orange man" unprompted while discussing nazi memorabilia. It's almost like something brought him to your mind, unbidden. Something...Freudian.

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Whoosh.

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I'm mocking the tendency of leftists to blame anything and everything short of warm and fuzzy on the president. If Hillary had won, no one would bat an eye at this auction.

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chief

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you were the first to mention him.

you have a weird fixation/persecution complex.

just like your orange man. funny, that.

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Expanding your news to

Expanding your news to Glochester now? Sorry you are offended by nothing. It must be a full time job digging up stuff and pretending it offends you. Maybe the guy in Quincy was a Purple Heart recipient who took those from Nazi members he took down. No, it’s clearly racist Nazi stuff.

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Okay

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So he was a corpse robber. Lovely.

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Since you're obviously too

Since you're obviously too stupid to figure this out on your own, let me help you out by pointing out that Adam didn't write the article that he linked to.

Nice attempt to spell "Gloucester", though, even with it written on the same page you're posting to. Next time, ask a grown-up for help.

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Right

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because people typing on their phones never maek a misteak

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"Nazi members"...

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...did not wear armbands with a yellow star on them.

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Not sure why this isn't OK

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Just to be clear, Nazis and their beliefs are horrible and without merit. With that said, these are historical items from another time. If someone wants to own a piece of those very different times, why should that be a problem? If they hang a Nazi flag in their window, people will tell them they don't approve. If someone wants an old letter stamp with a swastika on it as a private, unusual keepsake, that's their business.

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The Profiteering Is A Big Problem

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It's safe to assume that the present owner of said 'historical items' is selling them for more than he acquired them for, therefore making a profit of some measure from trading in these items. Direct financial profit from the artifacts of such monumental human suffering, is very unseemly. Especially given the scope of the horrors in question, and the fact there are still survivors and their direct descendants alive today to potentially come to know of someone selling their suffering like baseball cards.

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um

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the authors are brave and understandably upset. that was just a little bit like a horror movie but worse because not a movie.

not sure what the floating signifier "both sides" has come to mean exactly (I mean EXACTLY), but what partial meaning I can get from it feels benighted, and perverted.

"get out of here now"......CREEPY AF!

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“Have you considered,” I said

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“Have you considered,” I said, “the morality of making money from selling Nazi memorabilia?"

When journalists get all indignant and righteous on other people over their business like that, it gives Nazis a good name.

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Ah yes

Journalists asking questions. That certainly does seem like something that would make the Nazis look good by comparison. Especially if you were inclined to like them anyway.

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Have you considered the morality

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of outlawing speech because you don't agree with it?

of inciting mobs to attack people for their private thoughts?

of riling up others' passions for no reason other than your own feelings of fear and discomfort?

Journalists these days "ask questions" in much the same way that dogs "look at" fire hydrants.

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Go back far enough, everyone profits from barbarism

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I lose no sleep over what the Israelites did to their enemies, what the Romans did to the Carthaginians, the Gauls, the Celts, what the Soviets did to the Germans, what the Japanese did to the Chinese and to Americans, or what America did to the Japanese.

You know why?

It's past.

Draw your lessons as you must from the past, enjoy what little good may have come about as a consequence, and don't pretend that losing sleep today will undo the horrors of yesterday.

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Cool Story

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Thanks for the lesson chief, here's one for you:

go fuck yourself.

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maybe?

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did i offend your delicate sensibilities?

you are talking about a dude who thinks the greatest threat to freedom is people on the internet disagreeing with him. let that sink in. and you want to come for me?

you cant reason with submoronic shit like that.

good day friend.

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Can I guess?

I lose no sleep over what the Israelites did to their enemies, what the Romans did to the Carthaginians, the Gauls, the Celts, what the Soviets did to the Germans, what the Japanese did to the Chinese and to Americans, or what America did to the Japanese.

You know why?

Is it because you're a horrible person with no morality besides narrow self-interest? What do I win?

