Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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JTG
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by JTG » 22 Jun 2011 00:24

Kudos all!

John

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Vikki
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Vikki » 22 Jun 2011 05:18

Glad you're enjoying the thread, John. :D

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Stephan
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Stephan » 24 Jun 2011 12:49

Vikki wrote: The "additional straps" on the boots of the woman to the viewers' right are most likely spur straps, rather than additional pieces on her boots.
Yes, that is my reaction too. Why righty but not lefty, as it is standard equipment for riders? Easy, they are riding remonts, ie young unexperienced horses. Leftys horse was probably more sensitive, and couldnt have spurs as yet.

Quite common knowledge for us horse-interested! :lol:

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Kim
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Kim » 24 Jun 2011 16:49

In my experience,most horses don't need spurs to be ridden well. In some cases spurs are just an affectation of the rider more than a needed riding tool, just my opinion. Great thread ,by the way. Thanks to all.
Kim

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Vikki » 25 Jun 2011 04:18

In my experience too, Kim. On the other hand, as opposed to people who wear them just as an affectation, in the circles I grew up riding with, spurs worn occasionally by a rider were the sign of a very experienced rider. Something like the old expression of having "earned your spurs", because the majority of the time the rider didn't require them, and was good enough to know which horse needed them, and how to use them properly. No one would have let an inexperienced rider near one of their horses with spurs.

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Stephan » 25 Jun 2011 10:48

Kim and Vikki. Right you are. But here is an exception. They ride the horses not for themselves nor their friends, but to prepare them for unknown others. Practically any other who could ride. The girls themselves were surely skillfull enough to do as they pleased, and get excellent results. But the oncoming riders would probably use spurs as a matter of fact, as part of their normal equipment. Thus - the remonts must be schooled to riders with spurs, as a necessary part of their schooling.
This way we know leftys horse was either too young yet, or was one of these sensitive, where it would take some extra steps to make it used to riders with spurs.

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Vikki » 02 Jul 2011 22:53

You may be right on that, Stephan.

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 11 Jul 2011 03:45

Hi,

I'm finally back from Ma's construction site. Fine that you liked the pics so here are some more. First two of an unknown lady just mounting her horse:
Bereiterinnen 13.jpg
Bereiterinnen 14.jpg
And here's the last one from Militsch I have:
Bereiterinnen 15.jpg
At first I really thought Countess von Goess was giving her horse a french kiss. Only after close inspection
I came to the conclusion that it's actually a piece of apple or turnip she's holding between her lips and which the
horse is trying to snatch.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 11 Jul 2011 04:28

There was one photo from the lot I didn't get when it was sold in 2009
Source: http://www.ebay.de
Auction No.: 270408624651
Vendor: blackzebraelefant
Date: Aug 30, 2009 18:05:27 CEST

I've kept the Ebay auction scans in this case because of the valuable information they offer, on the horse-breakers als well as on the regular horse (Stammpferd) each of them had. When you use the skin pattern of the horses you can identify several of the horse-breakers in Todd Gylsen's pics which started this thread.

Frontside:
Bereiterinnen 16.jpg
The backside reads:
Bereiterinnen 16 - back.jpg

From left to right:
Stephanie v.[on] Papen, Inge Welz, Peppi Kaempfe, Rosemarie Mertsching
Elfriede Hofer, Helga Kuhberg, Lotte Weller, Elisabeth Gr[ä]fn Goes[s]

Horses:
Vercingetorix, Vulkan, Wiener, Gefreiter, Ultimo, Varus, Udet [or: Odet], Ziethen (or perhaps Istvan?)

Perhaps the photo will turn up again on the market one day to complete the set.

Best regards
Torsten
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 16 Jul 2011 08:17

Hello,

two more newspaper clippings on the female horse-breakers. When I found them about 2 years ago they were at http://www.militaria-fundforum.com/atta ... 1171124935 and http://www.militaria-fundforum.com/atta ... 1171124935. They seem to be gone now. Last year Militaria Fundforum suffered a major crash and the thread they're from appears to be amongst the material lost. (At least I couldn't find it anymore there today.)

