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Serious Political Problem.


BalkanSabranje
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Current GOAL: To leave Florida and head back to Germany, from there to Dollersheim (Austria), and then the medical camp at Graz (Austria). Maybe to eastern Europe where he fought, and finally back to Florida and the Silent Professionals cache where he can meet his cousin (DF1).

 

About this item:

World War II was a trying time for many families in America and Europe, especially those who had family in both, and as in the American Civil War, many had family members on both sides of the conflict. My family was no different. My dad's family had originally come from Germany, and many stayed there and still do to this day. At the outset of the war, one of my great uncles joined the german military (Waffen SS) and like many military members in my family, went into infantry, but also received some medical training. Soon he was on his way to eastern Europe to fight against resistance there (established by allied trainers). The odd thing is that on the American side, my other great uncle was training resistance members in the same area to fight the Germans. Though I don't agree with the politics of the regime he fought for, I can respect the man for doing what he thought was right and being brave enough to fight for his convictions. To place himself in harms way for his country and family - right or wrong, he stills a hero in our family. Divided Family 1 is about our American side.

 

I found this TB in one of my caches.

I wrote the following to TPTB yesterday, but got no answer:

 

Topic:TB needs to be archived for political reasons

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I am contacting you about TB4BD4 "Divided Family 2" that I found

today in my Cache "Linz City Mountains 2" (GCHG20).

I am sure that the description must have slipped past the other Geocachers

attention, as ASOinFL is directly adressing a SS soldier as a hero.

 

There is no doubt about the fact the SS was the worst part of the political

"military" forces of the Nazi regime, just intended to kill political

opponents and similar "lebensunwertes Leben" ("life not worth living"). On

top of that, the reference to the "medical camp" in Graz makes the suspicion

of one of the torture units suggest itself. Still worse, the TB is

supposed to travel to Döllersheim, where Adolf Hitler's father was born.

 

Even if the owner is just very, very naive about the political implications

of his TB description (and the attached soldier in "Wehrmacht" uniform) I

can and will not tolerate such a TB in one of my caches.

 

Please give me a hint as how to correctly solve this problem (TB is now in

my hands but not yet logged out), as there is no "needs archived" function

for TBs.

 

Thanks for your assistance,

BalkanSabranje

 

After checking back with the local community (that unanimously expressed their conviction of TBs like this not being tolerable) we plan to throw the TB out of our cache and bury him in one of the TB graveyards.

 

Any serious advice is welcome.

 

BS

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I would not send it to on Germany or eastern Europe as it would cause needless offense.

 

I don't think that its a good idea to drop kick the TB into oblivion, but in this case, I agree with your decision, though I would post that its gone rather than just MIA somewhere.

Edited by bigredmed
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BalkanSabranje:

Just because you're intolerant of someone else's heritage, that doesn't give you the right to destroy their stuff and spew your hatred at them.

 

If you don't like it in your cache, move it to a nearby cache and try to learn to be tolerant of other people, their beliefs, and their heritage. Learn some compassion and understanding and quit using political correctness as a means to justify hatred and censorship.

 

bigredmed:

After your constant complaints that TBs go missing, get muggled, and that Groundspeak doesn't do anything about it, how can you justify telling someone to "lose" (for lack of a better term) someone else's TB?

Edited by bons
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I feel that it is wrong to just bleep some one's TB. I said that I would post notice of this termination.

 

The German Soldier that is memorialized in Omaha is from the Imperial German Army and fought honorably for his (at the time) country. An SS soldier is a symbol of the holocaust and of brutal war crimes. Granted, mostly these guys in the Waffen SS were just soldiers, and it would be tough to grow up in a family where one uncle is a hero and the other is a shameful reminder of an evil dictatorship, but one must learn to have a sense of what others will think of your actions indepently of your inner workings. You may see your uncle was a great guy that bought you a Dunkelweissen when you turned 21. Others are not so inclined, and for good reason.

 

In this case, its a tough call, but these symbols cause offense. To the extent that this type of travel bug may well be illegal in Germany given its anti nazi laws. Its already in Europe so to move it to some remote cache in the toolies isn't really an option.

 

I would send it to the happy hunting ground, not with a glad heart, but with the realization that I will cause less offense doing this than to keep it moving.

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Aside from the fact that the original message was misread (I get that the TB owner disagreed with his German relations involvment), the larger question remains. Should there be a "TB should be archived" checkbox? Well if I hang a TB tag on an offensive piece of "art", or say an adult toy, you should be able to request that the Bug be taken out of cicrulation. Not unreasonable to my way of thinking.

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bigredmed:

Is an American bomber a symbol of a nuclear bomb being dropped on a city filled with civilians? If you choose to make the TB a symbol of something it isn't, that's your problem, not the problem of the TB or it's owner.

 

This travel bug is in memory of a person who placed himself in harms way for his country.

Though I don't agree with the politics of the regime he fought for, I can respect the man for doing what he thought was right and being brave enough to fight for his convictions. To place himself in harms way for his country and family - right or wrong, he stills a hero in our family.

 

As someone who served this country and thanks God he never had to be in harms way I salute those people who have taken the ultimate risk and mourn those who have paid the price. We have people right now fighting in a war that may be justified or complete B.S. and they're running the risk of dying without knowing how history will judge them.

 

But they have sworn an oath to their country and they're doing what they belive to be right, just like that soldier did. You can pass judgement any way you like, but you never had to make the choices that he did.

-------------

Here are the links to the two travel bugs if anyone wants to see them.

http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?id=20168

http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?id=19412

 

---------------

rusty_tlc:

Do I get to judge what's offensive for myself or do I have to go with what you decide is offensive. Remember, we have people here who are offended that a cache was placed in their park and they consider that litter. Does that give them the right to demand the cache be removed and archived? We have people of just about every religion here. Do they have the right to be offended by everyone else's religious travel bugs and remove them.

