Clarification awaiting clarification: the Latvian War Museum was ‘aware’ of Nazi War Diggers’ plans to excavate
Some of the dismay and anger concerning Nazi War Diggers has been directed at the local advisers and supervisors, Legenda. Latvia’s human rights exhumers are volunteers doing difficult work in difficult circumstances. As I said before, at least sometimes, their work is informed, organised and well-equipped; it is done by people who can identify bones; and it involves the recording of the site and their finds. They want to do good work all of the time, and have appealed for advice and help.
Since ‘”consulting with colleagues” at the National Geographic Society’, the National Geographic Channel has pulled Nazi War Diggers ‘indefinitely‘, in order to review ‘questions raised’ during days of mass condemnation for the ‘macabre disrespect’ with which it handled dead bodies.
When the Nazi War Diggers’ Kris Rodgers (Addicted to Bleeps (or Addictedtobleeps) posted a YouTube video guide to getting British farmers’ permission to metal-detect on their land, Armpitchair commented, ‘WW2 bomb lol if you found one of them mueseums would go ape shit for getting there hands on it’. (No, foreign speakers of English, it’s not your fault that Armpitchair is difficult to understand…) Rodgers replied, ‘I’ve found loads of them, just none in this country!’ In which countries, then?
Paul Barford’s turned up yet more unsavoury information. It appears that, either National Geographic’s statement was (unknowingly but nonetheless) incorrect, or Craig Gottlieb was so excited by his work for them that he couldn’t sleep in Latvia. Evidently, Nazi War Digger Brings Back ‘Ground dug in Latvia’ Helmet: “No Trouble With Customs”.
My first appearance in the Daily Mail… My grandparents would have been so proud. I’d always hoped that it would be in the Sidebar of Shame. Another dream dashed. At least it’s about a scandal. Who knows what will happen now that the engine of our democracy has reported on the Nazi War Diggers’ ‘gruesome’ video clip?
Donna Yates contacted the Executive Vice-President for Communications at National Geographic. ‘Promises of looking into it‘ were accompanied by a comment that ‘the show wasnt for US audience so DC [HQ was] trying to catch up. Halfway sound[ed] like they didn’t know the show existed.’ How did they react to what they found…?
Kris Rodgers has been kind enough to give an initial reply to the alarm, horror, disbelief, pessimism, disgust and gifs, the reviews/studies, background checks, ethical suspicions, queries, analyses and questions of many, many archaeologists, osteoarchaeologists, osteologists, anatomists, historic landscape officers, military historians (including those who are relatives of missing persons), television professionals, archaeology and anthropology students and other citizens… (Incidentally, he’s actually got good reason to be away from the keyboard, so we should be patient with him, if not his employers.)
National Geographic Channels International (NatGeoTV), ClearStory and their Nazi War Diggers must answer a series of urgent ethical and legal questions. [Update: now, they must answer even more urgent legal questions about unabashed looting and smuggling.]
In what may be the most grotesque Third Reich-themed “edutainment”/”infotainment” show yet, National Geographic Channels International and ClearStory have filmed Nazi War Diggers. It is not about sappers. In this programme, you can watch metal-detecting antiquities dealers perform ‘human bone removal’ – ‘hunt for relics and bodies’, the ‘remains of soldiers from both sides’. Everyone involved has urgent ethical and legal questions to answer.