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Hello,

we all see that the market of Soviet (and, generally, Russian awards) is very active, and I remember about strange things happened at auctions where pieces from the USSR were for sale: most auction houses describes them indicating the number engraved on the reverse, other show them with the numbers covered with "XXXX".

In 2007, at an auction in Basel, Swtzerland, all Soviet decorations have been withdrawn from the auction, after an action of the Russian Government.

In other words, are us from the western countries allowed to possess, buy, sell and auction Soviet Orders?

What's the real situation?

Best wishes,

Enzo

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Those who are willing to be bullied, are bullied--2008 just as in 1938.

Those who stand up, are not intimidated.

Kudos to Jani Tiainen and the Finnish government! :cheers:

The basic assertion of Putinia, Land Of Yesterday's Yesterday is that they are the successor and not the replacement of Stalinia. An exact parallel would be Germany demanding the return of all be-swastika'd 1939-45 awards as THEIR "property." :speechless:

However, since many of us have obtained our items from the independent breakaway Republics all too GLAD to be out from under Moscow's thumb, the dictat of the Kremlin no longer runs in those places.

The Ukraine, Latvia, and so on do not restrict Old Regime Communist awards leaving their borders. In fact, they are glad to be rid of them.

Moscow's assertion that they OWN Red Stars in Kiev or Tallinn is embarassingly idiotic.

Of course, this is in no way different from the shamefully infantile EU nonsense that Nazi items must have little blobs hiding their swastikas like figleafs on classical statues in the Victorian age.

Once free people allow morons and fools to dictate to them, silly little minor unimportant incremental foolishness becomes tyranny.

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Those who are willing to be bullied, are bullied--2008 just as in 1938.

Those who stand up, are not intimidated.

Kudos to Jani Tiainen and the Finnish government! :cheers:

The basic assertion of Putinia, Land Of Yesterday's Yesterday is that they are the successor and not the replacement of Stalinia. An exact parallel would be Germany demanding the return of all be-swastika'd 1939-45 awards as THEIR "property." :speechless:

However, since many of us have obtained our items from the independent breakaway Republics all too GLAD to be out from under Moscow's thumb, the dictat of the Kremlin no longer runs in those places.

The Ukraine, Latvia, and so on do not restrict Old Regime Communist awards leaving their borders. In fact, they are glad to be rid of them.

Moscow's assertion that they OWN Red Stars in Kiev or Tallinn is embarassingly idiotic.

Of course, this is in no way different from the shamefully infantile EU nonsense that Nazi items must have little blobs hiding their swastikas like figleafs on classical statues in the Victorian age.

Once free people allow morons and fools to dictate to them, silly little minor unimportant incremental foolishness becomes tyranny.

Rick,

At present in Russia are wanted as 25.000 awards stolen more and medals having number.

Criminals at abduction of awards even kill veterans.

But it certainly does not stop collectors.

The Russian government does not demand to return all Soviet awards.

But you should understand, that under the Russian laws to buy and sell awards of the USSR and the Russian Federation it is forbidden.

Take out abroad awards can only itself awarded or its successors.

If the award gets abroad another by this award has criminal history.

Certainly it concerns only awards being on territory of the Russian Federation.

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The Russian government does not demand to return all Soviet awards.

* * * * *

Rant.

Are you sure?

Try to get a Red Star out of Sheremetyevo and see if the customs bulls agree.

<<At present in Russia are wanted as 25.000 awards stolen more and medals having number. Criminals at abduction of awards even kill veterans. But it certainly does not stop collectors.>>

That's one heck of a non sequitor. Some murders are the fault of ordinary collectors? Should the Russians ban coin collecting on the same grounds? I imagine that murdering elderly veterans might be frowned upon as well. BTW, how are they doing at solving those crimes? Which part of all this should "stop collectors"? Stop the free exchange between consenting adults because the state defines it as some kind of crime? Well, count me among the libertarians on this one, and you already know my thoughts on "stolen valor". Stolen freedom, more accurately.

Willing buyer, willing seller, agreed price -- offer, acceptance, consideration -- who else's business is it? The state's? Are you kidding? The same state that defaulted on every major promise it made to the same veterans? (This year we're going to catch up on pensions. No, really, trust us this time.) The state should concentrate on the national interest. They have enough medals for display purposes from now to doomsday. They don't need to steal any more at the airport or from auction houses. They probably haven't catalogued the ones they repatriated in 1938. Too many, I suppose.

