Victory bell, WW2, aluminium

Contributed by PGB

Victory bell, WW2, aluminium

This is a hand-bell made by the Buckinghamshire Die-Casting Co. of Burnham, Bucks using aluminium alloy from German aircraft destroyed during World War II. It bears the heads of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in low relief. The handle bears a large 'V', again in low relief, on either side. Sale proceeds went to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Rather than ring, it makes a muted clatter. The alloy looks of low quality compared to contemporary materials and, to modern sensibilities, there is the matter of the loss of life that yielded the raw material: a modern market would be less accepting of such souvenirs of the battlefield.

It is a rather banal object - the creation of a tired people in austerity - and this befits its role over the last 60 years, which has been mainly to summon children and cats at feeding time. The V on the handle puts one in mind of the 'Victory'-products theme that runs through '1984'. It is unsatisfactory as a bell but, given that half of the continent of Europe remained under tyranny, the dissonance is about right.

However, it is kindly meant and the charity is unimpeachable.

Comments are closed for this object

Comments

  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 13:55 on 25 March 2012, Judgement_Germany wrote:

    Germany´s difficult structure of guilt
    - Attempt of a statement -


    The Victory bell stands for the purpose to fight for the human dignity in WWII.
    The human dignity in general: It´s for all that were persecuted in WWII and in Germany, the Jews, communists and socialists, homosexuals and gypsies, people that are said to belong to a "minor" race, the prisoners in the concentrations camps.

    Why has it come so far?

    We didn´t see an open political resistance in Germany, people that resisted were often brought to concentration camps, their families and relatives also captured. Open resistance in particular for individuals has been dangerous.

    Resistance was therefore in the underground, the White Rose Movement in Munich and Stauffenberg´s attempt to kill Hitler are the most outstanding movements with a network of supporters in the background.

    One could claim resistance was not strong enough and perhaps too late, but it is actually justified to claim every single German has been "Hitler´s willing persecutors" like Goldhagen said in his thesis?

    It speaks for itself that he doesn´t even mention the German resistance movement.

    But it is true that the majority of Germans believed within their private sphere during that time, doing nothing or not much against the inhumanity of the Nazi regime would mean to have no or at least much less problems.

    This seems to be the crucial point: a very short-sighted attitude that includes a high moral price to pay.

    The role and contribution of the churches in Nazi Germany turned out to be very bad. They had much more influence and power than today.

    The Nazis therefore feared the churches as public space "in counterpart" to the public they manipulated by their propaganda.
    The Bishop of Berlin ordered his staff to be silent in the public or to pray in the public against the Nazi´s goals.

    The churches in Germany have widely hidden themselves behind a self-built wall of silence in an attitude of overaccommodation on the expense of their "values" called justice, human rights and dignity, to help the persecuted victims of Nazi Germany.
    The resistance of some of them - Lichtenberg and Mayer - is only a weak alibi to wash themselves white.

    Doing nothing although you know that others are suffering is also an offence.

    To put it in a nutshell:

    Why was it not everyone in Germany, why only very few, that openly resisted in the space of the churches or in general in the public - despite the pressure and fears the Nazis have put on?

    A critical remembrance!

    Why didn´t the churches pray openly for the persecuted Jews, for the soldiers of the enemies, for the bombed-out people of Coventry and London?

    How can one be silent over an aggressive and hostile dictator?

    How does this come together with Jesus´ demand "to love the others", even the "enemies", the poor, the persecuted, the most weak?

    Why did the churches in Germany play such a "false game" that stands against their own moral standards?

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Burnham, Bucks

Culture
Period

Post 1945

Theme
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Humber.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.