 

I don't mind the cache owner moving the bug because he doesn't want it in his cache. I firmly support his doing that. But since when did we agree that we all had the right to destroy everyone else's caches and travel bugs just because we could claim we're offended by them?

Edited by bons
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Has anyone offended by this bug contacted the owner? It seems to me that is the first place to start. The owner may simply not realise the offense it is causing and agree to let you change the item or mail it back to them or something. Perhaps they could clarify the wording on the page to make clear the bug does not glorify war crimes etc. I get the impression from reading the bug pages that the owner had no intent to offend anyone with the bugs. So why not start there?

Edited by carleenp
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Found while surfing the Nebraska Department of Economic Development website:

 

Welcome to Nebraska's Business and Commerce Statistics page.  We hope you enjoy your visit.  Click on the "feedback" link if there is any way in which we can improve our services.

 

Nebraska is a national leader in many products and services.  Here is a listing of the top products and services provided by the Nebraska economy:

 

1.  Corn

2.  Cows

3.  Debates about Groundspeak Travel Bugs

4.  Insurance

5.  More Corn

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Has anyone offended by this bug contacted the owner?

Oh, Carleen, always trying to be reasonable. :rolleyes:

 

I will not tolerate a TB with this political message in one of my caches. It is moved to the void.

 

BalkanSabranje

 

This was the comment when the bug was moved to a graveyard, so the owner should know something is going on.

 

It doesn't surprise me that a Balkan resident would have unpleasant feelings about the SS.

 

For a US perspective: What would a black cache owner think about finding the "Slave Catcher" TB whose mission is to find "Runaway Darkie" TB?

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BalkanSabranje:

Just because you're intolerant of someone else's heritage, that doesn't give you the right to destroy their stuff and spew your hatred at them.

 

If you don't like it in your cache, move it to a nearby cache and try to learn to be tolerant of other people, their beliefs, and their heritage. Learn some compassion and understanding and quit using political correctness as a means to justify hatred and censorship.

Well, first I planned to avoid becoming involved in this discussion, but your response to the original poster made me really very angry.

 

It is up to you whether or not you agree with the way he plans to proceed with the TB. I have to admit that I do not feel very comfortable with burying the TB, but only for the reason that it would lead to chaotical situations if everyone who does not like the mission of a TB, feels free to put an end to the TB.

 

As the "Divide Family 2" TB is regarded, the background is really a serious one. I suggest that you first have a look into history books and investigate about the background of the places which are referred to in the TB's description before you take the right to call someone intolerant whom you do not know at all.

 

Further, I am wondering why everyone here (except the OP) is only writing about Germany (or Eastern-Europe). The TB is currently in Austria and the places Döllersheim and Graz are located in Austria, as well. Can't you imagine that the TB is indeed very offending to Austrians (at least those with a sufficient awareness of history)?

 

Personally, I would very much like to see an response of the officials of gc.com. In my opinion the option to archive a TB which is clearly offending is strongly needed.

Of course, before such an archival, it should be obligatory to contact the owner. However, I feel that contacting the owner in such a case is the job of gc.com and not of individual cachers.

 

 

Cezanne

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...

rusty_tlc:

Do I get to judge what's offensive for myself or do I have to go with what you decide is offensive. Remember, we have people here who are offended that a cache was placed in their park and they consider that litter. Does that give them the right to demand the cache be removed and archived? We have people of just about every religion here. Do they have the right to be offended by everyone else's religious travel bugs and remove them.

...

No, but you have the right to request that a TB be removed from circulation. The same way a cacher can request that a cache be archived. I never made a statment about what standards should be applied, I made an example of a couple of situations which might cause some to request that a TB be archived.

 

I think you read a lot into my comment.

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Does this remind anyone else of the naked monkey thing?

 

BalkanSabranje, a letter into the contact address almost ALWAYS takes longer an a day.

 

Archive function: I would say there is no need for an archive function. Either the traveler is in circulation and moving from cache to cache, not in circulation because someone has it in their possession, or not in circulation as its has been lost(graveyard or unknown location) or has completed its mission. The archive function on caches gets those that are not findable out of normal searches, TBs are already that way when no in a cache.

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But they have sworn an oath to their country and they're doing what they belive to be right, just like that soldier did. You can pass judgement any way you like, but you never had to make the choices that he did.

It just occured to me that probably at least some of the posters here have overlooked a major issue. The key point is not that the owner of the TB tells a story about his family, but the mission of the TB. The owner of the TB cannot be that naive that he does not know the meaning of terms like "medical camp Graz". I cannot imagine a single cacher from Austria who would not feel offended by such a TB in his/her cache.

 

Such TBs are certainly worse than if someone would, for example, send around some pornographic material as a TB. I am sure that gc.com would not tolerate the latter.

As gc.com does not even tolerate that cachers are making announcements of harmless service sites for geocachers on the forum, I cannot understand at all that there is no option to archive a TB (if there are good reasons for doing so).

 

Cezanne

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I suggest that you first have a look into history books and investigate about the background of the places which are referred to in the TB's description before you take the right to call someone intolerant whom you do not know at all.

 

Further, I am wondering why everyone here (except the OP) is only writing about Germany (or Eastern-Europe). The TB is currently in Austria and the places Döllersheim and Graz are located in Austria, as well. Can't you imagine that the TB is indeed very offending to Austrians (at least those with a sufficient awareness of history)?

Ok. Let's talk about history.

 

One group of people didn't like the opinions, beliefs, and heritage of another group of people so they officially took their possessions and killed them.

 

Today we call this sort of behavior "bad".