"The profiteers are to be shot at the place of the crime." -- Lenin; "Unless the state IS the profiteer." -- Chuck In Oregon

Hmmm ... Outlaw coin collecting and confiscate coins over 50 years old. Just a minute here. Sounds like free money to me. The state issued the coins, it didn't promise anyone they could keep them ... AND NOW WE WANT THEM BACK, YOU SUBVERSIVE CRIMINALS. And tell 'em it's for the kids ... and pensions ... and roads ... Wait. Didn't FDR try something like that?

"When coin collecting is outlawed, only outlaws will have coins." Boys, I think this one may have legs.

/Rant.

Chuck

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* * * * *

Rant.

Are you sure?

Try to get a Red Star out of Sheremetyevo and see if the customs bulls agree.

<<At present in Russia are wanted as 25.000 awards stolen more and medals having number. Criminals at abduction of awards even kill veterans. But it certainly does not stop collectors.>>

That's one heck of a non sequitor. Some murders are the fault of ordinary collectors? Should the Russians ban coin collecting on the same grounds? I imagine that murdering elderly veterans might be frowned upon as well. BTW, how are they doing at solving those crimes? Which part of all this <I>should "stop collectors"? Stop the free exchange between consenting adults because the state defines it as some kind of crime? Well, count me among the libertarians on this one, and you already know my thoughts on "stolen valor". Stolen freedom, more accurately.

Willing buyer, willing seller, agreed price -- offer, acceptance, consideration -- who else's business is it? The state's? Are you kidding? The same state that defaulted on every major promise it made to the same veterans? (This year we're going to catch up on pensions. No, really, trust us this time.) The state should concentrate on the national interest. They have enough medals for display purposes from now to doomsday. They don't need to steal any more at the airport or from auction houses. They probably haven't catalogued the ones they repatriated in 1938. Too many, I suppose.

"The profiteers are to be shot at the place of the crime." -- Lenin; "Unless the state IS the profiteer." -- Chuck In Oregon

Hmmm ... Outlaw coin collecting and confiscate coins over 50 years old. Just a minute here. Sounds like free money to me. The state issued the coins, it didn't promise anyone they could keep them ... AND NOW WE WANT THEM BACK, YOU SUBVERSIVE CRIMINALS. And tell 'em it's for the kids ... and pensions ... and roads ... Wait. Didn't FDR try something like that?

"When coin collecting is outlawed, only outlaws will have coins." Boys, I think this one may have legs.

/Rant.

Chuck

I know that at me bad English.

Unfortunately you have not understood, that I wished to tell.

If to judge under your letter you very much do not love Russia and probably understand Russian.

Then I will tell in Russian:

Запрещать коллекционерам владеть наградами своей страны - глупо.

Но закон - это закон. И его надо уважать, но если он не нравиться, то пытаться его изменить.

И в Государственной Думе ряд депутатов это понимают, так как сами являются коллекционерами, но так же всем понятно, что пока жив хоть один ветеран - это не возможно.

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I understand that this discussion opens many problems on how "legal" phaleristic collecting could be.

Let's say my thought in simple words:

what could happen if -in the western world- a group of Soviet orders would be offered for sale at an auction? I mean with well visible and indicated serial numbers, etc.

In the recent past, I've seen that in at least two auctions (f.e. Basel, Switzerland, January 2007) all soviet pieces have been withdrawn from the sale.

In November 2007, at the NY Markov auction, all numbers were clearly visible and nothing happened. At a recent Auction in Hamburg, the reverse of all Soviet orders was visible, but the numbers were covered with some "X".

Could be a risk, if a collector would sell at auction his USSR pieces, collected in the 80s-90s?

A Russian dealer, recently warned a western European auctioneer on not to show or quote any serial number on his catalogues (except sentences like "4-digit number" or "with serial number", etc.), to avoid a serious reaction from the Russian Government.

I think that this warning is very strange, because either the number is quoted or not, Russian authorities could react the same...

I'm lost...

Elmar Lang

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Elmar,

Nobody can take away from you the Soviet awards if you want to sell them.

If someone returns awards to Russia is a good will and no more that.

But it will be pleasant to you to know that the award being at you is stolen? Here on it also hide numbers at auctions. Suddenly somewhere will write, that this award is stolen.

Steal awards not only from veterans, but also at collectors.

Thus it is necessary to consider, that very much the most part of the Soviet awards on sale at the western auctions are fakes.

