SS reenactment

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

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  1. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    First, Von Poop, I'd like to apologise to the forum members for my short, and not very thoughtful comment on Hellofawaytodie's submission.

    Weekend before last I was raising money for H4H at Badsey, at the War in the Vale exhibition/demonstration or whatever they call it.

    There were loads of re-enactors there. What puzzled me was the majority of people were dressed as:
    a. Americans - Army/USAAF
    b. Germans - SS/Whermacht
    c. British - RAF/Army, and very much in the minority.

    There were loads of ladies dressed in period costume both military and civilian (always love a lady in uniform) although personally the 1920/30 is the best time for ladies fashion, I'm straying off the point here, but with good reason!

    I can understand the fascination with German uniforms after all Bryan Ferry got sacked from M&S because he said they had style about their uniforms, I have to agree. They lead the field in smart, well camoflaged and yes stylish kit - until the Americans turned up. I have to admit the British did and always have lagged behind in the swanky kit stakes. My first issued shirts had 1946 and 53 labels in them, that's before I was born.

    What I cannot get my head around is why the adouration, the reverance and mystique that the Waffen SS are held in. Towards the middle and end period of WW2 they took anyone in. What of the Aryan purity then?

    They were probably selected for the same reasons as we now select Paras and Marine Commandos, but without the racists political doctrine. Countries will always need hard, tough, dedicated, disciplined (dare I say it 'elite') troops. What we don't need is murdering bastards.

    Sorry I swore (I was a squaddie).
     
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  2. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    What I cannot get my head around is why the adouration, the reverance and mystique that the Waffen SS are held in

    John,

    I share your puzzlement over that. Must be the cool uniforms, weapons and 60 years of adoration by many historians.

    I take my cue from our veterans, particularly as it relates to the 12th SS. Our modest, volunteer soldiers, who began as amateurs quickly mastered the art and the reality is that they kicked the living shit out of those fanatical bastards.
    Sorry, not a squaddie, just a Canadian!
     
  3. pzjgr

    pzjgr Member

    Well I probably won't win any points here but I don't see anything wrong with anybody wanting to re-enact as a Waffen SS soldier. Somebody has to do it. If we don't remember than we are more than likely to repeat past mistakes.

    The real issue at hand is the enactor's intent. Is it to portray history with educational purposes or to glorify the Aryan superior soldier? Hellofawaytodie's introduction into this topic was not, how should we say.....properly presented. He does make some good points but perhaps it is his youthful inexperience showing.

    Nevertheless, I'd say that prior to jumping in he should become an expert on his choice so that he will properly portray his character and not be just some wannabe. This will garner more respect. Also, I have seen several other members posting pics and tagging on offenses to the Waffen SS which in fact were conducted at the hands of the einsatzgruppen.....a whole different lot. Also remember that the Waffen SS ranks were not filled with blond haired, blue eyed aryans. Majority were volunteers but there were conscripts as well. A very large portion of the Waffen SS ranks where those of non-Germans. These are the things that should be portrayed.

    Yes, they did commit offenses in the field of battle but so did the other countries. Future generations need to know the full story of the war. Not to glorify but to keep from allow such evil from rising up again.

    I attended a re-enactment where there was a 9 yr old HJ re-enactor and he did a very good job of educating the public on the uniform, the expectations and the life of his character. At first I thought, what a thing to have a kid do. But afterwards, I was impressed. His mother was a German Red Cross nurse and father obviously a German Army soldier. Even some of the vets made positive comments on their camp.

    Again, what is the intent behind the portrayal? That is the key.

    OK, time for the burns......
     
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  4. tasker

    tasker Member

    Have to say I agree with Canuck, simply put they were not supermen, if they had been we would all be speaking/typing in a different language now, with totally different views. For the sake of history they and their kind should never be forgotten, so that it can never happen again.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Last time I chatted to an SS Reenactment mob a few years back (passing interest in their borrowed SdKfz.222s mocked up from Land Rovers), half of 'em were from Essex, and there were serving & ex squaddies amongst 'em.

    Personally, I couldn't really give a toss what military unit's people choose to reenact, from Pol Pot to Adolf's gang, as long as there aren't any actual mass graves being dug and the law of the land's being observed then it's got little to do with me.
    I do remain somewhat puzzled at the predominance of rather 'obvious' units at shows - FJ & WSS are so common. If it were me I think you'd have a lot more fun portraying a rather run down Magen Battalion (maybe not with authenti-latrines as part of the show) or Feldkuchen, but again, s'nothing to do with me, and film companies are maybe less likely to hire such mobs.
    I don't ever see myself doing the reenacting thing. Given my age, I'd look ridunculous dressed up as a private, but you have given me some ideas if I were ever to do so.
    Thinking about it - I'd like to see a Horse-served large artillery piece being moderately authentically dragged across a muddy field one day, that'd be more worth a watch to me rather than the tired, and slightly cliched, packs of chubby geezers in flecktarn.