The upper picture is especially interesting because of the bright riding breeches the two women in front are wearing. From the Militsch pics we already know the colour of the breeches varied between medium grey and almost black. Due to this photo now the colour scale has to be extended to light grey or perhaps even beige. The breeches were tailored individually by local craftsmen so the colour variations should reflect what material was available, what each horse-breaker liked and what the remount school commanders tolerated. So reality in this field was a far cry from the uniform stone-grey breeches Kurt Klietmann lists in his above article.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 16 Jul 2011 11:44

Here's another photo set from my collection. It's of a female horse-breaker from an unknown Wehrkreis- Reit- und Fahrschule and shows numerous differences to the previous Militsch pics regarding her uniform.

The cap has bright piping this time, around the crown as well as on the lower part of the turnback rim. It also bears a cockade (generally unusual for women) so the Reich eagle has moved to the crown. Also the cut of the cap is different from those in Militsch making it look higher and 'stiffer'. Vikki already pointed out to me that this is in all likelihood a male side cap. In his essay above Klietmann (1964) mentions that side caps were used only for a short time in the beginning (1943) but then were replaced by ski caps. Reason for this was their loose fit so many women lost them when out in the field. The hair pins we see in the pics here indicate this loose fit too. On the other hand the Militsch pictures are already from summer 1944 and despite that they show side caps. My thinking at the moment is that originally male side caps with yellow cavalry piping were handed out indeed. Soon these were replaced by better fitting caps of what I'd like to call Stabshelferinnen design (though without any piping). The new head gear could be either ski caps or side caps, it seems to have varied from remount school to remount school.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 16 Jul 2011 11:46

Further differences occur on the tunic. Firstly, it shows bright piping around the collar, the meaning of which remains unclear. Generally this was used for Führerinnen but from all we know about female horse-breakers there existed no ranks for them. On the other hand such piping was already faintly visible in another horse-breaker's photo http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1355235) so it's not totally unique.

Secondly this woman has an unknown specialist patch on her lower left sleeve that's not listed in Schlicht & Angolia (1996). The only reference to this patch I've found so far is a short remark by Countess von Bredow in her autobiography (1992, p.146). Von Bredow heard from one of her colleagues that the horse-breakers in other remount schools received extra Sunday uniforms (Ausgehuniform) ' with a jumping horse on the cuff '. This must have been the patch we see here though the tunic, dust stained and with a button missing, in no way looks like a Sunday uniform. I wouldn't rule out that this is actually not a specialist patch but a school patch. I've another set of horse-breaker photos from the Wehrkreis-Reit- und Fahrschule in Großenhain (still under restauration). Those pics show a completely different insignium, worn on the upper left sleeve.

Thirdly the tunic's Reich eagle is on a black base cloth while in Militsch it had a grey base. This also appears in the Großenhain photos that show examples of both.A black base is normal for Army signals auxilaries and staff auxiliaries while grey was commonly used for male field uniforms.

Lastly, the sleeve cuffs here have three buttons each. In none of the Militsch pics this can be seen though it may depend on the angles the photos were taken. The three cuff buttons seem to be typical for the single-breasted (late-war) Stabshelferinnen uniform. Compare http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 9#p1012839

References:

Gräfin von Bredow, Ilse
Deine Keile kriegste doch.
dtv Taschenbuch Verlag; Munich; 1992

Klietmann, Kurt
Die Bereiterinnen des Heeres.
"Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1934 bis 1945", Heft 43; Verlag "Die Ordenssammlung", Heft 43, 1964

Schlicht, Adolf; Angolia, John R.
Die deutsche Wehrmacht. Uniformierung und Ausrüstung 1933 - 1945
Band 1: Das Heer
3rd ed., Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart, 1996

Best regards
Torsten
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ucans
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by ucans » 29 Sep 2015 11:59

Hi
What happen to each of these young women after the war? Does domaine of her are alive?
Many thanks

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by ucans » 29 Sep 2015 12:00

Erratum : does anyone of her are alive?

Ljotrulf
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Ljotrulf » 03 Mar 2016 14:48

Turns out my old German teacher was one of these girls during WW2. A quite remarkable woman.
http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries ... -1-3527771

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