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You're giving him too much credit

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It's because, as Roman continues to demonstrate, he's a fascist shill. He downplays or excuses nazi behavior at every opportunity.

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Name one time.

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Just one.

Except the catch is it has to an example of me excusing actual Nazi behavior, not just your example of Orange Man Bad.

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Have you considered the idiocy

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of strawman arguments in which you accuse people of wishing to outlaw speech and incite mobs?

You are an idiot and a lunatic. Get professional help.

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I have considered it.

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My considered opinion is that the internet outrage machine is the greatest threat to our freedom in generations. If people can lose their livelihoods because someone somewhere out there, who's never met them is offended...then that's a problem.

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hahaha greatest threat

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your attempts at being a martyr are only made more humorous by your repeated failures.

maybe someday you will get something right.

until then find time to go fuck yourself.

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Really?

My considered opinion is that the internet outrage machine is the greatest threat to our freedom in generations.

I'm more worried about the worldwide creeping fascism, myself, but you do you.

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One is a subset of the other

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or do you think it doesn't count if the book burning happens quietly with deplatformings and uninvitations to speakers on college campuses?

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If you're threatened by loud opinions...

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My considered opinion is that the internet outrage machine is the greatest threat to our freedom in generations.

If you're threatened by loud opinions, perhaps you should just close your little window, then.

Of course, it's becoming more and more clear that you have a distorted view of what "our freedoms" are.

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good lord

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don quixote tilting at windmills again

there is no debating with this shitheel, you end up on a merry-go-round of his making -bad faith, strawmen, and disingenuous arguments to get nowhere all so he can keep doing whatever it is that he is doing spouting his shit thinking hes the smartest dude in the fucking room.

all you need with that is go fuck yourself. no reason for anything more.

in fact if he just used some of his time to fuck himself even a little bit, he might be less of an asshole. but that aint happening.

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That's odd

I didn't know that strawmen carried bike locks or used bikes.

Such a strange phobia that it leads you to project it into a discussion that has little to do with bikes (other than, perhaps, the fact that Nazis hated them and tried to take them all away when they occupied the Netherlands, but that's almost as much of a stretch as your bringing up bike locks)

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Journalism isn't Jeopardy

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Simply forming an answer in the form of question, doesn't make it a legit question.

People collect old things. They stopped making WW2 artifacts a long time ago. They're rare, and will go up in value over time. Some people collect them for that reason. Some might be neo-nazis. Calling every collector a nazi doesn't do the world any good. It just makes the world more divided and insane.

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fuck no. There is no level of

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fuck no. There is no level of indignation that "gives Nazis a good name", because nothing could give genocide a good name. There is no possible equivalence between asking people how they feel about profiting from mass murder and the actual murder.

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Yeah

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Asking people about the morality of making money off of FUCKING NAZIS is way out of bounds. That's definitely what we should be concerned about here--journalists asking the wrong questions.

In a thread full of some serious Nazi apologia, you've managed to out-dumb Roman. I want you to sit with that for a minute.

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I have Nazi gear too. My

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I have Nazi gear too. My great-uncle killed himself some Nazis in France and took home some souvenirs. He was a purple heart recipient as well as many other medals and has the credentials to his claims. We just have it stored away with his medals and some other stuff.

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Cool story bro

Are you auctioning it off, or planning to? If not, it's not really relevant to this discussion.

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How about shower heads from the camp "showers?"

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At what point do objects made in the past violate any sense of right or good? I can see selling daggers and helmets. They were the objects of war. Just as Confederate objects of war have collectors value (dubuious at best) I can see objects created for war making being of value to a collector. But the armbands were of an order beyond the instruments of war. They were the objects of genocide. Even if they are of value to collectors, anyone willing to exchange their time and energy for an objects of genocide makes those objects of horror objects of value.

Greed of the auctioneer, lust of the collector. Wonder if either of them consider themselves Christian?

The excuse of "showing both sides" is lazy and immoral.

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doubly disturbing

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"A lot of people are afraid the whole Nazi thing has been forgotten."