    [​IMG]

    Nice to see on the allied side of WW2 reenactment that more and more 'normal' units seem to be popping up - definitely a bit of an airborne bias in that area over the years. Saw one lot doing Welch Regiment (or similar) and they looked great as they were made up almost completely of young skinny blokes.
    I'm not surprised at all.

    They have 'em over here in the War of Southern Independence reenactors. I saw one being transported on the interstate a while back. There was a cannon on a trailer, followed by another truck pulling a 4-horse horse trailer.

    Volkssturm and probably avoid the atrocity tag as well. Also cheap, an armband, a long coat and a faust and you're there.
    Hmmmmm....maybe I will do the reenacting thing...as a volkstrum. I have a black trenchcoat, I guess I could drag it behind the four-wheeler throught woods a bit first, to get that worn-in look.

    Why not Kriegsmarine? Lack of U-boat?
    That does present some problems, especially in land-locked battles, to see a U-boat crew lurking about.

    Quality.
    Do you see many Soviet units reenacting?

    Stefan over at WW2F used to reenact a Soviet infantryman.
    We had a group post there one time looking for members.
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    13, as that's the legal age of 'a child' on the Internerd.
    People indirectly declare their age on joining (with a birthdate), that way we're covered on the child protection front, and if anyone chooses to lie to us then that's their lookout.

    Swearing's fine with me - it has it's appropriate context in adult conversation. No need for overuse maybe, but I never bat an eyelid at it when the heat's turned up a bit.

    (My comments earlier weren't about swearing. More in the nature of a teacher left on playground duty who's quite enjoying the building punch-up really, but felt kind of obliged to step in and damp things just a tad ;). )
     
  7. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Don't get me wrong I'm not a fuddy-duddy- but I still don't like the "f" word - I think we can express ourselves without using it.
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    4jonboy-
    Couldn't agree more - to me that invariably indicates a lack of knowledge of better expressive words in the language -
    Cheers
     
  9. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    I find the "F" word is best used while driving, for that matter, I seem to find most of my swear words roll off the tongue readily while I'm behind the wheel and behind an idiot.
     
  10. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I find the "F" word is best used while driving, for that matter, I seem to find most of my swear words roll off the tongue readily while I'm behind the wheel and behind an idiot.

    I second that and also while my missus is trying to decorate the bathroom, those words also come in very handy.:D
     
  11. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    I tend to swear quite a lot, but it always depends on the company. I don't think I've ever felt the need to randomly post expletives on a forum such as this...it's not necessary.

    My recent re-introduction to modelling (the plastic kit variety) seems to have turned the heat up on my language somewhat! It's the bastard annoying metal detail parts that get me! aargh
     
  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    My recent re-introduction to modelling (the plastic kit variety) seems to have turned the heat up on my language somewhat! It's the bastard annoying metal detail parts that get me! aargh

    They would make a preacher cuss.:lol:
     
  13. woapysittank

    woapysittank Member

    I'm with tmm, I swear often, eloquently and try to avoid repetition. However there is a time and a place for everything (i.e. I'm awake).

    Whoever mentioned wartime in the vale that was where I saw the (over weight and equally over age) members of SS HJ. But their Sd 222 is brill. There was a level of realism as their pretend (but not bad conversion) Opel Blitz had to be towed onto the field. The battle re-enactment was bizarre but worth it for the sound of the MP40's and the poor Brit whose Sten was so realistic it jammed at least twice in a 15 min reenactment.
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Again, what is the intent behind the portrayal? That is the key.

    OK, time for the burns......

    Look what the dog brought in :biggrin:

    No burns, those were (mostly) wise words :smile:

    I know 'some' members layed it on a bit thick, but at times you need to look at the effect, not the picky detail. Besides, which armband or collar tabs people wore is immaterial: it was all ultimately the same organization, all responding to Himmler.

    Believe me, I know enough on the recruitment angle, the late war conscription, the forced transfers from other branches, etc. I can give more than enough allowance to most who were there and should not be tarred with the same broad-brush, I don't wear horse blinders. As I agreed with the above - what is the intent behind the portrayal? - I have to take with a bucket of salt those who decide to slap an eagle on their left arm. I know what reenacting is, if you have a Gen. Custer you also have to have the - well - the Injuns. But I have no simpathy for these particular Injuns. None at all.

    Yes, they did commit offenses in the field of battle but so did the other countries.
    Here I disagree. Not many other governments published legislation like the pearl below. No other one did on the Allied side.

    Barbarossa Decree of 13 May 1941
    Decree on the jurisdiction of martial law and on special measures of the troops

    The exercise of martial law serves primarily to maintain military discipline.
    The wide extent of operational space in the East, the form of combat that this offers, and the peculiarity of the enemy, present tasks to the courts martial...that, with their limited personnel, they can only solve, if military law restricts itself for the time being to its central task.

    That is only possible if the troops themselves defend themselves against every threat from the enemy civilian population without mercy....

    I. Treatment of criminal acts by enemy civilians

    1. Criminal acts of enemy civilians are withdrawn until further notice from the jurisdiction of courts-martial and summary courts.

