Wednesday, 6 January 2016

"Poszukiwacze wojennych skarbow" on Polish TV

"Treasure Hunting among the War Dead". A taste of what is to come on UK's Channel 5. There are a couple of downloaded copies of several episodes of the modified "Nazi War Diggers" as recently shown on Polish television by Discovery Channel HD and Discovery Historia (September 3, 10 and 17, 2015). Note the subtitles which I suspect are the main changes made to the original film (see below). There is a Polish soundtrack, but about a minute and a half into each you'll hear the presenters speaking under the dubbing, it is rather nice that the Polish dubbing is unusually light and you can hear much of the original soundtrack with their embarrassing texts (you can learn Polish from this, it's how I did it thirty years ago!) and idiotic sound effects. Watch it now, it is my guess these are going to disappear soon.

Here is episode one filmed in Saldus in Latvia:

posted on You Tube by Fun Tanna not long ago (why?)

Episode two filmed in Liepaja, Latvia:

posted on You Tube by CDN2

and here is episode three in all its inanity. It turns out that this was actually filmed as episode four, filmed in Latvia in Kurland:

posted on You Tube by CDN2
It is rumoured that the missing episode three was the one filmed in Poland. This is reported not to have been broadcast because (apart from local sensitivities) there was a query about the status of the work carried out. In the discussion about National Geographic broadcasting the series, the Polish association"Pomost" issued a statement which alleged that the Polish episode had been faked. They said that the excavation (which in the photos looks very different from the hoik holes dug by the four metal detecting 'heritage heroes' in Latvia), was dug by Pomost according to Polish regulations. Apparently the "Clearstory team" was inserted into the ongoing project and the material was edited to make it look as if the whole project had been carried out by them. dropped on the set to make like they did the work. Pomost claim that the Clearstory teakm had little involvement with the actual work (which is why I want to see the excavation permits which Clearstory obtained). It seems that there was either the threat of, or actual, legal action which led to the Polish broadcasters refraining from showing that episode and then giving up on releasing episodes five and six. 

And here are the infamous subtitles from the first minutes of each clip (they reappear later in each episode)

1) "In the programme, human remains are shown" (remains of the fathers and grandfathers of people still alive, "cool" eh?)
2) "The programme shows part of excavations (sic) which were conducted over several weeks" (so note the lack of changes of clothes - yuk). In fact, is this not referring [only?] to the episode where the metal detectorists were inserted into an ongoing exhumation carried out by another group?
3) "The exploration team worked under the control of a legal organization, working in accord with the legal regulations and with the permission of the landowners and local authorities" (but that is not the way excavation permits work here in this region, in whose name were the permits issued under which the work we see filmed here was carried out?)
4) "This is not archaeology, it is the search for war relics. All finds were described, secured and handed over to museums. Soldiers' remains were interred with military honours by the War Graves Commission" (the Polish ones too? What "War Graves Commission" are they talking about? Who actually handed over these remains and how? How many ground-rusted M42 Nazi helmets do the local museums need? What about the grenades they dug up?)  

UPDATE 16th January 2016
Partner "Little Dot Studios" has blocked the viewing of all three episodes in Poland, possible elsewhere. Who is "Little Dot" and what is their connection to digging up Nazi war relics in Latvia and Poland



Taff Simon said...

"This is not archaeology" Well fair enough, the lack of any real meaningful research framework, methodology or record keeping is testimony to that - BUT - digging holes in the ground and retrieving artefacts has the faintest whiff of archaeology about it, albeit, more akin to a C18/19th century gentlemans club who felt the need to to hack through a couple of BA barrows in the afternoon before retiring for gin and sandwiches on the the croquet lawn.

Paul Barford said...

The problem is the programme WAS made as depicting "research" - as comes out in the soundtrack, they have some documents and using their "methods" to verify them etc... all that has been done is to add a cosmetic subtitle here or there which actually conflict with the entire format of what is shown. Pathetic cosmetic job just to sell a pig's ear as anything it will pass for. This is not good enough.

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