 

Unless of course, we're the ones doing it.

 

You seem to be telling me that if we don't like the opinions, beliefs, and heritage of another geocacher as expressed in his travel bug we can offically take their travel bug and destroy it.

 

But we've learned from history. We no longer kill the geocacher. We just take his stuff, destroy it, tell him about it, and pat ourselves on the back. But the cacher gets to live. After all, we're the "good guys".

 

Did history teach you anything other than dates and locations? Didn't you learn concepts like "You don't have the right to destroy other people's things because they disagree with your politics"?

 

Apparently not.

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An observation along Carleen's point:

Has anyone offended by this bug contacted the owner? It seems to me that is the first place to start.

I am reminded of living in an area with a neighborhood association, and upon seeing a neighbor allowing their dog (on lead) to defecate on their lawn without performing the appropriate cleanup, the offended property owner promptly calls upon the neighborhood association to discipline the dog owner.

 

What's wrong with taking a little personal responsibility and addressing the issue to the dog owner (or TB owner, for that matter) directly? Why do so many people believe someone else (the neighborhood association, the government, the web site management, etc.) should handle their issues for them?

 

I do agree that there should be an appeal process for use when an agreement cannot be reached.

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Today we call this sort of behavior "bad".

When I Google: medical camp at Graz (which is the TB's subgoal), the first selection refers to the SS Medical Agency at Graz (Austria).

 

Looking at that page, I think most of us would agree it refers to acts that are several steps beyond "bad".

 

If that's where the TB's owner great uncle spent part of the war, he should have a talk with his relatives about what was going on there.

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When I Google: medical camp at Graz (which is the TB's subgoal), the first selection refers to the SS Medical Agency at Graz (Austria).

 

Looking at that page, I think most of us would agree it refers to acts that are several steps beyond "bad".

And yet, amazingly enough, the photographs still exist. Someone didn't destroy them because they didn't agree with what happened there.

 

And that web page still exists. You can't destroy it. Even if you don't like what it says or what happened there, you don't have the right to remove it from the face of the earth.

 

Here's a good photo of a WWII book burning:

bookburn.jpg

 

How about a good photo of you destroying the travel bug to go along with it?

 

Oh. I'm sorry. I forgot. What you're doing (destroying someone else's item because you don't agree with what you think it means) is something completely different.

 

Wish I could figure out what the difference is, but I guess I'm just not that smart.

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You seem to be telling me that if we don't like the opinions, beliefs, and heritage of another geocacher as expressed in his travel bug we can offically take their travel bug and destroy it.

 

If I wrote in French, I would believe that the fact that you completely misread what I wrote is due to my bad French. Since I wrote in English and I am used to argue in English (though not about politics), I guess that you apparently made some assumptions based on no evidence at all. I suggest that you read again what I have written.

 

Where did I talk about destroying something? I simply argued that the TB's mission is offensive. If gc.com offers a possibility that TBs get archived (by gc.com, not by individual cachers!), this cannot be regarded as act of destruction, can it?

 

 

Did history teach you anything other than dates and locations? Didn't you learn concepts like "You don't have the right to destroy other people's things because they disagree with your politics"?

 

Apparently not.

 

You seem to know me quite well for someone who has never had any contact with me ....

Let me ask again: Where did I argue in favour of the destruction of other people's property?

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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What's wrong with taking a little personal responsibility and addressing the issue to the dog owner (or TB owner, for that matter) directly? Why do so many people believe someone else (the neighborhood association, the government, the web site management, etc.) should handle their issues for them?

 

I do agree that there should be an appeal process for use when an agreement cannot be reached.

There is nothing wrong with taking personal responsibility, but I feel (and you seem to agree on that point) that there should exist a procedure to deal with cases where either no agreement can be reached or where someone comes across a clearly offensive object (cache, TB) without being personally directly involved.

(Take, for example, the case that a cacher comes across the Divided Family 2 TB in a cache of another cacher.)

 

In my opinion, a TB as offensive as Divided Family 2 is not just a matter of concern for a few cachers who feel offended, but also for the web site which hosts the description of the TB. Consequently, there exists a responsibility of the gc.com site, regardless of personal responsabilities.

 

My personal experience is that agreements are very hard to reach in cases like the present one. One might, however, still give it a try.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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Current GOAL: To leave Florida and head back to Germany, from there to Dollersheim (Austria), and then the medical camp at Graz (Austria). Maybe to eastern Europe where he fought, and finally back to Florida and the Silent Professionals cache where he can meet his cousin (DF1).

 

About this item:

World War II was a trying time for many families in America and Europe, especially those who had family in both, and as in the American Civil War, many had family members on both sides of the conflict. My family was no different. My dad's family had originally come from Germany, and many stayed there and still do to this day. At the outset of the war, one of my great uncles joined the german military (Waffen SS) and like many military members in my family, went into infantry, but also received some medical training. Soon he was on his way to eastern Europe to fight against resistance there (established by allied trainers). The odd thing is that on the American side, my other great uncle was training resistance members in the same area to fight the Germans. Though I don't agree with the politics of the regime he fought for, I can respect the man for doing what he thought was right and being brave enough to fight for his convictions. To place himself in harms way for his country and family - right or wrong, he stills a hero in our family. Divided Family 1 is about our American side.

 

I found this TB in one of my caches.

I wrote the following to TPTB yesterday, but got no answer:

 

Topic:TB needs to be archived for political reasons

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I am contacting you about TB4BD4 "Divided Family 2" that I found

today in my Cache "Linz City Mountains 2" (GCHG20).

I am sure that the description must have slipped past the other Geocachers

attention, as ASOinFL is directly adressing a SS soldier as a hero.

