Treasure-hunters in southern Russia are stealing medals, insignia, and other artifacts off the corpses of Nazi soldiers, German authorities announced. Such booty fetches a tempting price on the black market. A single Iron Cross can sell for $50, nearly half the average monthly wage in the impoverished Caucasus region. Most of the German cemeteries in Russia—where some 150,000 Wehrmacht soldiers lie buried—have already been looted, and unmarked mass graves are now being targeted. The German Commission for the Care of War Graves said Russians scour the countryside with metal detectors, searching for soldiers’ remains. “It’s become something of a weekend sport to desecrate the graves in the hunt for souvenirs,” a commission official told Der Spiegel.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.
Sign up to our 10 Things You Need to Know Today newsletter
A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
Man didn't realise chopsticks were lodged in his brain
Tall Tales And other stories from the stranger side of life
By Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week UK Published
Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 28 November 2023
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
By The Week UK Published
Crossword: November 28, 2023
The Week's daily crossword
By The Week Staff Published