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Auschwitz Theft

(151 Posts)
OurBlanche Tue 29-Dec-15 16:37:59

Why? They were going to be fined for being stupid and thoughtless. Now they are going to try and make people believe that attending one of the 'best' prep schools in the UK neglects to educate its pupils on the long term cultural significance of Auschwitz, whilst arranging an edcaational trip to, erm, Auschwitz.

Why? They were 17, not 7. The guards, curators, legal system and the school had all acknowledged that the usual expediency of a fine, suspended sentence and sound telling off would be appropriate. End of story, silly boys.

Now what? Are they going to defend themselves by saying they couldn't be expected to know that anything inside Auschwitz might have been anything important? Oh yes! They are: The teenagers have withdrawn their admission of guilt, explaining that they were not aware that the items had special cultural significance.

What's that phrase? More money than sense...

LIZS Tue 29-Dec-15 16:39:06

Isn't this old news?

megletthesecond Tue 29-Dec-15 16:41:19

Shit for fucking brains I think. Of course they knew.

So they've admitted they took them and now they've got a fancy pants lawyer to get them off?

AuntieStella Tue 29-Dec-15 16:43:55

The incident took place back in June. Here's the thread about it:

What's new is the announcement about a prosecution, because until this it looked as if the fine would be the end of formal proceedings.

OurBlanche Tue 29-Dec-15 16:44:48

No LIZS have a read of the link, the BBC published it about 30 minutes ago. It is an update...

FinestGrundyTurkey Tue 29-Dec-15 16:50:12

The maximum penalty is a 10-year prison sentence.

Fingers crossed, eh?

ElinorRochdale Tue 29-Dec-15 18:48:18

There are no words to describe the ignorance and stupidity of these boys. As a pp said, they're not children; they might be adults by now. The disrespect for the site. The embarrassment caused to their school. I hope the Head bollocked them until they pissed themselves. I'd have wanted to expel them, if I was the Head.

Now they're just making it worse. They'd got away with a slap on the wrist and a modicum of dignity. Dragging it all up again is just more disrespect.

But since presumably their parents are paying for this, one can see where they get their stupidity.

FinestGrundyTurkey Tue 29-Dec-15 19:07:16

I think I read in one of the original reports that one of the fathers is the 'CEO' of their school?


SecretBondGirl Tue 29-Dec-15 21:51:10

Obviously the dps don't want their ds with a criminal record as could Affect applications to elite universities and top drawer jobs such as medicine, banking and the law. Admitting to the crime would leave you with a record no matter how small the actual punishment is, better to hire a fancy pants lawyer to try to get you off completely.

fidel1ne Tue 29-Dec-15 21:52:57

It's reminiscent of the adopted son of the Pink Floyd member and his swing from the Cenotaph.

Muskey Tue 29-Dec-15 22:06:41

How could anyone not realise the cultural significance of Auschwitz let alone people's belongings. I do hope that their trial will teach the boys and their families the meaning of respect and that accepting responsibility for ones actions rather than blaming their poor cultural education. Next they will be saying they were just following orders

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 29-Dec-15 22:09:46

Hopefully their future cards are marked already. Arrogant scum. But they obviously are the products of shit parenting so the blame should be split.

Cambsmum22 Tue 29-Dec-15 22:22:17

I have children at their school. The grapevine is that they say they were picking the bits up to take to show the guards/museum staff but there was some sort of misunderstanding and they were arrested before they could. I'm not sure where the BBC got the bit about them saying they didn't know they were culturally significant, as that's not what I've heard and would seem a very poor defence confused

They're known to be normally well behaved kids and their friends and teachers believe then AFAIK. I've no idea why they admitted guilt at first and then changed their minds.

Would imagine that whatever their story is will come out at the trial.

bkgirl Wed 30-Dec-15 02:40:54

cambsmum22 I agree, it should go to trial but really the "nice children from nice families" defence could translate to their parents have deep pockets and they may well have the 'right' skin colour. That may well be unfair or indeed untrue but then justice in this country does seem so often to be biased in favour of wealth. People can get a bit jaded. I hope the truth comes out, regardless of who they are.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 30-Dec-15 03:11:14

Doubtless they will get off. So many reasonable doubts... Did they know those items were from that period? Did they pick them up just to show a curator?