    2. Guerrillas are to be dispatched without mercy by the troops either in combat or while trying to escape.

    3. Furthermore, all other attacks by enemy civilians against the Wehrmacht, its members and retinue are to be repelled on the spot by the most extreme measures up to the destruction of the attacker.

    4. Where measures of this kind were missed or were initially not possible, the suspicious elements are to be immediately brought before an officer. He will decide whether they are to be shot.
    Collective drastic action will be taken immediately against communities from which treacherous or insidious attacks against the Wehrmacht are launched, on the orders of an officer with at least the rank of battalion commander upwards, if the circumstances do not permit a speedy apprehension of individual culprits.

    5. It is expressly forbidden to detain suspected culprits, in order to hand them over to the courts when jurisdiction over native inhabitants is restored to these.

    II. Treatment of criminal acts by members of the Wehrmacht or its retinue against native civilians

    1. For acts which members of the Wehrmacht or its retinue commit against enemy civilians, there is no compulsion to prosecute, even when the act represents at the same time a military crime or offense.

    2. In judging such deeds it is to be considered in any proceedings that the collapse in the year 1918, the later period of suffering of the German people, and the battle against National Socialism with the movement’s countless sacrifices of blood are incontestably to be attributed to Bolshevik influence, and that no German has forgotten that.

    3. The chairman of the court must therefore examine whether a disciplinary reprimand is appropriate or whether it is necessary to institute judicial proceedings. The chairman only orders court-martial proceedings for acts against native inhabitants, when the maintenance of discipline or the protection of the troops demands it. That applies, for example, in the case of serious acts that result from the loss of sexual restraint, are derived from a criminal disposition, or are a sign that the troops are threatening to run wild. Criminal acts, by which lodgings or supplies or other plunder are senselessly destroyed to the detriment of our own troops, are not on the whole to be judged more leniently.

    This was signed by Keitel, the Gröfaz would always made others sign this kind of material for him.
     
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  15. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Looking back to the beginning of this thread I can see that it has been a bit of a roller coaster.

    It started off as a fairly simple, if a tad confused, statement by a rather strangely named new forum member who seemed anxious that we should know his attitude towards re-enactment and in particular his take on how best to educate others on the ethos of the S.S.

    I replied, of course, mainly because I felt I owed it to those who had been slaughtered by the efforts of those bastards not to let what appeared to be yet another effort to glorify them go un-noticed, but also because I felt the young man was being over flippant and completely insensitive to the feelings of others.

    Over the course of the thread I see we have had the odd justification of re-enaction itself although I stress here that I have no beef with that particular hobby, why should I ?, but only with those who seek to glorify one of the most infamous tools of the Third Reich.

    I now see that the thread has now drifted quite a bit and we are discussing the use of profanity.

    I suppose I have now been equally guilty of using a swear word myself, see above, but in all honesty, in it's context, no other word would have sufficed.

    Finally, I still wonder whether or not I will ever have a completely honest answer in reply to my earlier query

    Ron
     
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    To be perfectly honest, along with my american and wehmacht group (Yes, i'm joining more than one)


    You are going to join how many reenactment groups???
    How much money do you have ???
    That's going to cost £££££££.
    What happened to the Soviet uniform you were asking about on one of your other threads?
     
  17. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    /opens popcorn
     
  18. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Za,
    That is a seriously worrying document - says a lot about the mindset of the German forces on the Eastern Front - thanks for posting.
     
  19. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    The real issue at hand is the enactor's intent. Is it to portray history with educational purposes or to glorify the Aryan superior soldier?


    ...what about knowledge on what you're portraying? You might wish only the best, but showing a lack of knowledge might easily snub other people - e.g. me, and I've spent quite some time researching the subject.

    Sorry hoawtd, but the replies you got certainly wouldn't have been so harsh and heated had you been prepared better and tried to reasonably explain your goals instead of being offended.

    Also, I have seen several other members posting pics and tagging on offenses to the Waffen SS which in fact were conducted at the hands of the einsatzgruppen.....a whole different lot. Also remember that the Waffen SS ranks were not filled with blond haired, blue eyed aryans. Majority were volunteers but there were conscripts as well. A very large portion of the Waffen SS ranks where those of non-Germans. These are the things that should be portrayed.

    It's true that the Waffen-SS of 1941 and the one of late 1944 wasn't the same at all. And it's true that many of its members were in fact conscripts (or as Heinrich called them: forced volunteers). What you seem to forget is that the whole lot was deeply involved in crimes, no matter what branch (or nationality). And even though Waffen-SS was indeed falsely blamed in some cases, it doesn't fundamentally change its character, which was, I dare say, criminal - after all it was always a part of the SS, and esp the officer corps was holding NS ideology quite dear.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Za,
    That is a seriously worrying document - says a lot about the mindset of the German forces on the Eastern Front - thanks for posting.

    Thank you for your comment, Mike. In this forum the Eastern Front (a German designation) takes a back seat, which is quite natural being mostly concerned with the Commonwealth. This document helps bring to light that the lessons for Oradour, Malmédy, etc. had been learnt in the Eastern Front - a thousand times over.
     
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