 

There is no doubt about the fact the SS was the worst part of the political

"military" forces of the Nazi regime, just intended to kill political

opponents and similar "lebensunwertes Leben" ("life not worth living"). On

top of that, the reference to the "medical camp" in Graz makes the suspicion

of one of the torture units suggest itself. Still worse, the TB is

supposed to travel to Döllersheim, where Adolf Hitler's father was born.

 

Even if the owner is just very, very naive about the political implications

of his TB description (and the attached soldier in "Wehrmacht" uniform) I

can and will not tolerate such a TB in one of my caches.

 

Please give me a hint as how to correctly solve this problem (TB is now in

my hands but not yet logged out), as there is no "needs archived" function

for TBs.

 

Thanks for your assistance,

BalkanSabranje

 

After checking back with the local community (that unanimously expressed their conviction of TBs like this not being tolerable) we plan to throw the TB out of our cache and bury him in one of the TB graveyards.

 

Any serious advice is welcome.

 

BS

I don't think that it is your place to decide what is offensive to the rest of geocachers that might actually get the point this TB makes. Please Don't bury it.

 

Those of you that don't "get it" don't help it travel, but it should not be your place stop it. We may not agree with ASOinFLs great uncle's beliefs, but if he had believed differently you would be calling his actions heroic.

 

I think that the point that this TB is making is not that the the actions of of the Waffen SS were heroic but that it was brave of them to put there self in harms way for there beliefs.

 

If you find this bug offensive maybe you should hunt down the other one and stop it to so that some one else dose not get offend by it because what they think it represents is offensive to them.

 

Just my 2cents

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I think to it is a huge stretch to think of a t-bug as of its owner's sacrosanct property. The owner releases the travelbug and in doing so, asks the rest of the cachers a favor, to assist one's bug to achieve its goals, to safeguard and properly move and record its moves. In a very important sense, a released t-bug is a communal property, taken care by all of us together. A travelbug with appealing and exciting story can always count on preferrential treatment. On the contrary, a bug with an anti-social or hateful message is prone to self-destruction. That's just the way of life. You don't wanna piss off the same people who you ask favors, do you?

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I think to it is a huge stretch to think of a t-bug as of its owner's sacrosanct property.

Why? we often claim a cache is an owner's property. We get mad at anyone who destroys or steals a cache.

 

In another thread we have a pile of cachers upset that someone is building a "travel bug prision". Yet here, people have proposed the destruction of a travel bug, not just it's placement in a hard-to-get-to cache.

 

Like everything else, this action sets a precedent. My "Hey Abbotts" travel bug, which is a replica of a lobster on it's way to a New England resteraunt that serves lobster could now be destroyed by a PETA member because they're "offended" by it.

 

Anyone who claims caches are litter could destroy them with impunity. Who are we to argue with them now?

 

Whatever we may once have said is worthless now. Some people here have decided that they have the right to remove a peice from the playing field just because they don't like it. That pretty much means everyone else gets to play by those same rules now.

 

At least when subigo stole your cache, you might be able to get it back. Odd to think that those were the good old days.

 

They're gone now.

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I think to it is a huge stretch to think of a t-bug as of its owner's sacrosanct property. The owner releases the travelbug and in doing so, asks the rest of the cachers a favor, to assist one's bug to achieve its goals, to safeguard and properly move and record its moves. In a very important sense, a released t-bug is a communal property, taken care by all of us together. A travelbug with appealing and exciting story can always count on preferrential treatment. On the contrary, a bug with an anti-social or hateful message is prone to self-destruction. That's just the way of life. You don't wanna piss off the same people who you ask favors, do you?

Are you saying that this TB has a anti-social or hateful message. I did not get that impression by reading the TB description. :lol:

Edited by BAF
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Like everything else, this action sets a precedent. My "Hey Abbotts" travel bug, which is a replica of a lobster on it's way to a New England resteraunt that serves lobster could now be destroyed by a PETA member because they're "offended" by it.

It's surprising for me that someone dares to publicly compare the medical experiments that the SS performed in Graz as a part of the Holocaust with a lobster dinner in a restaurant.

 

It is for good reason common sense here in Europe since 40 years that there is no excuse, no "right to personal conviction" for a certain group of believes and actions. Amongst those are the Holocaust, Mass Extinction, Torture, the ideas of the Nazi state.

They are evil and they are not tolerable.

 

BS

Edited by BalkanSabranje
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I never have and never will consider the actions of any Nazi Party member as heroic. It's not that they fought for their beliefs--their beliefs were told to them, and the majority were forced to become members of the Nazi Party or die. There was no concern for others from the Nazis--it was all about saving their own, individual hides. OK, fair enough--we all have that instinct. HOWEVER--to actively work towards the extinction of others is massively offensive to me (I will speak for no others). Defense of your country is one thing--selecting a race/ type (or two or twelve) of people to exterminate is completely off the scale. Let's not forget the goals of the Nazis, and their embryonic neo- splinter groups that won't go away.

(This is more in response to some posts in this thread that aren't about the bug and it theme, but of the history involved. I'll get to the bug issue.)

 

I have a range in which I place offensive actions/things/people. Some are mild irritants and I can just put them aside and move on whilst shaking my head and wondering when someone or another will grow up. Slaughtering of humans, irregardless of a belief system (forced, religious or otherwise) is one that I feel cannot, nor should not be ignored. Therefore I speak up.

 

Given that the discussion is about a TB that is perpetuating a glorification of an annhiliation of peoples, would I be the cache owner, I'd email the bug owner, get a mailing address and mail it back explaining how offensive it is to those living in the area the bug was traveling to. I can think of several ways the bug could be "remade" and sent along to meet the goals of the owner that would not be as tumutuous as what this one seems to be doing.

