SS reenactment

Discussion in 'General' started by Hellofawaytodie, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. Hellofawaytodie

    Hellofawaytodie No-Combat Experience

    Fuck, you're right. I never really thought that Veterans would really be on a website like this....
    If it was just History people arguing then that's one thing.
    Well i'll just shut my mouth then :|
     
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hellofawaytodie,
    I am afraid some of your earlier posts did not enamour you to many of our members.
    I have nothing against reenactors, at one time I did fancy joining a group but my preferred unit would have been a British one (after all I am British) and due to my physique I would have possibly been a slightly more authentic candidate than some I have seen;).
    Whilst I understand the interest in German units (and the respect for their military capability in WW2) I find the SS fascination slightly distasteful.
    At the tender age of 17 I am glad you have chosen to join WW2Talk and, I hope it is for the best of reasons. If I could give a word of advice I would think carefully before joining a German reenactors group - especially SS - as it can cause offence to some and create entirely the wrong impression in some circumstances.
    For anyone interested last year's MVT show at Damyn's Hall, Essex was excellent, many reenactors, AFVs, stalls and aircraft incl BBMF, Sally B etc. It is on again this year, next month in fact and I will certainly be there.
     
    Stormbird likes this.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin


    Reenacting's more complex than that though mate.
    I often wonder why I find myself dressed in the loopy big trousers of a period I'm not really all that interested in while rattling on to old dears about the evolution of Swords in Early modern Europe, and for me it probably boils down to the fact that many of my closest mates still do it, and some of the best drinking to be found can be done amongst them. You even sometimes get a good chat about tanks of an evening.

    Other than that personal point of view, and thinking back to why I first started at 15 - it's a laugh. You meet odd people, you sleep in castles & stately homes, sometimes have a fight, sometimes fail at making peculiar recipes, often piss yourself laughing at the attire and enforced demeanour of friends etc. etc.
    I can safely say that the group I'm in also has it's very serious side, edumacation is carried out, but the personal motivations are many and varied - I'm sure it's the same for WW2 German stuff.

    Perhaps the problem is partly how much the flashier/shouty/controversial types are so much more noticable in any period than the quietish bloke keeping some kids enthralled about machineguns, mines or a lovely old C8. Same in any arena where multiple groups come together I'd guess.

    If it was just History people arguing then that's one thing.
    Well i'll just shut my mouth then :|

    Seriously chap, you don't have to really.
    We've probably got the 'calling you a twat' phase over with, and Ron really has asked this question of quite a few denizens of the Internet over the years. Nobody's really answered him.

    If you can say more precisely why you fancied an SS reenactment group (even if you've decided against it) I'm pretty sure he would genuinely like to know the thought process.

    For me it'd probably go:
    Hmm, they have Kettenkrads.
    Mmmmm, Guns, real guns.
    Ooh, they do lots of vehicle shows.
    And obviously like a drink.
    Closely followed by:
    Ah, blimey, errr, ummmm, they're doing SS, ah, errrm, yes... Not worth the candle to attempt to deal with all the (entirely understandable) associated baggage and nastiness. Where's that bloke with the three Yank halftracks and bottle of Zubrowka gone? He seems to spend a lot of time with women in stockings, and nobody could see how fat and old I am in a halftrack.

    (Is it time to wheel out the modern Grossdeutschland picture yet?)
     
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Bumped into someone in a pub (Another cutting edge recruiting tool.) Now how does that work when i'm 17 ?

    There's the crux of the problem, young man. You should be spending more time down the pub and less time 'effing and blinding on the internet. Being 'only 17' has never stopped an enterprising youth from obtaining ale (nor being 'only 15', come to that), even if it did usually mean bribing old men of 20 to bring an extra half outside.;)
     
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  6. BottyWWFC

    BottyWWFC Member

    There's the crux of the problem, young man. You should be spending more time down the pub and less time 'effing and blinding on the internet. Being 'only 17' has never stopped an enterprising youth from obtaining ale (nor being 'only 15', come to that), even if it did usually mean bribing old men of 20 to bring an extra half outside.;)

    You would be surprised how difficult it is nowadays Rich. The authorities are hot on under-age drinking, even (somewhat immorally) sending youngsters into pubs and off-licences to try and buy beer in order to catch the licensee out. It almost smacks of a kind of SS ethos. Bar staff will challenge you to prove you are over 18 if they think you look under 25 years old. That's how scared the breweries are of being caught out.

    Anyway, back on topic. I don't see a problem in portraying an SS unit for re-enactment purposes as long as it is for authenticity purposes rather than glorification of their deeds and ethos. The kid "kind of" has a point where militarily the SS tactics, weaponry, battlefield courage, dedication, tenacity (a product of indoctrinated fanaticism) and above all Leadership were something to be admired, but then again this was probably the same in almost ALL branches of the German armed forces, only without the indoctrinated fanaticism which gave the SS that extra edge and contributed to the resulting tendency to commit atrocities.

    On the other hand, I hope he is not banking on a career in diplomacy :rolleyes:.
     
  7. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Points well made Botty
     
  8. Hellofawaytodie

    Hellofawaytodie No-Combat Experience

    The only real reason i was even thinking about the SS was just because it was another group. In a way, i had this idea that i could portray every type of army during the era, from the germans to americans to the russians. The SS was really just like an "extra" to add on. I was even thinkind because of the massive eveil attached to it, i could turn the SS reenactment into a good thing. Like, i would do some kind of dunk and toss with me being the steryotyipical german on the seat and people paying to throw balls at the target, and the money would have gone to a charity of some kind.
    But if the general view is negative, and if veterans wont even bother coming near you then there's no point in it. If i can't talk to veterans or people that know what actually happened i'm just a guy in a field in a dress up outfit.
     
