A holocaust survivor medal from Belgium was recently featured on the Antiques Roadshow. I was unaware these existed.
The antique fan asked the owner: "So I understand you have a mystery. You found something and you don't know what it is. Where did you find it?"
The owner told: "Unfortunately my mum passed away in February this year and while we were sorting out her things we came across the medal that belonged to my grandad Tommy, which was her father.
"So it's all been a bit of a mystery because we couldn't find out why he actually got the medal."
Mark then quizzed the owner's daughter, as he asked: "Do you know anything about it?"
"All I know is my great-grandad Tommy used to travel to Austen quite a lot but aside from that nothing," she shared.
"Did he go often like maybe once a year? Some sort of a reunion of some description," Mark suggested.
"We believe so," the owner shared and the expert explained: "So the medal you've got is a medal that was made in 1955 and that's when he's been given this.
"He's not been awarded this. It's been given to him as a present, it's something that he does on a yearly basis as far as I can work out where he's taking back old soldiers.
"And the group in Belgium he has affiliated himself with are a very rare group of people because they are concentration camps survivors.
"Now this is in Belgium, in Breendonk just outside Brussels, and like all other concentration camps it's just as horrible."
"It had two gas chambers, it had firing post to execute people, it had gallows to hang people and it had torture chambers and it's still there," Mark continued.
"Now your medallion is the 10th anniversary medal for the liberation of concentration camps and they were given to people, Belgians who had been in concentration camps, so the medal you actually have on the front of it shows a prisoner wearing a concentration camp uniform.
"But on the back, this bit in the middle is a triangle with a B, and that is the badge that was sown on the concentration camp uniform to show that you were Belgian, it could have a P for Polish.
"Now we always give you a valuation on the Antiques Roadshow," he added.
"But we don't give valuations to Holocaust things because there is no price you can put on what someone went through to be awarded that medal.
These are poor images - screen captures from the BBC show. Does anyone have better images or information on these pieces?
To read the complete article, see:
Antiques Roadshow expert refuses to value WWII medal over its distressing origin
Wayne Homren, Editor
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