 

As it is I have a series of 3 TB's that have a piratical theme. I can see where some may find pirates to be offensive. I would hope that: A) Anyone who did would just not move the bug along; SECOND: Would email me with their concerns; C) Would not destroy the bug since I don't know what I did in creating the bug with that them that was offensive to them; LAST: Let me consider their concerns and decide if I want to change the theme/goals or not, or restart it in another location that may be more accepting of the bug, theme, goals.

 

I think we all fear getting flamed or of having someone going off on us if we contact them directly anymore. And we are bombarded daily with: Don't confront people--call the police. It is a scary time. But, I'd rather get an email of well-stated concern to alert me to my oversight or insensitivity than lose my bug and never know why.

 

Word of the day for me: Civility

Edited by Anne Bonney
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I never have and never will consider the actions of any Nazi Party member as heroic. It's not that they fought for their beliefs--their beliefs were told to them, and the majority were forced to become members of the Nazi Party or die. There was no concern for others from the Nazis--it was all about saving their own, individual hides. OK, fair enough--we all have that instinct. HOWEVER--to actively work towards the extinction of others is massively offensive to me (I will speak for no others). Defense of your country is one thing--selecting a race/ type (or two or twelve) of people to exterminate is completely off the scale. Let's not forget the goals of the Nazis, and their embryonic neo- splinter groups that won't go away.

(This is more in response to some posts in this thread that aren't about the bug and it theme, but of the history involved. I'll get to the bug issue.)

 

I have a range in which I place offensive actions/things/people. Some are mild irritants and I can just put them aside and move on whilst shaking my head and wondering when someone or another will grow up. Slaughtering of humans, irregardless of a belief system (forced, religious or otherwise) is one that I feel cannot, nor should not be ignored. Therefore I speak up.

 

Given that the discussion is about a TB that is perpetuating a glorification of an annhiliation of peoples, would I be the cache owner, I'd email the bug owner, get a mailing address and mail it back explaining how offensive it is to those living in the area the bug was traveling to. I can think of several ways the bug could be "remade" and sent along to meet the goals of the owner that would not be as tumutuous as what this one seems to be doing.

 

As it is I have a series of 3 TB's that have a piratical theme. I can see where some may find pirates to be offensive. I would hope that: A) Anyone who did would just not move the bug along;  SECOND: Would email me with their concerns;  C) Would not destroy the bug since I don't know what I did in creating the bug with that them that was offensive to them;  LAST: Let me consider their concerns and decide if I want to change the theme/goals or not, or restart it in another location that may be more accepting of the bug, theme, goals.

 

I think we all fear getting flamed or of having someone going off on us if we contact them directly anymore. And we are bombarded daily with: Don't confront people--call the police. It is a scary time. But, I'd rather get an email of well-stated concern to alert me to my oversight or insensitivity than lose my bug and never know why.

 

Word of the day for me: Civility

Thanks for your reply, Anne.

I did of course contact the owner of the TB as well (no answer either so far).

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We may not agree with ASOinFLs great uncle's beliefs, but if he had believed differently you would be calling his actions heroic.

 

I think that the point that this TB is making is not that the the actions of of the Waffen SS were heroic but that it was brave of them to put there self in harms way for there beliefs.

 

If you find this bug offensive maybe you should hunt down the other one and stop it to so that some one else dose not get offend by it because what they think it represents is offensive to them.

 

Just my 2cents

I don't think that it is your place to decide what is offensive to the rest of geocachers that might actually get the point this TB makes.

 

Be assured that anyone in the region where BS could deposit the bug in another cache will be very offended by this TB.

Anyone in the area of Graz, one of the subgoals of the TB, will even be more offended to find the TB in his/her cache. (I guess that I can judge this better than you can as I am from this region and own several caches there.)

 

Please Don't bury it.

 

What do you suggest if the owner is not responding (that would allow to send it back to him if he is willing to pay the expenses)?

Putting the TB into another cache in the area, is certainly a very bad idea. Have you ever heard of NIMBY? (Not in my backyard) This is never a good approach.

 

Those of you that don't "get it" don't help it travel, but it should not be your place stop it.

 

See above. If Bs does not take any action, the offensive TB will stay in his cache for all times.

 

Cezanne

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Given that the discussion is about a TB that is perpetuating a glorification of an annhiliation of peoples

Unfortunately, that's not a given. That's the problem.

 

The TB is about the memory of a man who served his country. It's not about gloryifying the murder of innocents. In fact, the owner clearly states that he does not agree with the beliefs of the politics the man was serving.

 

What BalkanSabranje and his ilk have decided for themselves that it's about is something completely different.

 

60 years ago, a group of people so hated another people that those people became demonized in their minds and whatever was done to them or their possions was considered acceptable. Those people who realized this was wrong took too long to step out. We all know the results.

 

Today BalkanSabranje and company have decided to demonize another group of people. A group of people who commited some horrible atrocities, but people none the less. They're using those atrocities as an excuse to do what they want to someone else's possession.

 

60 years later and they're still setting themselves up as the judge for what is acceptable and what isn't.

 

I'll pay the shipping to wherever the owner wants it. Because it's obvious to me that sneaking things out of that region in order to avoid people who think their political beliefs outweight everyone else's rights is still something that needs to be done.

 

...

 

And if I ever find one of your pirates I'll take him out for a bottle of rum before sending him on his merry way. (or her as the case may be.)

Edited by bons
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Given that the discussion is about a TB that is perpetuating a glorification of an annhiliation of peoples

Unfortunately, that's not a given. That's the problem.

 

You are certainly wrong. I am curious whether you have any knowledge about the medical experiments of the Nazi regime. Is, for example, the name Mengele known to you? (Your example about burning books makes me believe that your knowledge in this area is somewhat restricted.)