At the Russian forums it is often possible to meet discussions of the western auctions and unfortunately even large auctions do not hesitate to sell a forgery.

Roman

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Thus it is necessary to consider, that very much the most part of the Soviet awards on sale at the western auctions are fakes.

At the Russian forums it is often possible to meet discussions of the western auctions and unfortunately even large auctions do not hesitate to sell a forgery.

Yes Roman,

sadly many dealer sell knowingly fakes to make a quick bug.

regards

Andreas

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I understand that this discussion opens many problems on how "legal" phaleristic collecting could be.

Let's say my thought in simple words:

what could happen if -in the western world- a group of Soviet orders would be offered for sale at an auction? I mean with well visible and indicated serial numbers, etc.

In the recent past, I've seen that in at least two auctions (f.e. Basel, Switzerland, January 2007) all soviet pieces have been withdrawn from the sale.

In November 2007, at the NY Markov auction, all numbers were clearly visible and nothing happened. At a recent Auction in Hamburg, the reverse of all Soviet orders was visible, but the numbers were covered with some "X".

Could be a risk, if a collector would sell at auction his USSR pieces, collected in the 80s-90s?

A Russian dealer, recently warned a western European auctioneer on not to show or quote any serial number on his catalogues (except sentences like "4-digit number" or "with serial number", etc.), to avoid a serious reaction from the Russian Government.

I think that this warning is very strange, because either the number is quoted or not, Russian authorities could react the same...

I'm lost...

Elmar Lang

Elmar,

I think that so far, everyone has provided the actual bits and pieces of this puzzle.

First, we need to remember one thing: the law is country specific (despite what some may believe/think). This means that Russian Law applies everywhere on Russian territory, but only on Russian territory. If you are not there, you must abide by your local law, not that of a foreign country (hence, for instance, you can legally buy and sell a US Medal of Honor in Italy or in Peru).

Next the issue of stolen orders and medals. I believe that this is actually the heart of the matter at hand. Let's try and keep politics and opinions aside, and try to have a depassionate look at this issue.

Some Soviet orders and medals have been stolen from:

a) their actual recipients (some of them - Admiral Kholostyakov for example - being murdered in the process)

b) the State Award Repository (OMDs either not issued and/or numbered)

c) various museums, from the largest one - Central Museum of the Armed Forces in Moscow- down to small countryside museums

d) collectors and others - these are irrelevant to this discussion

Like it or not, the fact is that some orders in our collections do come from the first 3 categories. What is the problem with these? They have been stolen from their rightful owners.

The Russian Ministry of Culture has recently published a fairly lavish book that lists all the serial numbers of such stolen orders and medals (I had it in my hands, A4 format and a couple of hundred pages) with details about their disappearance.

As far as I know, in most countries - and especially so in the US, if I accurately recall my legal classes - title cannot be released and transfered on stolen goods; I find it somewhat ironic when it is argued that:

"Willing buyer, willing seller, agreed price -- offer, acceptance, consideration -- who else's business is it? The state's? Are you kidding?"
No! In this case, we are NOT kidding, it is indeed the State's business (actually, multiple states are/should be involved).

If we look back impartially on the Sotheby's fiasco, we must remember that the Russian government did not ask that all lots of Soviet OMDs on that auction be withdrawn; they requested that specific lots be withdrawn, lots which happened to fall into one of the first 3 categories I outlined above - for example, the Order of Ushakov 1st class #125, which was unissued and had been "liberated" from the Order repository.

Until recently we were standing in the dark, with no way to know if our orders and medals were legitimate or if they were stolen property. Since the Ministry of Culture published its list, the situation has drastically changed, although no one really seems to care about that.

I hope that this clears up somewhat the issue.

Marc

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The situation outside Russia is this:

SOMEBODY in the Putin regime is working from the idiotic legal fantasy that every :sleep: Military Merit Medal and :sleep: Red Star ever MADE belongs to the current Government of the Russian Federation. Period.

We are not talking about elderly heroes with awards worth 6 figures murdered by Mafia scum stealing their awards for the loot-ocrats, but of the ORDINARY awards of long forgotten Sergeants and Captains and Lieutenant Colonels which ended up at flea markets, sold off by desperate widows in the bad early 1990s-- or by children and grandchildren who did not CARE about their own family history and threw these items away to us, who appreciate and honor them as much as if they were our own family's awards.

