National Geographic has been at the forefront of education for as long as its magazine began publication in 1888. They began broadcasting their own TV channels over fifteen years ago to share educational documentaries with people worldwide. Now their newest show, “Nazi War Diggers,” is sparking controversy by digging up the dirt on war heroes—literally.
“Nazi War Diggers” is a show which will begin airing in May. The creators of the show claim that they are saving history by defending it from looters, though many are looking down on the archaeological crew on the show as being little more than looters themselves. The hosts on “Nazi War Diggers” have put forth a preview of the show in which they dig up remains in Latvia, and actual battlefield archaeologists have pointed out several flaws in just the short preview alone.
Not only are the hosts accused of treating the remains as trophies, but they apparently have a limited understanding of the remains they are unearthing in the first place. One of the most disgraceful moments, according to archaeologists, is a moment in which the “Nazi War Diggers” team unearths what they suppose is an arm bone when in fact they have unearthed the soldier’s femur.
It goes deeper than a simple matter of respect. While the show claims to be saving history, many historians have pointed out that “Nazi War Diggers” does not follow proper protocol on their digs, and may in fact be destroying more history than they are discovering. According to some, they are also taking away from the weight of their discoveries by airing them on what many of the show’s opponents have deemed to be another entry in the long chronicle of insensitive reality shows produced for little more than shock value, the Mail Online reports.
Because “Nazi War Diggers” appears to glorify its hosts as heroes, there is a fear that the show will cause more looting by those who see the program and want to take part in the action. One show host, Craig Gottlieb, has said that making profits off of the items he discovers is a good thing, adding to the amount of history in circulation. While National Geographic is defending “Nazi War Diggers,” many have noticed that they still took down Gottlieb’s quote as well as the video itself. Opponents find it questionable that the video would be removed, as National Geographic claims the excavations were performed with utmost professionalism.