1. Which people?
2. the "whole Nazi thing"? Is that what they're calling it?

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People who can read a calendar?

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The survivors of the Holocaust are not going to be with us much longer. Forgotten? Not only is that a very real possibility, but a lot of people clearly never learned about it in the first place.

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The collector is dead

This is an estate sale. I suppose you can blame the auction house for accepting the collection but depending on the person's finances when they died, liquidation of the estate is not optional.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/us/stephen-paddock-guns-firearms.html

For instance the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre had over 50K worth of guns with him when he died. His mother has ceded his estate to the victims, but now the lawyer has to figure out what to do about the guns. These people are entitled to all the value of the estate, but there is a moral problem with selling dangerous murder weapons.

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Exactly

and If that had not happened, the attorney assigned to the estate would be obligated to sell them.

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Same deal with gentrification

A lot of houses that end up being flipped are bought for cash out of estates and foreclosed properties, for reasons noted above.

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do right wingers

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always find a way to confuse the parts and whole of things, when in fact the parts belong to one thing and the whole another? what's up with their brains? that's one for science.
I think that having Nazi shit in your possession because your grandad had his childhood taken from him by a grand narrative of "over there" (and yes, thank God they did) is one thing...questions may rise from that

But the fucked up little auction described here is something else. and the fucked up little comment, and the fucked up little bland demeanors. if you can't formulate moral questions about this reported event, then you are tone deaf AF

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Did they have any IBM/Dehomag

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Did they have any IBM/Dehomag punchcards?

Those would be cool, always nice to see proof of American participation in historic events.

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Working Trump into the Nazi sale makes me feel clairvoyant

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The writer had a compelling story until the all too predictable trashing of President Trump who had nothing to do with it. A laughable quantum leap. Right or wrong, Nazi memorabilia was traded and sold long before Trump and will be long after. The gratuitous swipe at Trump diminishes the piece.

Other aspects were too incredible to be believed. The writer knew of the estate sale in advance because he was hoping to find an item for his home but didn't bother to check what was going to be sold until the day of the sale? Repulsed, he and his wife decided not to go. Then after stewing for a half hour, they change their minds, browse around until he can't take it anymore and lashes out, only to be ejected while his wife stays behind taking notes. He then gets a lengthy column out of it. If he added a Jewish child and German child bonding over their disgust for the Nazi memorabilia then flipping the display tables over, he might be Globe material.

The WBUR writer might want to check with his media cousins at PBS. Antique Roadshow explains why the memorabilia, however disgusting, is important to history.

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Right wingers

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Right wingers' ONLY internet argument is the Double Standard.

"If this were a Hollywood director making a movie about Nazis it would be okay to profit off of suffering."
"If a white person had said that.... etc."

Such a tired internet argument. Standards and rules of society do not get applied equally and they never have. Those who are in power will make the rules, and quite frankly, the overwhelming majority of our society has a special hatred for Nazism and its sympathizers. Power is all that matters. Nobody cares about some other genocide 1000 years ago. This is the one that defines our society's values. To the victors go the spoils. Everyone else GTFO.

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Oh no racist right wingers!

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STFU you racist! When Leopold II killed so many innocent black people no one gave a shit! You are a fucking hypocrite!

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Unfortunately Not uniquely Evil Stuff

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Unless someone is celebrating the Nazi Party ideology, or using "Nazi stuff" to intimidate, or bully someone who was a Nazi survivor, or directly connected with a victim -- it is just stuff. However evil and offensive the regime where the stuff originated -- Nazis were not unique in generating evil and offensive stuff.

