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Two 17yr old schoolboys steal artefacts from Auschwitz

(57 Posts)
PyjamasLlamas Wed 24-Jun-15 11:00:36

Did anyone read about this? Disgusting behaviour really from these two kids. They were arrested and charged and could have been jailed but have been released with a fine and suspended sentence.

I find their actions despicable. They were actually caught digging looking for artefacts and did indeed find some.

I'm also not impressed with the parent response which uses very guarded words such as 'unfortunate incident' and 'saddened by events'. Not really putting responsibility on the boys. The father of one is the CEO of the private school he attends. The headmaster also said they would have an investigation to make sure 'lessons are learned'. So not even going to suspend/expel them. I work in an inner city school and if one our kids did this they would definitely be excluded if not permanently than for a while.

Everyone seems to want to minimise it with one of the parents saying it was down to age and possible how badly he was affected by the experience of bein f there! What a load of BS. 17yr olds should know better!

PyjamasLlamas Wed 24-Jun-15 11:01:53

Lots of typos. Sorry. Should be 'then', 'possibly' etc. Apologies before the pedants descend on me

RepeatAdNauseum Wed 24-Jun-15 11:04:17

It was the headmaster inferring that the items had been found on the floor and mistakenly not handed over that got to me. Like Auschwitz has historical artefacts just out on the floor.

I hope their parents use this as an opportunity to teach them a lesson. That reads quite violently which isn't what I mean, but they clearly need some educating to think that this is acceptable in any way.

PyjamasLlamas Wed 24-Jun-15 11:07:46

Really repeat?
I know this is going to sound like I'm making a sweeping generalisation but I do think part of it is the public school mentality. They were so arrogant to think they could just happily dig away. A sense of entitlement

KleineDracheKokosnuss Wed 24-Jun-15 11:14:38

I do think part of it is the public school mentality. They were so arrogant to think they could just happily dig away. A sense of entitlement

That is a sweeping generalisation and frankly insulting to the many fantastic children who attend public schools. If that were the case then surely the whole class would have walked off with something.

It's got nothing to do with the fact that they are at public school, and everything to do with them being idiots (whether ordinarily or temporarily). Apparently thefts/attempted thefts are not entirely uncommon and you find fools everywhere.

And I'm not surprised that the parents and school have given guarded responses. They will deal with it, but they aren't going to make a song and dance in public. You'd have to be crazy as a parent or school to take that approach.

PyjamasLlamas Wed 24-Jun-15 11:28:24

I know, I know. I did say it was a generalisation. None of the kids at my school would have done the same idiots or not.
One of the boys did work experience at a museum and then wrote of his greater respect for artefactsconfused. Seems bizarre he then thought it was a good idea to steal some.
I don't expect the parents/head to make a song and dance but to suggest a possible reason for stealing was that their poor child was so deeply affects by what he had seen is utter BS and is just minimising what they did

PyjamasLlamas Wed 24-Jun-15 11:29:42

I wouldn't defend my child even in public if he had done this. I would have said in deeply ashamed of his actions and we will deal with this when he comes home. Not 'young people sometimes do silly things'

Anononooo Wed 24-Jun-15 15:19:06

It is so shocking - and if my children did this (which they never would because they know how the holocaust affected our family and many others), I would haul them over the coals publicly, not minimise.

MrsHathaway Wed 24-Jun-15 15:58:04

It's not a public school. It's an independent day school hot house.

I'm utterly amazed that anyone in a position to visit Auschwitz at 17 (presumably Y12) could have so little understanding of the sensitivity of the site. Why on earth did they think they were there?!

So their motivation interests me enormously. Were they taking souvenirs/mementos with zero thought for the consequences, or were they trying to make a fast buck, or was it maybe some kind of initiation ritual or other stupid dare?

It's a kind of vandalism (physical and sociohistorical) and I have simply never understood vandalism on any scale.

Aermingers Wed 24-Jun-15 18:49:18

They're 17. They did something stupid. They've had their pictures beamed around the world and been demonised.

