Criminals

911car

Well-known member
Two collectors in their 50's were arrested and taken to custody in Colmar (Eastern France) for searching WW1 battlefields and collecting rifles, gas masks, bayonets, and ammunition. Sarcastic commentators made fun of this happening in a country where criminals regularly assault the police with stones, bricks, firework rockets, cars at speed, or other weapons, while hardly anybody ever gets arrested...
 

coert65

Well-known member
Bruno, this is quite normal in France. People searching the battlefields are on holy ground, and can get even their cars confiscated while doing so and getting caught. The French are quite heavy in this. A few years ago some Dutch people also got caught with rifles and bayonets found in the
Zone Rouge surrounding Verdun. For the French, it is desacrating holy ground.
I know, regarding the rest of the situation in France it seems ridiculous, but it is like that there. Those Dutch guy's also had their car confiscated, with the findings still in it's boot.
However, in Belgium they are not that heavy on taking battlefield finds home with you, except for taking ammo home, which isn't that strange, as it is quite dangerous. Nobody in their right mind would take live shells home with them.
 

Khukri

Well-known member
Battlefields should be respected. The chance that metal detectorists "tourists" at one time find human remains is realistic. What happens then? And explosives, chemical ammunition... I'm with the French. Zero tolerance. On the WWI and WWII Battlefields of Eastern Europe scavenging is big business. Everything is sold. Even the soldiers ID tags. Field graves destroyed, disturbed, not reported...of course. This makes me angry. Coert: think in Belgium, Ypres. Metal detection is not allowed.
 

911car

Well-known member
Bruno, this is quite normal in France. People searching the battlefields are on holy ground, and can get even their cars confiscated while doing so and getting caught. The French are quite heavy in this. A few years ago some Dutch people also got caught with rifles and bayonets found in the
Zone Rouge surrounding Verdun. For the French, it is desacrating holy ground.
I know, regarding the rest of the situation in France it seems ridiculous, but it is like that there. Those Dutch guy's also had their car confiscated, with the findings still in it's boot.
However, in Belgium they are not that heavy on taking battlefield finds home with you, except for taking ammo home, which isn't that strange, as it is quite dangerous. Nobody in their right mind would take live shells home with them.
Thank you for the explanation, Coert. I did not know this was regulated (or at least enforced) so strictly in France. You see so many objects on the market, including helmets, advertised as "pieces de fouille" (excavated items).
You also hear once in a while of these human remains found in the ground - in Verdun for instance - and then sometimes identified and given a decent burial with honors. These are not found by mushroom pickers but rather by amateurs who were likely looking for something else...
Nonetheless, the sanctity associated with these battlefields is of course undisputable.
 

Lars13

Active member
When I went to Verdun in 1982 the area behind fort Douaumont was strewn with equipment and remnants of hand-grenades, etc, almost nothing left when I returned several decades later, so I understand why the French have started to enforce it. But when I came back they were also ripping the trees out of the forest that had grown on the battlefield (on Mort-Homme if I remember correctly), destroying trenches and the landscape in the process, apparently the time that the battlefield should not be touched (as established after WW 1) had passed. So the French attitude was (is?) somewhat ambiguous.
 

argonne

Well-known member
I´m with Bruno.
France is now the poor and sad shadow of what this great nation was, my birthland...Absurdistan could be a better name for this sadness...
And if collectors are now criminals, yes, I´m proud to be criminal. What about the initiatives of the political french or european elites to save the historical heritage of our Land or continent? Nothing at all (n) (n) (n)

Philippe
 
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pppara

Active member
Hello from france !!!!!!
I'm agree with bruno and philippe.
The hunt for collector isn't a priority in a country where statistics on delinquency rank french cities behind latin american cities.
Today, the sanctity of the battlefield is relative when you observe the behaviour of tourists in these places of memory.
The duty of remembrance is only a political posture when you see the poor maintenance of french military cemeteries; when you note every day the flagrant undermining to disrupt our society by denigrating its history.

Nevertheless, it's the law and few detectorists are not history lover but are just attracted by the lure of gain. They haven't any respect of the mortal remains they could find.

When i was young, i lived at VERDUN. My father spent all their week ends in searching in the "zone rouge"...this notion of restricted area is more for the danger represented by the explosive ordnance remnant on the battlefield than for the tranquility of the died soldiers.
My father was very respectful of the soldiers' memory. When he located some corpses, he reported them to the authorities.....but we found them again several month later....

sorry for my poor english...

regards
pierrick
 

KAGGR#1

Well-known member
Hello from france !!!!!!
I'm agree with bruno and philippe.
The hunt for collector isn't a priority in a country where statistics on delinquency rank french cities behind latin american cities.
Today, the sanctity of the battlefield is relative when you observe the behaviour of tourists in these places of memory.
The duty of remembrance is only a political posture when you see the poor maintenance of french military cemeteries; when you note every day the flagrant undermining to disrupt our society by denigrating its history.

Nevertheless, it's the law and few detectorists are not history lover but are just attracted by the lure of gain. They haven't any respect of the mortal remains they could find.

When i was young, i lived at VERDUN. My father spent all their week ends in searching in the "zone rouge"...this notion of restricted area is more for the danger represented by the explosive ordnance remnant on the battlefield than for the tranquility of the died soldiers.
My father was very respectful of the soldiers' memory. When he located some corpses, he reported them to the authorities.....but we found them again several month later....

sorry for my poor english...

regards
pierrick
Well understood
and thank you
I prefer to collect items that are not dug out of the ground
I am a life member of Sons of Confederate Veterans
I also had a collection of items from the old Veterans
but I was never interested in items dug out of the ground
some collectors are
Confederate belt buckles and uniform buttons bring big money here
Steve
 
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