For the most part, our collection items come from the independent republics of the Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, and so on where there is ZERO legal restriction on any of these items whatsoever.

Yet the Putin government asserts that ALL awards ever made by the Soviet Union are its sole property ALONE, and FOREVER.

Pressure applied by government agents of the Russian Federation in western countries is NOT directed at returning the treasures of murdered heroes-- which, I would submit, are in the mirrored "play rooms" of drug dealers and instant oil billionairres etc etc IN RUSSIA...

but of ALL items, in totality. Defense of Leningrad Medals... Otlichnik badges... E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Madness!!!!!!

DESPITE how many millions and millions were issued, and with no regard to where or when they were acquired.

The intention and purpose is to "criminalize" ALL collecting of SOVIET awards and pressure cowards and fools into handing them over en masse into the hands of Russian Federation government employees...

from whose clutches NOBODY will ever see them again as they disappear AGAIN into the INTERNAL Russian collecting market-- 15 years long service Red Stars not being Hermitage treausres of Cultural Patrimony. :rolleyes:

When WE bought these awards, 10 years and more ago, they were "worthless." People actually LAUGHED at us for buying "that Communist junk." Nobody was murdered. Nobody was robbed. These items were flea market offerings. :sleep:

NOW, when $40 long service :sleep: Red Banners are routinely being sold for an insane :speechless: $500+, it is the INTERNAL RUSSIAN COLLECTING MARKET sucking everything back that was thrown away 10 years ago as "those stupid tourists want to pay money for this stuff, sell it to the fools then!"

WE are not killing old age pensioners for their medals.

Most frightening of all is the Putin government's legal claim that IT is the SUCCESSOR of STALIN-- and the "legal" New Soviet Union rather than the REPLACEMENT of Communist tyranny by a free democratic Republic. The German government does not claim --indeed, BOAST--that IT is the Heir Of Hitler. The French government does not assert that IT is the Empire of Napoleon. :speechless:

Bureaucrats are running MAD. And a "free" government that asserts it is the legal heir to a dictatorship

is very very scary indeed.

We thought we were PAST all of that, united against the common enemy butchering our children and unarmed people in our streets.

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Hi all,

now, I see some "light at the other end of the tunnel"!

I beg your pardon for my ignorance... I didn't know that the Russian Authorities published a list/book about stolen Soviet Orders & Decorations. This would be an invaluable help to collectors and/or dealers.

Where would this book be available?

Best wishes,

Elmar Lang

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Rick,

You a little not correctly understand a legal situation.

Russia not successors or Stalin's continuers.

Yes, Russia the successor of the USSR, but it concerns payments of the international debts. Anybody except Russia has not wanted to pay debts of the USSR.

And you think at once, that in Russia new Stalin etc.

I invite you to arrive to Russia and to look all the eyes.

Believe to me, that else 10 years back we lived much worse.

As well as it is not pleasant to you to me, that to collectors forbid to collect awards of the country as collectors hold in remembrance people forgotten by the descendants.

You do not think, what someone will come to you home and will demand to give the Soviet awards?

All excitements are vain.

That that is spoken by officials about return of the Soviet awards is for ears of the Russian voters.

Regards

Roman

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...Yet the Putin government asserts that ALL awards ever made by the Soviet Union are its sole property ALONE, and FOREVER...

Rick,

Let's try to keep passion and opinions out of this debate, if we can.

Now, can you please show me concrete evidence of what you wrote above in the quote.

I have been living in Russia for the best part of the past 7 years, and I cannot for the life of me find anything in print or in video which states what you say, other than opinions. Since the claim is "so well established" and incriminates the Government itself, it must be based upon a declaration by a top official, or some ministry publication, or ???

Marc

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Hello Marc,

In one of your posts, I've read "...The Russian Ministry of Culture has recently published a fairly lavish book that lists all the serial numbers of such stolen orders and medals (I had it in my hands, A4 format and a couple of hundred pages) with details about their disappearance...".

Where would this book be available, or downloadable?

Thank you very much for your help,

Elmar Lang

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Hello Marc,

In one of your posts, I've read "...The Russian Ministry of Culture has recently published a fairly lavish book that lists all the serial numbers of such stolen orders and medals (I had it in my hands, A4 format and a couple of hundred pages) with details about their disappearance...".

Where would this book be available, or downloadable?

Thank you very much for your help,

Elmar Lang

Elmar,

Off hand, I can't tell you. I'll have a look around and let you know.

Marc

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