I agree that the slap on the wrist would get them off many universities' lists and therefore it's better for them to have their parents pay a lot to have them exonerated.

AuntieStella Wed 30-Dec-15 04:47:34

"The grapevine is that they say they were picking the bits up to take to show the guards/museum staff"

Don't most DC learn from a very early age not to touch in museums and other heritage sites?

Caprinihahahaha Wed 30-Dec-15 04:56:38

Ah, stories about children at private/independent school.
Always filled with people gleefully wishing oceans of shit upon children because of the choice their parent made about their education. Good old mumsnet.

ProjectPerfect Wed 30-Dec-15 05:03:39

"I hope the head bollocked them till they pissed themselves" is one of the weirdest, screwed up things I've read on mumsnet.

LineyReborn Wed 30-Dec-15 05:12:25

Cambsmum that's a very different version of events to all the reports I've previously read in the media. I'm surprised they haven't got the Independent Press Standards people involved, if the parents believe that the actions of what are after all schoolchildren have been wildly misrepresented in the newspapers.

fidel1ne Wed 30-Dec-15 06:54:42

Ah, stories about children at private/independent school.
Always filled with people gleefully wishing oceans of shit upon children because of the choice their parent made about their education. Good old mumsnet.


Are we reading the same thread?

The relevance of the expensive, academic, education (not any old fee-paying school) is that it makes one wonder just that bit more exactly what is being taught that 'we didn't know the cultural significance of the artefacts' or 'I didn't know what the Cenotaph was' are advanced as defences, isn't it?

I can't actually see anyone 'gleefully wishing oceans of shit upon children because of the choice their parent made about their education' Capri.

BeachysFlipFlops Wed 30-Dec-15 08:01:12

I find it incredible that you would be allowed to wander around in an area where 'antiquities' are just left lying on the ground?

Regardless of age, schooling, background etc, it's very strange that if these items are considered so important by Auschwitz that anyone would be able to pick them up?

Particularly allowing school parties to walk in these areas?

fidel1ne Wed 30-Dec-15 09:05:32

They're not antiquities, are they? They are the possessions of murdered inmates. The significance and provenance would be obvious to anyone old enough to be there. As would the implication that you can't manhandle them or help yourself.

I imagine that they are displayed in that way for reasons of authenticity and immediacy. It really shouldn't be necessary to install locked glass cabinets.

OurBlanche Wed 30-Dec-15 09:19:16

I appreciate that they are closer to you, Cambsmum , I was shocked as I won a scholarship to Perse back in the 70s (couldn't take it up, Dad couldn't afford the associated costs) and couldn't see how any of its pupils could claim such ignorance.

However the 'picking them up to show the guards' explanation rings hollow... you just don't do that. I have been, accompanying 6th formers. You are clearly discouraged from moving artefacts as where they lie is, in itself, the history of the place.

Yes, they now have a criminal record, a suspended sentence, but that is better than publicly ridiculing yourself in this way and, maybe, a repeated sentencing - which I would hope wold be an extension of the suspended sentence rather than incarceration.

Oh, and I wasn't denigrating parents or gleefully wishing oceans of shit upon children because of the choice their parent made about their education. far from it!

Molio Wed 30-Dec-15 10:02:23

I've been to Auschwitz a number of times with and without sixth form students and although the large groups of students I took always behaved impeccably, many other people there didn't. There was a particular group of students shrieking with laughter up in the guardhouse at Birkenau and there are always endless people taking inappropriate smiley photos against gallows or the wall of death. It's extremely depressing how many people, even much older than these two, behave when they're there. To all the people who behave like this, the place has no real significance and they have absolutely no respect for the people who suffered there. I don't in any way condone what these boys did although if they did intend to steal the artefacts I'd have far more respect for them if they didn't now attempt to wriggle out of responsibility courtesy of a smart lawyer. But the fact is that they're far from alone in being lightweight about Auschwitz, regrettably.

BeachysFlipFlops Wed 30-Dec-15 12:20:57

Discussing it on Radio 2 right now.

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