SS reenactment

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

  1. gliderrider

    gliderrider Senior Member

    Arnhem44 dont think your own countrymen are not adverse to doing stunts such as below at a War n Peace show in the late evening......

    Then there were the Dutch reenactors who dressed up as concentration camp prisoners, complete with stars, one year who thought it was a fun thing to do.
  2. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    Arnhem44 dont think your own countrymen are not adverse to doing stunts such as below at a War n Peace show in the late evening......

    Then there were the Dutch reenactors who dressed up as concentration camp prisoners, complete with stars, one year who thought it was a fun thing to do.

    If this is so, then all the more blame to the War n Peace Organisation for not acting against such embarrassing "show".

    Then, again, maybe these persons were dressed like that to demonstrate against all the Nazi (and Allied) war jubilee and make people realise there is never a clean war without civilian casualties. Something to ponder while glorifying the marching re-enactors.

    ..... and technically that goes for the young admirers of Allied equipment and soldiers as well; who ever reminisces the "friendly" fire casualties ? the missed bombardments killing innocent civilians in occupied territories , and yes..Dresden as well? The on purpose bombardment of civilians (Caen, Mt Casino, endless list) ? the leaving unescorted civilian ships ? the sacrificing of whole nations (Poles? Chechs? both at start of war and at the end..) ? The sacrificing of resistance fighters (Warschau rising, Englandspiel, Yugoslavia) ?

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy visiting some reenctments occasionally, but I know what it is really about. But a lot of nazi/wehrmacht re-enactors , especially those originating from the USA, really don't.
    And the 1st thread writer is a shining example.

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Do any of the Dutch reenactors dress up like their Grandads in the Dutch SS ?
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The original poster is in fact British.
    I've found him on another forum.
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The W&P has long-tidied up some of the more 'unusual' sights one used to see around the evening campsite. Years since I saw anything truly eyebrow-raising at what is first & foremost a vehicle show.

    Though one of the most, errrr, 'surprising' things I ever saw at any show did indeed involve a large pack of Dutchmen in assorted Uniform and a somewhat old-fashioned but well-coordinated salute to a mate of mine when they mistook his baseball cap for a Feldmutze in the dark.
    ('There's nowt so queer as Volk' as one wag commented at the time.)

    Lots of the more 'peculiar' stalls one sees at Militaria shows often have a Netherlander sat behind 'em too.
    It's a bit hard to make judgements purely on nationality, in this as in so many other things.

    Take away the thread?
    In a sort of 'Nacht Und Nebel' way? ;)

    (And Owen - Dutch SS reenactors? Yep. Though the largest Dutch contingent is usually a lot of cheery chaps in Orange T-shirts and Daf lorries.)
  6. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    There's definitely a documentary in this thread - I must say I have come across a lot of re-enactors in my time and most of them are cheery enough chappies, perhaps slightly strange and obsessive occasionally, particularly about detail. Some of them baulk at getting their kit dirty and I can understand that too. Once or twice I've come across some disturbingly dense and blase individuals who don't seem to have a clue about history beyond looking at themselves in a mirror approvingly, but it takes all sorts.

    I admit though, there's more to this than meets the eye - why does a fifty-something man like myself spend so much time on the military subjects I do? I know for myself this is a lot to do with my relationship with my dad, and his relationship with his father, but I don't foist that on other people. I save that for the book - and the film?
  7. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    Do any of the Dutch reenactors dress up like their Grandads in the Dutch SS ?

    In the "Levende geschiedenis" reenactments in Horst (Octobre?) they did/do.

    The organisation (and the Law) allows them to have the swastika sticker on their helmets too (impossible in Germany), but that was a first this year in 2012.

    But they (at least the few I spoke to and the one interviewed on camera) were very history least sufficiently, and they claim to sign contracts forbidding any adverse political views etc.
    They are often part of other reenactment teams (diffferent eras, different nations). So they seemed to be allright.

    Funny though to see that today's Germans like to dress up as ww2 Allies , and today's russians (and americans) like to dress up as germans..
    I don't know if that falls in the same category where some men have the big urge to dress up as women the first thought of carnaval. :D
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Member

    I read this in today's paper. While I realize that it is an American theme, I felt that it deserved reading here. What are your thoughts on it?

    The prisoners lined up for roll call at 10:30 a.m. Some wore grass-green jackets displaying their rank, others donned white T-shirts and blue shorts. A man dressed as a Nazi guard commanded in a faux German accent, “Come on, get a move on!” Another Nazi trained a gun on prisoners from a nearby hill.

    It was a Saturday morning at Fort Mifflin, the Revolutionary War-era site, which had been transformed into a German-run World War II camp in Poland. Both Allied and Axis soldiers were portrayed by the 75 reenactors who put on the event. Nearly 100 spectators took in scenes of attempted prison breaks and interrogations led by soldiers dressed in full Nazi regalia.

    “It’s an offensive uniform, I understand,” said Brian Pacilli, a 38-year-old who served with the Marines and whose olive-green SS uniform was adorned with multiple swastikas. “However, without showing the true side of history, we forget that.”

    Depicting events with historical accuracy is of paramount importance to the reenactors, who call themselves “living historians.” And you can’t stage a World War II reenactment, which happens every two or so months in the Philadelphia area, without Germans in the European Theater. Someone has to wear swastikas and Iron Crosses. “We can’t change history to benefit our own personal beliefs,” Pacilli said. “Doing so is revisionist history.”

