These days, not so much.
But last week, my attention was drawn to the fact that the local auction place had uncut rubies up for sale (because my 8 year old has developed a little obsession with gemstones) and when I hopped on the website and saw that there were lots such as ‘Ancient and Medieval coins and artefacts’ and ‘Indian arrow heads’ and that sort of shenanigans I placed a few absentee bids.
One of the things that I bid on, sight unseen, was described as ‘Nazi medal’ and I placed a bid of $50 on it without really thinking much apart from ‘how the hell did that get here to Tasmania’ and ‘better here with me that with someone who would glorify it’.
And it wasn’t until I won it and picked it up yesterday that I realised that I’ve got a fucking Nazi medal in my house and I’m pretty uncomfortable with it.
I’ve forced myself to learn about the Holocaust so that I can teach it with passion and conviction to my students and yes, I cry in front of my Grade 10 class every year at some stage in the proceedings so I do consider myself quite knowledgeable of the period, but in a ‘I wish I didn’t know these things but they need to be remembered’ type of way. And in hind-site the thought of actually spending money on something ‘Nazi’ is gruesome but I was thinking more ‘piece of history, however unpleasant’ and not ‘symbol of actual evil in my house’.
So I need advice. What should I do with it? Should it just go in my collection as a powerful lesson for my boys when they are older, to accompany the stories that I already tell them about the Holocaust or should it be disposed of? What is your take on what should be done with Nazi memorabilia?
(Incidentally, it’s a War Merit Cross with Swords)