  9. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hellofaway,
    If you really want to meet British veterans you would stand a much better chance by choosing a British unit for reenactment.
    Obviously armoured units like Ron's or Artillery are a bit difficult unless you happen to have a tank or a big gun handy but you could try any County Regiment or the Signals or REME. Airborne units are particularly popular (and you don't need a parachute).
     
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hellofawaytodie

    here is one veteran who will give you some advice....cut the bad language right now not only on the web but all day long -at 17 you have bit of growing up to do - get on with it - and don't act as if you are bigger than you are - you are not and we veterans had ways of knocking that out of many people - including the enemy- you might find as we did out in Italy that the 1st German Para Division was full of "big" men and they made life very difficult at times for us - BUT - it was little guys who finally tamed them.

    So... before you go swanking about - in any uniform -think of what some Britons - Canadians and Americans - not much older than yourself - are going through in Afghanistan right now - then google for an old friend of mine's article on his - Stan Scislowski's "Return to Cassino" as this might put your nonsense into perspective - and really see how many other young men died and get on with a life entirely different than the one we had when we had just left school and University was postponed for a few years.....THEN come back on the forum all grown up and ready to stand alongside many who have been through the mill in various campaigns since your SS was finally destroyed in WW2 as I note you still write in - bad English - you could use some work of that as the English Language is a great vehicle to express your ideas in good taste.
    Cheers
     
    James S likes this.
  11. Hellofawaytodie

    Hellofawaytodie No-Combat Experience

    That's made it as clear as possible. No more illusions
     
  12. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hope that doesn't put you off us mate, points have been made for the best of reasons. Take a day out if you like, think about things and come back.
    Ask some questions and you will get answers from the forum members.
    And very well informed answers you will get.
    I hope that you can learn from this forum, and hopefully pass your knowledge on to friends.
    War is not glorious, it is the worst abomination devised by Man.
    Occasionally it is deemed necessary but the price to some is pure agony.
     
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Hellofawaytodie,

    Deserved or not, I think you've taken enough of a battering for one day and you are clearly bright enough to reconsider your opinion when faced with new information. Some people never acquire that skill.
    Truth be known, many of us probably had similar outlooks at your age. With the passage of time, acquired knowledge and the guidance of many veterans, we have come to a different understanding of what war is and isn't. It remains a fascinating topic to the many who grace this forum so you can look forward to years of satisfying engagement with it (at least until you get married!!). Enjoy.

    Mike L has given some good advice and my personal recommendations is to read some veteran accounts. Those who were there and lived it provide the most compelling and visceral reading.
     
  14. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    Having been into WW2 re-enacting for the last 6 years or so (British and American) I can honestly say that I have never met a 'german' re-enactor that wasnt friendly, approachable, knowledgable and more importantly willing to educate others on the ins and outs of the German army. This includes those at the war and peace show at Beltring that were subject to that horrificly one sided channel 4 'documentary'. This also includes SS re-enactors.

    I do however fail to understand anyone who will willingly dresses as SS, simply because of what it means to many people. For re-enacting and living history it's important that you tell both sides. However I do think you can tell both sides without SS present. I don't really 'get it'.



    Off topic, but Mike, are you going to Damyns Hall again this year? I missed it last year because I was in the states, but am planning to go this year. Perhaps we could meet up for pint?
     
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  15. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Yes, I will be there Chris, with Hornchurch Drum and Trumpet Corps both days. Look forward to meeting you!
     
  16. Son of POW-Escaper

    Son of POW-Escaper Senior Member

    I am at a complete loss to understand why anyone would glorify a unit responsible for milions of deaths and war crimes.

    Marc
     
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  17. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    Perhaps marginally on topic, I've been reading "Moral Combat : Good and Evil in World War II" by Michael Burleigh, here's a link to a review. Moral Combat - The Barnes & Noble Review

    Anyway, I'd recommend it if your interested in comparisons of German, Russian, Japanese and Allied actions, good and evil (mostly evil) during WW2. It's also pretty good at illuminating the actions and words of some of those Germans who were "rehabilitated" after the war and idolized by some people. Germans like Manstein who although an army officer was pretty dirty but somehow managed to conceal his complicity in the mass murders that took place in the East, especially in his own memoir.

    I think that anyone who puts on a SS uniform will at some point in time find themselves defending their actions and probably end up defending the SS too, something nobody in their right mind should do.
     
  18. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hellofawaytodie

    here is one veteran who will give you some advice....cut the bad language right now not only on the web but all day long -at 17 you have bit of growing up to do - get on with it - and don't act as if you are bigger than you are - you are not and we veterans had ways of knocking that out of many people - including the enemy- you might find as we did out in Italy that the 1st German Para Division was full of "big" men and they made life very difficult at times for us - BUT - it was little guys who finally tamed them.

    So... before you go swanking about - in any uniform -think of what some Britons - Canadians and Americans - not much older than yourself - are going through in Afghanistan right now - then google for an old friend of mine's article on his - Stan Scislowski's "Return to Cassino" as this might put your nonsense into perspective - and really see how many other young men died and get on with a life entirely different than the one we had when we had just left school and University was postponed for a few years.....THEN come back on the forum all grown up and ready to stand alongside many who have been through the mill in various campaigns since your SS was finally destroyed in WW2 as I note you still write in - bad English - you could use some work of that as the English Language is a great vehicle to express your ideas in good taste.
    Cheers

    Well said Tom. I don't think there is a need for that kind of language on here or anywhere else.

    Lesley
     
  19. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Just in case some haven't noticed, this forum does allow swear words - it's up to the grown ups to use them, or not.

    I'm quite tempted myself to say something now and again but generally wimp out. Owen on the other hand makes very good use of them on the forum. ;)
     
  20. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Just a thought Diane-how old does one have to be to join the forum?
     

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