    “ They trivialize the experience of the victims. They can leave students with the impression that they actually know what it was like, when in fact they clearly cannot.
    Randi Boyette, associate regional education director for the Anti-Defamation League
    “ It's an offensive uniform, I understand. However, without showing the true side of history, we forget that."
    Brian Pacilli, a 38-year-old who served as an enlisted Marine, whose olive-green German SS uniform was adorned with multiple swastikas during the reenactment

    “Our idea was to have a program that would show what American soldiers had dealt with during the Second World War,” said Fort Mifflin program manager Joseph Nevin, who opened the fort to the reenactors in exchange for a donation that will help fund its continued restoration. “We didn’t feel there was any sort of misappropriation in presenting the event.”

    But experts in teaching the Holocaust say this war shouldn’t be reenacted in any manner. Act 70, a Pennsylvania Department of Education guideline about Holocaust and genocide teaching, firmly states, “NO simulations of any kind (no wearing of costumes, virtual confinement, reenactments, role playing, etc.)”

    “They trivialize the experience of the victims,” said Randi Boyette, associate regional education director for the Anti-Defamation League. “They can leave students with the impression that they actually know what it was like, when in fact they clearly cannot.”

    The roll call began. “3054 — Werner,” the guard yelled.

    “Here,” said one of the prisoners. A few of his fellow Allied prisoners tried to conceal a smirk.

    “3055 — Turfitt.”


    After the prisoners had been accounted for, they received their mail and a Red Cross parcel, wrapped in brown paper and string. Then they returned to their mock cells.

    Michael Bernier, who was portraying a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe, stood near a redbrick building serving as a German interrogation center. Having spent upward of $10,000 on his uniform, the former Air Force pilot reenacts Axis military exclusively, unlike many of his counterparts.

    “I wanted to be something different than what I was,” the 60-year-old said of his decision to choose the Axis. “It’s like an escape from who I am. It’s kind of like having two lives for the price of one.”

    Bernier doesn’t display his second life to everyone. His father in-law, aWorld War II veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, never saw him in Nazi garb. “I never let him see me like this, out of respect for the man,” Bernier said.

    At one point during the reenactment, which was punctuated by escape attempts and fake but deafening gunfire, a Nazi soldier escorted an Allied prisoner along the grounds, pointing his rifle at his captive’s back. A photographer snapped his picture, and his hand darted to his face. “No pictures, sorry,” he said. “I work in the public sector.”

    Most Nazi reenactors have stories of being confronted. “People get offended by us,” said Kurtis Henschel, a high school senior portraying a member of the SS. “And they have a right to.”

    Larry Mihlon, 57, whose pencil-thin mustache and ice-blue eyes made for a particularly convincing depiction of a Luftwaffe general, noted that if someone is offended by his uniform, “the answer to that is, good. They need to see it, they need to know about it.”

    According to Mihlon, his wife, who is Jewish and had relatives die in concentration camps, doesn’t hate seeing him dressed in a Nazi uniform. “She learned early on when she met me that none of this that I do has anything to do with the clearly sinister politics of the National Socialists,” he said.

    “I’ll be the first one to tell you, there were many people who had something to do with all this who were supremely evil,” he said. “How did they get there? The dialogue’s got to be there. People have to talk about that.”

    But others question the motives of the reenactors.

    “I wonder whether this is really about learning, and I’m not convinced,” Boyette said. “You can’t take one tiny little piece and call that WWII history. Would you do a reenactment of dropping the Bomb?”

    The question of how to represent history becomes an even greater concern when children are involved.

    “We have to be very mindful of the fact that young people can get stimulated or identify with the aggressor,” said Josey Fisher, director of the Holocaust Oral History Archive at Gratz College.

    For the attendees, the question of the reenactors’ pedagogical approach to history appeared to be far from a concern. Joey Flynn, an Air Force veteran, brought his Boy Scout troop from Delaware to the event. For him, it was a way to get his kids off electronics and for them to “see what the reenactment back in the day would have been for people.”

    Asked whether he thought the reenactors glorified war in any way, he replied, “No, not at all.”

    Elaine Culbertson, executive director of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, disagreed.

    “I don’t understand by what anyone could gain by participating in something like this. It’s demeaning,” she said.

    Culbertson, whose mother was imprisoned at Auschwitz and whose father was in an Austrian concentration camp, said it would be impossible for the reenactors to simulate the atrocities that occurred.

    “You come from your comfortable house, make pretend that you’re doing something, then you go back to your comfortable life,” she said. “That isn’t what happened.”
  9. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Typically american re-enactors.
    Used to find nazi types in full dress kit at Beltring show. From all over the world, because they could, over here. Back home it was jail!

  10. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Just a bunch of nitwits. Nothing typically American.
    canuck likes this.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  13. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    I (Canadian here) view this with a great deal of suspicion. I would not be surprised if some of the re-enactors are neo-Nazis.
  14. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Whatever motivates them is puzzling to me. Everyone to his own I guess. It certainly takes a lot of pluck to dress up in that way. 'Beltring' was notorious for this over-dressing-up: although I never spotted Himmler, there were other senior Nazis in attendance! Hopefully it won't be repeated when the War and Peace Show returns to the Hop Farm this year. Probably they just love wearing retro Hugo Boss stuff.....and it's cheaper than the modern stuff.. ;-)
  15. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  17. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member

    I think it is sad people with low self esteem who bolster their own egos by role playing those they see as being in positions of power.
  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Yep mate know exactly what you mean .
    No getting an extra half pint from me back in the day

  19. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    I don't see any redeeming qualities to the type of "re-enactment" described. I find it juvenile and attention getting behaviour which is obviously offensive to some. Wouldn't spend a second to watch it.
    However, our veterans fought for the freedom of these pathetic folks to demonstrate to the world just how misguided they are. Better to give them a forum and remove all public doubt as to their lack of intellect and intentions than have them go underground.
    Incredibledisc likes this.
  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Is that similar to a Lactation Consultant?

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