Same goes for "similar stuff" connected to:

  • Major Communist Regimes who killed many many more people than did the Germans:
    • Mao and the "Little Red Book" in China,
    • Stalin in and around the Gulags in Soviet Union
    • Stalin in Ukraine [Putin as well?]
    • Katyn Forest Massacre and many places in Poland during the early phase of WWII
    • Lublin and many places in Poland during the beginning WWII [Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact] and later the Post WWII era and continuing through Gdańsk 1970 [see the 3 Crosses monument in front of the Shipyard] and on to the very end of Communism in Poland
    • East Germany
    • Hungary 1958
    • other countless nameless places where the USSR trod throughout the 20th C.
  • Imperial Japanese who were equally barbarous as the Germans and on a comparable scale:
    • Chinese whom they invaded [e.g. Rape of Nanking]
    • Koreans whom they conquered
    • their non-Geneva Convention treatment of Allied POWs -- see for instance the "Unbroken" about Olympian Louis "Louie" Zamperini's ordeal
  • Mussolini and Ethiopia, etc.
  • Sarajevo and all of the warring [declared and non-declared] associated with the implosion of Yugoslavia
  • Pol Pot and other big and little bands of Communists in Southeast Asia
  • Kim Communists Dynasty of Korea
  • ISIS
  • other lesser and greater Islamic Jihadi throughout the last Millenium,etc.
  • Slavery here and elsewhere throughout history [as someone once said "It's in the Bible"]
  • other recent depraved regimes such as Milton Obote, Idi Amin in Uganda, Jean-Bédel Bokassa and the Central African Empire, etc
  • other recent attempted Genocidal Wars such as Rwandan genocide of the Tutsi
  • lots of places upon which the Roman Empire stomped in conquest., etc

Unfortunately -- the biggest unfilled promise of all is -- "Never Again" --- In reality its just a matter of time and place -- it will happen again and again-- as the quote based on speeches by Martin Niemöller, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, goes "they came for ..... but I wasn't .... ........... and finally they came for me and there was no-one left to help me"

The process is by no means unique to the the Nazi German regime [aka the Tausendjähriges Reich] -- In a given instance [listed above and many more omitted for lack of space] you can plug the various groups of people into the general framework of the Martin Niemöller quote -- groups ostracized and ultimately obliterated by the particular dominant society.

Depraved societal behavior seems to be part and parcel of the human condition. As a result -- There is a continuing supply of "memorabilia" associated with societal depravity, as offensive and vile as it is -- AND -- We need to keep it -- to help remind us of how rotten people can be to other people. And also we need to celebrate the Oskar Schindler's and others who show how good individuals can be even in the face of such hatred.

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Here is a well reasoned article from our

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the folks at Antiques Roadshow on the topic: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/stories/articles/2013/12/9/understandin...

My father fought in WWII and well as many others in my family. He was a radio operator, part of the highly decorated Liberandos, the 376th Bombardment Group, whose squad, amongst other things, flew low level bombing raids over the Ploesti oil fields. My Dad also saw his best friend get his head ripped off by shrapnel on one of those raids. He was lucky to survive.

That being said, what bothers me the most about the author's, shall we say, "tone", is it smacks with a certain smug, holier than thou attitude. The words he uses to describe the "others" at the auction include "white men", some guy with "three day stubble" and some guy wearing "a Grand Tetons National Park baseball hat (good lord, we may have a sports fan here). I kept getting the feeling that he was not being complimentary to the folks at the auction. He then went home and he and his wife had to wash their hands.

Really? Come On.

But what bothers me the most is the last line: "But we couldn’t wipe our minds clean of the memory of a room full of people eager to bring home souvenirs of one of the greatest horrors in human history."

Now I understand how he and his wife, through their lineage, might have different feelings about the auction. And I respect that. However, not everyone has the same take on the auction as Mr. Christie and his wife and those folks should not be treated as people beyond the pale. As the Antiques Roadshow article states, there are many reasons why people collect these items as well as sell them. It does not mean they have a Nazi uniform in their closet or a swastika poster on their wall.

I am reading and seeing way too much of "Well, if you don't see the way I do" you must be a monster or mentally ill or a racist or "fill in the blank". And this is truly disconcerting.

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That article is from 2013

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There is resurgent interest in collecting this stuff - and it isn't coming from museums and veteran's groups.

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