“Historian” stole WWII heroes’ dog tags from National Archives for profit

Antonin DeHays, a French historian living in College Park, Maryland, has been charged with stealing dog tags from National Archives II at College Park and selling them on Ebay.

The 32 year-old DeHays was also charged with the theft of government records in federal court Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Maryland in a news release.

Authorities said the dog tags of a downed Tuskegee airman were stolen and that
DeHays “donated” them to a Virginia museum in exchange to sit in a vintage Spitfire aircraft.

“The theft of our history should anger any citizen,” the Archivist of the United States David Ferriero said Tuesday in a statement, “but as a veteran I am shocked at allegations that a historian would show such disregard for records and artifacts documenting those captured or killed in World War II.”

A search of DeHays’ home led to the recovery of six more dog tags and documents missing from the National Archives. Facing up to 10 years in prison, DeHays admitted he stole the items for “personal financial gain,” according to a Washington Post article dated 14 June 2017.

Monuments Men

Second Lt. James J. Rorimer, second from left, supervising the recovery of paintings from Neuschwanstein Castle.  NARA Photo

Second Lt. James J. Rorimer, second from left, supervising the recovery of paintings from Neuschwanstein Castle. NARA Photo

I still have yet to read the book, but I’m really looking forward to the Monuments Men movie. It opens on February 7th, so still a little while to go. A description from the website: Monuments Men

WHO WERE THE MONUMENTS MEN?

​The Monuments Men were a group of men and women from thirteen nations, most of whom volunteered for service in the newly created Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, or MFAA. Most had expertise as museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. Their job description was simple: to save as much of the culture of Europe as they could during combat.

These men not only had the vision to understand the grave threat to the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of civilization, but then joined the front lines to do something about it.