 

Do you really think that anybody who actively took part in such medical experiments did not know what he was doing?

 

What message does it convey to you if someone is wishing to send a TB in 2004 to the "medical camp in Graz"? This formulation is much stronger than if the goal would just be to to visit Graz because the uncle has passed some time in that city.

(The offense by sending a SS soldier figurine would, however, remain even in that more "harmless" version.)

 

The TB is about the memory of a man who served his country.

 

I cannot believe that anyone is considering taking part in the medical experiments of the Nazi regime as serving one's country!

We are not simply talking about being a soldier and taking part in a war.

 

It's not about gloryifying the murder of innocents. In fact, the owner clearly states that he does not agree with the beliefs of the politics the man was serving.

 

Using a goal like the medical camp in Graz (NB: this is not a place which still exists!)

contradicts what you claim above.

 

Today BalkanSabranje and company have decided to demonize another group of people. A group of people who commited some horrible atrocities, but people none the less. They're using those atrocities as an excuse to do what they want to someone else's possession.

 

Please stop your accusations. BS did not write anything about what he will do with the physical TB. So far he just moved it to a TB graveyard because he does not want to have it in his cache and cannot put it to any other cache in his caching region.

There is no act of hatred involved at all.

 

BS already wrote that he contacted the owner. If the owner chooses to show no reaction, what do you suggest?

 

I'll pay the shipping to wherever the owner wants it. Because it's obvious to me that sneaking things out of that region in order to avoid people who think their political beliefs outweight everyone else's rights is still something that needs to be done.

 

It is quite suprising for me that you seem to know people in what you refer to "that region". I am Austrian and I have not come across more than a handful of people who fit to your description. BS certainly does not belong to that small group.

 

This thread shows me once again that it makes no sense to discuss topics that are not exclusively US-topics in this forum. The number of postings which really address the issue and which try to view the topic from a broader view is unfortunately very small in most cases. (Like BS, I was very happy to read Anne's posting in this thread. Not because she shares the political concerns, but because she really dealt with the issue and was not talking about other things.)

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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Get off of your high horse. You spend half your time claiming that I don't know you and that I shouldn't judge you and then you spend the rest of your time judging me.

 

Yes, I know my history. Yes, I know what happened there. But the real issue is not what happened 50 years ago but what is happening today.

 

Do you really belive that you have the right to take someone else's TB out of circulation based on your own beliefs?

 

That's the issue. Anthing about what happened 60 years ago is just you trying to direct people away from the real issue. Because what happened 60 years ago is over, gone, and best not forgotten. But what's happening today is still something we can control, especially if we actually learn from the mistakes history reminds us of.

Edited by bons
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The TB is about the memory of a man who served his country. It's not about gloryifying the murder of innocents. In fact, the owner clearly states that he does not agree with the beliefs of the politics the man was serving.

Let's say I was related by family to some of those plane hijackers who crashed into WTC couple of years ago. (No, I'm not.) Of course, I in no way agree with that action, but what if I wanted to create a small airplane Travel Bug and set it to visit caches in southern Manhattan and near Pentagon? Not to glorify the murdering of innocents, but just to honor the memory of 'my uncle' who was brave enough to die for his convictions. You think the cache owners would be happy to help the TB towards its goal?

 

Or a TB commemorating 'my uncle' who served in My Lai and did what what he believed what was right?

 

Or a TB in honor of 'my brother' who served in Abu Ghraib and who is presently court-martialled. The TB would have some of those neat photos attached, where my bro was doing his job with the detainees.

 

Hmm... undoubtedly some people would actually be happy to help those bugs...:lol:

 

Today BalkanSabranje and company have decided to demonize another group of people. A group of people who commited some horrible atrocities, but people none the less. They're using those atrocities as an excuse to do what they want to someone else's possession.

I thought it's been said already several times, that the TB owner has been contacted, and the TB is not destroyed.

 

60 years later and they're still setting themselves up as the judge for what is acceptable and what isn't.

Would you consider the airplane TB commemoriating 'my uncle' acceptable?

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Would you consider the airplane TB commemoriating 'my uncle' acceptable?

Chances are I'd either ignore it or make a game out of it ("Hot potato" leaps to mind. "Quick, get it out of my cache and into bob's!")

 

Worse comes to worst, I'd offer to send it back to the owner.

 

Now if Groundspeak chooses to delist it, that's their choice. I don't have a problem with that. Nor do I have a problem with the cache owner contacting Groundspeak or the bug owner. (Though I'd prefer they contact the bug owner first.)

 

But once the bug is placed in the graveyard, and it was stated in this thread that the bug was going there, long before it was stated that the owner was contacted. Then there's a completely different game being played.

 

we plan to throw the TB out of our cache and bury him in one of the TB graveyards

The above line is what I find completely unacceptable. It was in the first post and nothing since that post has indicated to me that their plans have changed.

 

Remove that line, remove that plan, and I have no issues with anything else. You can move it, complain to Groundspeak, send it back to the owner, I don't care. But I don't think anyone here has the right to decide for themselves to throw a TB out of a cache and bury it in the TB graveyard.

Edited by bons
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But I don't think anyone here has the right to decide for themselves to throw a TB out of a cache and bury it in the TB graveyard.

The TB has been (logically) moved to a TB graveyard. That step, of course, is reversible.

 

I suppose the TB is in the physical possession of BalkanSabranje. He's attempted to contact the bug owner and hasn't received a response yet.

 

If I were BS, I'd send the bug back to the owner if he contacted me. If he didn't after x months, I'd dispose of it. (I'm not sure there is really any need to have a "should be archived" function for TB's, since this achieves the same result.)

