Originally Posted by Cornstock
When I was in high school there was a vet that came and talked to our high school class. He had two whole tables of Nazi artifacts that he had pillaged when the Allies took back Denmark, if I remember correctly. He said when they would come up on a group of German soldiers they would all surrender and get on their knees with their hands behind their heads and he would just walk through their ranks, look at their medals, and any ones he thought were cool he would just take his knife and cut right off of their uniforms. He said they were never too happy about that but he was like "What are you gonna do about it?" He said he would send the medals home periodically, but he only got the chance to mail things every couple of weeks, so he would carry the stuff around in his coat until he got the chance. Also, when they marched into I believe Copenhagen and took back the capital, he was the one who climbed up on the capitol building and cut down the Nazi flag...Which he also carried around in his coat for weeks. He had that on display when he visited. It was huge. And badass.
That's cool. I read an article somewhere about a platoon of soldiers that were fighting in Poland (I think) that took a group of German infantrymen as prisoners. They went through their things as you mentioned and stripped several medals and insignia from the soldiers. One of the men in the article had taken 3 medals from a German soldier along with one of his dog tags, so that he had his name. In something like 1988, I believe, the man and his family had gone back to Europe to see some of the places he had fought and he took the medals and dogtag with him. He talked about realizing over the years that the German soldiers were just young kids doing as they were told, just like he was and that he had learned to forgive them. They were somehow able to find the German soldier alive in a small town outside of Munich, where the American returned the soldiers medals. The German man was stunned and extremely grateful.
I've always thought that was a really cool story.