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Nazi memorabilia

(70 Posts)
ClareAB Sat 14-Sep-19 16:13:29

My husband inherited a Nazi knife many years ago from his step-father who kept it as a souvenir after he fought in WW2.

I have always hated having it in the house. To me it's an evil object. DH has agreed to sell it and put it in auction. Unfathomably it seems it's worth around £500.

We are having a heated debate. I believe very strongly that the money should go to a good cause. I don't want the money. To me it's blood money and should be used to do good.

My husband disagrees and feels strongly that the money should be his to do with as he wishes. Technically he's right, but morally and ethically I think he's totally wrong. We're comfortably off, so money isn't an issue.

I'd appreciate peoples views TIA

MissAdventure Sat 14-Sep-19 16:20:23

I would donate the money, just because I feel it's right, morally.

It would be lovely to think it could do some real good for someone, somewhere.

MawB Sat 14-Sep-19 16:20:50

I’d be for giving it to a charity. Ask him how he feels about profiting from the Nazis (or even more likely, the neo- Nazis who may be buying it.)
If he feels it is genuinely of historical interest he could offer it ( for free )to the Imperial War Museum.
It may also be eligible for a weapons amnesty. The thought of it falling into the wrong hands is frightening.

Smileless2012 Sat 14-Sep-19 16:21:14

As it's your husband who inherited it's reasonable IMO for him to be able to do what he likes with the money.

Personally I wouldn't have wanted it our home either but there are many objects in museums and the like that are associated with evil regimes.

Smileless2012 Sat 14-Sep-19 16:22:34

You're right MawB, I hadn't thought of the possibility of it falling into the hands of the neo-Nazis.

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 16:30:05

There must be some sensible level-headed collectors who genuinely collect stuff like this with a genuine interest rather than an evil one.
I'm in a similar situation but I have a Gurkha knife ( a Kukri ) which is hidden but sooner or later I'll have to part with it.
I'd rather give it to someone who appreciates this band of servicemen than hand it in to end up destroyed.

Luckygirl Sat 14-Sep-19 16:33:25

I'm with you ClareAB - money to charity. At least some good might come of it.

MawB Sat 14-Sep-19 16:42:01

EllanVannin I would rather see a knife destroyed than end up in a young man’s hands or indeed chest.
Look at the powerful “Knife Angel” sculpture of knives surrendered to the police and think of your grandchildren. Knife control must include knives sold at auction.

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 17:18:21

I personally would donate it, there is a local museum that collates all kinds of things "of interest" and if they didnt want it I would bring it to a knife amnesty at the police station.

However I get the point that its his inheritance so it is ultimately up to him. Can you show him this thread to discuss how others would feel about it? I think its fine for you to make your suggestions but technically it is his decision

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 17:31:27

Blimey I remember the day when ornamental swords used to be displayed on some walls. Glass-fronted gun cupboards showing guns/rifles of every make and size.
Nobody but nobody would have ever dreamt of using these collections for anything other than a display or conversation piece, but now in this climate of high crime nobody is ever 100% safe, even in their homes. This is why the USA carry guns----for their own safety. It's shocking.

Nannarose Sat 14-Sep-19 17:34:52

Oh dear, I think it depends on our life experience. My immediate thought is that it is probably worth this much only because it is likely to end up in the hands of neo-Nazis (sorry).
Have you discussed this aspect with your husband? Also, I am very unsure about the legal issues of selling a weapon - is this worth investigating?

My own advice would be to hand it in at a police station, and in doing so, acknowledge that it was taken, kept, and passed on, when times were very different. However, it is not your call, although I understand your distress.

I wonder if there are any others who remember 'memorabilia' coming back from WW2 and I remember similar debates - some men bought home those huge black leather gloves and there was a bit of a fashion for wearing them, whilst others thought them abhorrent.

I do hope you can find a way through this - what a great shame this object is causing distress so many years later.

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 17:43:36

I agree. Who is realistically going to pay £££s for that kind of thing unless its for the wrong reasons.

Museums/historians often work on donations and have low budgets, and a Nazi knife isnt particularly historically interesting anyway, its not like documents/letters/diaries/garments etc.

So it wont be bought by a historian or a musuem. They might TAKE if if dobated, but they wont be the ones bidding on it at auction so....

ClareAB Sat 14-Sep-19 18:00:23

Where I live (UK) you can't sell knives online, like on EBay. But you can sell them at auction.
It's not illegal to own them, it is illegal to carry them outside.

I hadn't thought of the neo-nazi thing. Thank you

GabriellaG54 Sat 14-Sep-19 18:01:49

Oo-er...get rid ASAP but not on eBay. 😳 💰

SirChenjin Sat 14-Sep-19 19:01:11

There is a huge market for Nazi memorabilia amongst neo Nazis - you’d be taking money from someone who supports that ideology. I suppose it depends whether you feel comfortable doing that and whether any charity you donate to would be happy accepting their money.

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 19:03:37

Well charities dont ask where you got the money to donate to them but still..

SirChenjin Sat 14-Sep-19 19:05:06

No, I know - I suppose I meant if they knew

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 19:06:17

Yeah agree its contradictory to feed into the Neo Nazi ideology then donate money to an opposite kind of cause.

SueH49 Sun 15-Sep-19 06:38:45

IMO, your husband is entitled to use the money as he wishes. No one here can say who will buy such a thing. I have a nephew who collects knives of all types and I assure you he is not a neo nazi. If the origin of this knife was other than nazi, would you still be anti him selling/profiting from it?

Willow500 Sun 15-Sep-19 06:52:18

Probably giving it to a museum would be the best idea but failing that maybe he could donate some of the money to a charity and buy something to remember his step father with the rest.

We have a bayonet which my father brought back from the war - I don't know it's origins or how he got it back into the country! He kept it under the bed for years and I've just found it again under the bottom of my husband's wardrobe. We really need to get rid of it so also should try to find a local museum who would want it.

Oopsminty Sun 15-Sep-19 07:07:14

My father brought back loads of items from WWII. They were dotted about the house until his death. He actually loved the Germans and went back many times during his life. He was a very young soldier and I used to think he was either shell shocked or just didn't seem to appreciate the horrors of war. Once he died everything went to a local collector.

ReadyMeals Sun 15-Sep-19 09:17:56

I fully appreciate your feelings! But a) many charities prefer not to accept donations that came from something they consider a bad image for them and b) legally it is your husband's to do with as he likes. This isn't something you need to take responsibility for. I am sure you've expressed your views to him, now he is solely responsible for his decision.

lemongrove Sun 15-Sep-19 09:35:06

Firstly, is it really a Nazi knife? Or do you mean it was taken from a German soldier ( either dead or a prisoner)?
In which case it’s a German Army knife ( much as a British Army knife.)
If it’s worth quite a bit, sell it at auction to either a collector or a museum and suggest to your DH that he donates half the money to a charity connected to the British Army and keeps half himself?

Caro57 Sun 15-Sep-19 09:38:45

We have a knife amnesty this month in our local police stations............ does DH think the proceeds would be his or yours jointly? If the latter give your half to charity and let him do what he wants with his but, perhaps, don’t parade the item he purchases. If the former the same action could apply for him using all the proceeds. Items from the wars could be construed as ‘blood money’ from all sides. Also just because someone may have used it doesn’t mean they actively wanted to - there were lots of people made to do things they wouldn’t choose to do

lemongrove Sun 15-Sep-19 09:43:55

Most Army knives were used for mundane reasons in WW2.