 

Most US residents are probably unaware of why BS feels so strongly. I consider myself fairly well-educated on historical matters, but the phrase "medical camp at Graz" did not set of the alarm bells for me as it would for a resident of Austria.

 

It wasn't until I did a Google search that I realized where the great-uncle spent (most likely, we still haven't heard from the TB-owner) part of the war.

 

Re-read Divine's excellent hypotheticals. I think most cache owners in the US would take offense to having those in their caches.

Edited by beejay&esskay
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The owner releases the travelbug and in doing so, asks the rest of the cachers a favor, to assist one's bug to achieve its goals, to safeguard and properly move and record its moves... a bug with an anti-social or hateful message is prone to self-destruction. 

Are you saying that this TB has a anti-social or hateful message. I did not get that impression by reading the TB description. :lol:

There are three important issues here:

1) can a bug's message saw the seeds of its own demise?

2) the message of this particular bug, and

3) the intent of its owner

I was trying to be as non-judgemental as possible and therefore I concentrated on #1. Yes, if a bug is causing deep resentment and anguish along its proposed route, it is not very likely to complete its mission. Isn't it obvious?

As to #2 ...I am suprised by some of the posters' attempts to trivialize the issue. A bug which intends to visit the sites of crimes against humanity, while proudly and unrepentantly impersonating the perpetrators, is extremely offensive and hateful.

Lastly, #3 ... was the owner aware of the issue? Could it be the result of ignorance, rather than ill intent? And can the owner modify the bug's mission, to the one of repentance, sorrow, and closure? I don't think we have a good answer yet.

Edited by MOCKBA
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Lastly, #3 ... was the owner aware of the issue? Could it be the result of ignorance, rather than ill intent? And can the owner modify the bug's mission, to the one of repentance, sorrow, and closure? I don't think we have a good answer yet.

I don't think there is any evidence of "ill intent" by the bug owner. (I've contacted him to tell him of this thread...perhaps he doesn't check e-mail often.)

 

Your suggestion of a modified mission is an interesting one. I suspect that the bug owner is not aware of what his great uncle was doing during the war, and will need some time to "process" that....if our suspicions are correct.

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[There are three important issues here:

1) can a bug's message saw the seeds of its own demise?

2) the message of this particular bug, and

3) the intent of its owner

I was trying to be as non-judgemental as possible and therefore I concentrated on #1. Yes, if a bug is causing deep resentment and anguish along its proposed route, it is not very likely to complete its mission. Isn't it obvious?

As to #2 ...I am suprised by some of the posters' attempts to trivialize the issue. A bug which intends to visit the sites of crimes against humanity, while proudly and unrepentantly impersonating the perpetrators, is extremely offensive and hateful.

Lastly, #3 ... was the owner aware of the issue? Could it be the result of ignorance, rather than ill intent? And can the owner modify the bug's mission, to the one of repentance, sorrow, and closure? I don't think we have a good answer yet.

Nicely put.

 

GC.com and geocaching in general proposes to be a family friendly activity.

 

I was reading some of the posts that suggest that the TB stay in Austria and simply not get moved by anyone who finds this offensive.

 

What would happen? Families would go to the cache, find the TB and instead of having a nice Saturday afternoon in the country with their children, get to have a painful discussion about Nazi otracities. Is this what you signed up for? Alternatively, it could become the least visited cache in Austria as long as it has the TB in it.

 

This TB may have been released in a manner that was intended to pay respects to both his/her uncles. It was probably wierd to grow up in that kind of situation, and this may have colored the judgement of the TB owner. The owner may have had no intention to cause offense to anyone. The fact is that this TB is deeply offensive to the people who also have uncles that died in the camps and died in the battles.

 

It was a poorly conceived idea, that should have been more carefully thought through before releasing the bug. The bug should be retired.

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Yes, I know my history. Yes, I know what happened there. But the real issue is not what happened 50 years ago but what is happening today.

 

Do you really belive that you have the right to take someone else's TB out of circulation based on your own beliefs?

 

That's the issue. Anthing about what happened 60 years ago is just you trying to direct people away from the real issue.

What you seem to ignore constantly is that the cachers in the region where BS's cache is located have a much more close relationship to what has happened in the past than most people at the other side of the world.

 

I was not accusing you of not knowing what happened during the Nazi time, I was just asking a specific question about the medical camp in Graz which is not well known. It is, however, not that easy for me to understand that you apparently think that there are cachers in the region who would like to move the Divided Family 2 TB forward.

So, the issue is not about taking a TB out of circulation.

 

One of the previous posters has formulated the dilemma much nicer than I can do it. English is not my native language and I cannot deal with the issue in an emotionless manner. It is too closely connected to the history of my home country and home town.

 

If you prefer to talk about the present, please let us know which solution you would suggest.

 

Cezanne

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If you prefer to talk about the present, please let us know which solution you would suggest.

1) remove the TB from the cache.

2) attempt to contact the owner of the bug and resolve the issue.

3) If you are unable to contact the bug owner or unable to resolve the issue between yourselves, contact you local approver or Groundspeak.com

 

If the original owner wants the bug returned to them, they should be able to arrange postage.

 

If both you and Groundspeak are unable to contact the bug owner, consider it abandoned.

 

Otherwise, work the issue out in a fashion acceptable to all parties. I believe that gc.com as the listing service and as the provider of the tags numbers has the final say on what is listed on their database. I also believe that the bug owner has the final say (and the responsibity to pay for) on the destruction or relocation of the bug.

 

In an area where possion of the bug would be illegal, turning the bug into the local authorities is understandable. (This could apply to nazi memorabilia or even a bong.) I'd prefer trying to contact the bug owner quickly about this, but I can understand where people may decide that even mailing such an object back to the owner is not a reasonable risk. I would be against simply destroying the bug because you believe possession of the bug is illegal. That's why I would rather involve the local authorites.

