Some archeologists are condemning a new television series from National Geographic because of how they treat the deceased. They claim that it was unprofessional of the TV show for not treating the remains of a dead soldier of World War 2 right.
National Geographic Channel International is defending the four-part series, “Nazi War Diggers,” which will be aired in Britain in May. The channel says that there were licensed authorities in Latvia and Poland during the time that they dig the bones. Adding that, the bones were later sent back.
But, in an email that was sent to its critic on Friday, National Geographic agreed that the video clip that was used to promote the show didn’t show some respect for the deceased. The video was about the digging of “German soldier’s leg bone,” was pulled from the channel’s website on Thursday following the time that it draws more than 100 negative comments and a flurry of angry emails and online condemnations from professional archaeologists, anthropologists and military historians. Another set of photos that were pulled from the website were one of the show’s participants holding a skull and studying other bones.
Tony Pollard, director of the Center for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, who has appeared on National Geographic programs and other documentaries about the unearthing of war dead, said that he has never seen such a casual and improper attitude toward the treatment of human remains.
Some archeologists posted the minute-long video on YouTube and other websites on Thursday. But National Geographic, citing copyright infringement, wants those clips out of the internet. Chris Albert, a spokesman for National Geographic Channel in Washington, said that they realized the issues raised, but people are misinterpreting it.
In a news release that announces the show, the company said its cast of four — two metal-detecting specialists; a Polish-born relic hunter and an American military antiquities dealer — would head to the “remote forests and fields of Eastern Europe” and look for history of war in the area to find some relics.
In one of its press materials, Craig Gottlieb, a dealer in military artifacts, says: “I feel that by selling things that are Nazi-related and for lots of money, I’m preserving a part of history that museums don’t want to bother with.” But that comment was deleted by Friday.
National Geographic claimed that the relics would be given to the museum, wherein it can be viewed by different people to know more about history. Adding that, the show would never sold it in the market.