TopazRocks Wed 24-Jun-15 21:10:34

I suppose it does show expensive education does not buy common sense. <cynical> I do know no education can actually create common sense. I assume we will never hear what actually made them do this insensitive thing but I agree HT wouldn't in this situation say much publically at all. PR and all that. I hope the boys do learn from this and understand what they did. 17 is quite grown up really. It's the kind of thing I could imagine an immature 10YO or younger doing.

Chipsahoythere Wed 24-Jun-15 21:11:48

How awful.
17 is much too old to not understand what you've done.

TopazRocks Wed 24-Jun-15 21:13:04

can't not can - in second line above.

TopazRocks Wed 24-Jun-15 21:15:47

Sorry, ignore my correction. I am confused. Too much multi-tasking. blush

MyBeloved Thu 25-Jun-15 19:21:38

totally disgusting. that site is sacrosanct. Over 1.5 million innocents were burned, gassed or shot there. I want them to be made publicly accountable for their vile actions. They were seen digging in the ground for the items they took. those items belonged to someone's loved one.

I cannot believe anyone would even think of doing such a thing.

TwistedReach Thu 25-Jun-15 19:34:54

17 year olds can be mature or can really really not be. I loathe private schools and could happily jump on that bandwagon.. but really this is two adolescents who did a stupid thing and I feel sorry for them.
That does not take away from me (obviously) feeling that everything that happened to jews in the second world war was utterly and unthinkably terrible.

MyBeloved Thu 25-Jun-15 19:51:28

How many adolescents do you think have visited auchwitz and NOT stolen anything???

These two should be vilified not made excuses for!

formidable Thu 25-Jun-15 19:54:43

I was just waiting for someone to blame the fact they're at "public school" (which they aren't)

Christ sake angry

findingmyfeet12 Thu 25-Jun-15 19:55:16

I seem to be in a minority but I think that 17 year olds do make stupid mistakes. I doubt this guarantees that they'll reoffend or that they are generally bad. I'd say it's the arrogance and stupidity of youth.

formidable Thu 25-Jun-15 19:57:12

Pretty similar to the people who stripped off in Borneo. Just stupidity. Hopefully they'll look back with shame.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 25-Jun-15 20:03:04

I find it hard to get my head around as at 17 you'd know what Auschwitz was and I presume they'd studied this that's why they were there?
I know teenagers sometimes do stupid things for a laugh / dare but it's such a sad and haunting place I just can't imagine it provoking that kind of reaction.
I read that this happens regularly at Auschwitz though, and they have a few arrests a year, so I presume adults are doing it too.

serin Thu 25-Jun-15 20:08:22

I think what they did is much worse than what happened in Borneo. The kids who stripped off out there may not have realised the consequences of their actions or how sacred the site was.

However, every kid in England knows what Auschwitz is and what happened there. At 17 there are no excuses for what they did. I think what they have done reflects badly on our whole country, God knows what the rest of Europe thinks of us.

They should be prosecuted and fined, the little shits.

findingmyfeet12 Thu 25-Jun-15 20:11:05

I agree that they should be punished by the law for theft but I can't muster up the same amount of vitriol as some.

Floundering Thu 25-Jun-15 20:11:09

I'm sorry but there is no possible excuse for this despicable behaviour, & yes they do deserve to be publicly humiliated & their bloody parents should be announcing how ashamed they are as pp have said.
This was not youthful over exuberance or impulse they desecrated a war memorial, and are lucky not to have been thrown in jail. If it were my kids their insolent little feet would not have touched the ground & I would hope they were frogmarched out of the police station & onto the first plane home !!

Sazzle41 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:53:12

This is more about the parenting than the school. Most of your basic values and attitudes are learnt from/instilled by your parents. What values and moral compass can their parents have instilled to make them think that theft from the War dead is acceptable. I'd go for prosecution as well as the other poster said but thats never going to happen. At the very least they should be made to write a written apology to the museum and made to watch one of the documentaries showing the arrival of US & UK troops and what they found/filmed - the starvation, the mass graves etc etc etc.

If I was that parent i would have serious questions about my parenting and the moral vacumn in evidence. 17 is not a child, its a young adult who should have some basics of right and wrong firmly in place by then. I'd also like to know if their form teacher gave any context before the trip - surely the did. And if so, that makes it worse actually.

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