 

But I see no reason why a TB should be treated differently from a cache. Groundspeak does their best to involve the cache owner before de-listing and removal of a cache. The local cachers do not remove caches without working with the owners and without working with Groundspeak. Removal of a travel bug and placing it in the graveyard, which was the original plans of the poster, is the wrong thing to do. The goals of the bug in the first place may have been a bad decision but that does not justify making an equally bad decision regarding the action that's taken.

 

No matter how wrong subigo though Groundspeak's actions were, that didn't give him the right to take other people's caches. No matter how wrong anyone thinks the bug's goals are, that doesn't give them right to remove the bug the same way subigo removed caches.

Edited by bons
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If you prefer to talk about the present, please let us know which solution you would suggest.

1) remove the TB from the cache.

2) attempt to contact the owner of the bug and resolve the issue.

3) If you are unable to contact the bug owner or unable to resolve the issue between yourselves, contact you local approver or Groundspeak.com

 

BS has contact the cache owner, gc.com and Erik (the main approver for Europe - we do not have a local one). Only Erik has so far responded, and his suggestion was to change the item attached to the bug (replace the soldier by something else), but no one at the Austrian geocaching forum was happy with that suggestion. The message of the TB remains the same.

 

The action of BS to put the TB temporarily into a TB graveyard is only a virtual one - as someone else mentioned already a TB can easily transfered from the graveyard to any other place if the owner is responding and has a better suggestion.

 

I guess that when you made your suggestion 1) you forgot that BS would not feel comfortable with having the TB in his inventory. But what else can he do if he removes it from his cache, and is not putting it at some intermediary place?

 

If the original owner wants the bug returned to them, they should be able to arrange postage.

 

Did anyone say that such a solution cannot work out?

The suggestion for having an option for archival of a TB, is only for cases where the TB owner shows no reaction or no cooperation at all.

 

If both you and Groundspeak are unable to contact the bug owner, consider it abandoned.

 

I prefer clean procedures. An archival procedure would be nicer in such an ultimate case than considering a TB as "abandoned".

 

But I see no reason why a TB should be treated differently from a cache.

 

Me neither. But exactly for that reason I'd welcome that gc.com introduces the feature to archive a TB. (Of course, not the users of gc.com should be able to archive TBs of other people, only admins of gc.com, and only in very specific cases.)

 

Removal of a travel bug and placing it in the graveyard, which was the original plans of the poster, is the wrong thing to do.

 

But you suggested almost the same. The graveyard is not a real place. It is just a place to put the TB until gc.com or the owner respond (if this will ever be the case) to avoid leaving the TB in the cache or having it in one's own inventory.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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1) remove the TB from the cache.

2) attempt to contact the owner of the bug and resolve the issue.

3) If you are unable to contact the bug owner or unable to resolve the issue between yourselves, contact you local approver or Groundspeak.com

 

If the original owner wants the bug returned to them, they should be able to arrange postage.

 

If both you and Groundspeak are unable to contact the bug owner, consider it abandoned.

 

That is what I would do with an offensive or illegal TB and I agree is the best route to follow here.

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Only Erik has so far responded, and his suggestion was to change the item attached to the bug (replace  the soldier by something else), but no one at the Austrian geocaching forum was happy with that suggestion.

Thanks for the info ... I was afraid that someone will "solve" the issue by destroying the plastic Nazi figurine, which would have been a silly act of cheap symbolism. I don't know what to do with this t-bug, but it certainly shouldn't continue on its present mission.

Also, at a risk of going OT, I would like to take an issue with the bug owners' statement about his SS uncle

...being brave enough to fight for his convictions

To fight for WHAT? The man could have sincerely believed that others were Untermenschen and the rest of ugly Nazi stereotypes ... but at the time, nobody limited his freedom of hateful expression. If anything, his government promoted such views. He was fighting not to defend his ideology, but enrich himslef and his group with the lands, the property, and the fruits of slave labor of his European neighbors. Not to further his convictions that he and his pals were worthier than the others, but to steal from the others.

Edited by MOCKBA
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Thanks for the info ... I was afraid that someone will "solve" the issue by destroying the plastic Nazi figurine,

To be fair the figurine is a Werrmacht soldier, not an SS or Nazi soldier.

Werrmacht could be anyone from Germans not up to SS "standards" to captured Russians, Mongolians, or Koreans stuffed into a uniform and sent to fight Americans with the threat of being shot by an NCO if they didn't.

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Werrmacht could be anyone from Germans not up to SS "standards" to captured Russians, Mongolians, or Koreans stuffed into a uniform and sent to fight Americans with the threat of being shot by an NCO if they didn't.

Please tell me you are only kidding!

Good to know that the figurine could be a captured Russian, Mongolian, or Korean stuffed into a uniform. This certainly makes it much easier to accept the TB in question...

Gosh, that really makes me mad! :lol:

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Thanks for the info ... I was afraid that someone will "solve" the issue by destroying the plastic Nazi figurine,

To be fair the figurine is a Werrmacht soldier, not an SS or Nazi soldier.

Werrmacht could be anyone from Germans not up to SS "standards" to captured Russians, Mongolians, or Koreans stuffed into a uniform and sent to fight Americans with the threat of being shot by an NCO if they didn't.

It's Wehrmacht not Werrmacht, but that's just a minor issue. (Wehr means military forces in this context.)

 

The topic here is not about the figurine, but about the background which is given in the

TB's description.

 

The owner of the TB is mentioning the Waffen SS himself. Moreover, he mentions the medical camp in Graz. The story behind this TB is not about a soldier from the Wehrmacht who "simply" fought for his country.

 

Cezanne

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