I'm Jewish. I just found a bunch of Nazi stuff in my late father in law's things. Now what?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Mitlov, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Not in terms of emotions. He's dead, we were never that close, it is what it is.

    But in practical terms. I really don't want to own a Nazi coat, Nazi hat, Nazi knives, or a Nazi medal. I don't want to go the pawn shop route and make the day of some neo-Nazi searching for Nazi memorabilia. But the trash bin feels somehow not appropriate given the historical significance of the objects, no matter how awful that history is.

    Any ideas? I'm at a total loss.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Internet. Retains a fair amount of your anonymity. Or you could donate them to a museum.
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Contact a museum? It is important to remember history, so as not to repeat it. A museum will put anything in a proper context.

    This may sound weird. But if a museum doesn't want it. Maybe contact a Jewish historical center or museum. Like the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Simon Wiesenthal Center Explain the situation just like you did here and ask for guidance/ advice. Any history preserved should be from their viewpoint. So I would think they would know if it has historical significance worth saving or should be destroyed.

    They will at least know the proper way to dispose of it, if it comes to that.

    Don't throw it out, it could fall into the hands of a Nazi supporter. Just like your concern for the pawn shop, and that would be awful.

    Let us know what you end up deciding to do.
    Monkey_Magic, Morik, axelb and 2 others like this.
  4. Alansmurf

    Alansmurf Aspire to Inspire before you Expire Supporter

    Was he in the military?

    It could be spoils of war.

    Just surmising
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Nothing to add really...I'd be at a loss too....that is a strange position to be in.
    I have a feeling that certain items are a lot more common than we may think (daggers for example as so many soldiers got them and they were widely looted) so a museum may not be interested (it'd be like offering a museum an ammonite fossil) but that'd be my first thought. Try and make use of the items for education and context of what people fought against.
    In the UK we have lots of army regimental museums, armouries, old airfields, tank museums and other museums to do with the military and WW2. WW2 is such a defining moment in British history it's a very common subject.
    There may be something or someone you could contact that would appreciate the items to put in a historical and contextual setting? For example your local army base or training facility that might have a display of regimental action and achievement?
  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Dont actually know where you're based. But like everyone else says...contact a museum they can curate it. Confirm its authenticity etc.
    London we got Imperial War Museum and the British Museum.
    Sometimes they will offer money and in turn you can either keep the money or donate it to a charity.
  7. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I bet there are loads more places than that that might be interested. There are at least three places near me in York (Eden camp, Elvington Air museum and York Army museum) that I'd be able to contact. London has the Army museum, RAF museum, Guards museum, Household cavalry museum, etc.
    And I've just typed museum so much it's started to look wrong.
    pgsmith likes this.
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Imperial War Museum barely has anything in it... think they need the content.
  9. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Not during WWII--he's not quite that old--and my relatives who did serve in WWII were US Navy in the Pacific Theater.
  10. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I'll call around and ask. I really don't want money for it, just want to find an appropriate home that isn't my own. We don't have much in the way of WWII museums here in Oregon, and the National WWII museum is all full up on Nazi daggers and on uniforms without specific evidence that they were worn during service (and I have no info here), but I'll reach out with a wider radius.
  11. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I'm not Jewish, but one of my, much younger than me, cousins recently died and had a bunch of WWII, Nazi stuff; a bunch of medals pinned to a Nazi flag. He was not old enough to have been in Vietnam, however his Grandfather, my uncle, was. He was on the beaches on D-Day and got wounded after he got off the beach. He collected all that stuff and when he passed away, his oldest grandson ended up with it.

    Could be he got it from someone (not family based on your post) who was in Europe during WWII. And I think the donate it to a museum suggestion is a good one. If for no other reason than some folks will see it and be reminded of the horrors of it.
    axelb likes this.
  12. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    I just did a search for military museums in Oregon and there's about 4-5 that might be worth trying?
    I imagine finding such items must have been a bit of a shock for your wife?
    Finding a stash or dodgy magazines is one thing...but Nazi stuff? Oh my.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  13. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I'd really not like to get into the family dynamic and my feelings about my late father in law, but I'm disappointed but not entirely shocked to find these things.

    And as for the possibility that these are inherited spoils of war...all the stuff he inherited from relatives who served in WWII were in boxes in his barn, whereas this stuff was in his bedroom closet, his work bench, etc.
  14. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Then either donate it, or destroy it and be done with it.
  15. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    I have a family friend who collects all manner of WW2 stuff. His home has more stuff than many museums. He might be interested in adding it to the German section of his house. PMed you.
  16. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Thanks Ben, let me talk to my wife once we get back to our own home and find all the pieces in the boxes we shipped. I'll send you photos.
    SWC Sifu Ben likes this.
  17. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    How about the history department at a college?
    Xue Sheng likes this.
  18. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I have been doing some googling on the subject. It turns out there isn't as much of a need for a lot of these items in museums as one would think. Most places want very specific items only. Several I read up on won't take knives for example. I guess there is a lot more of this stuff about than one would have thought.

    This give you an idea of what is considered of value to a museum.
    Donate to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's Collections

    Warning: One swear word in this article.
    I'm Jewish. I just found a bunch of Nazi stuff in my late father in law's things. Now what?

    It seems no one wants the knives. Ask, but I am now thinking you won't find any takers on those. And how the heck can one destroy them? Most of us don't have the resources. Here is one weird idea. Wrap them in a bunch of electrical tape. Tape odd objects to them to disguise them. Electrical tape is darn near impossible to take off. I mean, like a roll or two even. Throw it out. Let it be buried in a dump trash heap.

    All I can add, is if no museum wants it, dont' feel bad for destroying what can be destroyed or dumping the other stuff.

    People donate all sorts of old books to my workplace- the Library. The sad truth is a lot of it isn't wanted or useful. People have this idea of the value of some things, but they just aren't. People were raised to not get rid of books, but no one needs 20 year old encyclopedia's or nursing books.

    Point being, although it is different, it is the same in that I deal with things people give to us they think is of significance or use, but it isn't. I got the feeling from my googling that a lot of more common Nazi items are similar. They are too common to really have historical significance.

    If you make an effort to see if anyone wants the stuff, but they don't- then don't feel bad about destroying it. Get that negative stuff out of the world and feel good, not guilty about it. If the museums don't want it, if no one knows of a safe way to deal with it, just destroy it the best way you can. Or disguise bundle up and dump the stuff.
  19. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Why not just burn it.
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Like aaradia said in the post above yours: not so easy to burn knives and medals!

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