re-enactors

Discussions on all aspects of WW1, WW2 and Inter-War Era reenactment.
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ancasta
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Reenactment

Post by ancasta » 09 May 2004 20:58

I have got into this conversation a bit late, but I thought I would add a few points that I have experienced.

I too am a re-enactor, have been for over 17 years now [phew]. I have just begun to investigate WW2 German re-enactment, and suddenly I meet a lot of walls and yes, even hatred from other, non german groups.

Many years ago I used to work with a survivor of Buchenwalt and once asked him how he felt about WW2 German re-enactment. He simply replied "We must never forget what happened in that time, and even 'German' re-enactors will help the public understand, albeit little, what went on with the politics, views and feelings of the non-Jewish common man". He also pointed out that if anyone were to re-enact Jews in a camp and how they were treated people would be too horrified and disgusted to attend events. The soldiers, he concluded, were perhaps a 'necessary evil' to get people to examine and study that period of history.

I will conclude with the following discovery - in early 2004 my friend, who is a major re-enactment 'sponsor' here in the UK, had received a series of complaints from other groups after a particular SS group had several boys dressed as Hitler Jugent at a couple of events last year. I have read the e-mails sent to him and will simply say some were bordering on the threatening. Many re-enactment groups were saying that they will refuse to attend events if they are present again. This is were I will finish with my penny's worth: Whatever happened to freedom of speech? If its OK to have Russian and Socialist groups spout their stuff, its OK for other groups too. Or is it? What are your thoughts?

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 10 May 2004 22:36

Smert Fashistam:

What about people who dress up like Red Army soldiers or KGB? Shouldn't that disgust you as well?

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Wm. Harris
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Post by Wm. Harris » 11 May 2004 01:16

I'll admit that I'm not heavily into reenactment, but I have donned a historical garb for a number of events in the past. These have always been "timeline" events, where reenactors spend most of their time interacting with the public and talking about their gear, the historical period they represent, and so on.

Naturally, there are always many veterans attending these events (although their numbers seem to diminish yearly :cry: ), and I can say none have ever expressed any anger or ill-will towards our activities. Most vets seem quite eager to approach the reenactors and discuss their own experiences, particularly if those reenactors are portraying the time period they lived through themselves.

This might seem odd, given the horrific memories some of these old soldiers must carry with them, but I think they are just happy to see that people are not only paying attention to what they did, but taking an active interest in it.

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Mak Los Mien Schnitzel
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Post by Mak Los Mien Schnitzel » 11 May 2004 06:18

I've got to say this reenactment forum is coming full circle again from the day Leibstandarte_reenactor and I had the idea of approaching Marcus to set this up.

What I didn't expect was the number of people from outside the reenactment "fraternity" to actually understand and become interested in what we did and out reasons for reenactment.

While I am not as serious a reenactor as Leibstandarte_reenactor is in terms of kit, I do take my hobby very seriously, and with all the reverence that goes with it. We definitely aren't the Illinois Nazis of Blues brothers fame. :D I don't know of too many people who dress up as Germans in order to fulfill their Nazi beliefs or dreams, quite the opposite really.

We like the underdog (1944-) we like a good scrap, we love to look good in uniform and we just love the "gadgets" that the German soldier had access to.

We could easily have picked being Romans, which, thousands of years ago would've upset some Gauls... :)

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 14 May 2004 23:09

The point I was trying to make is that its unfair if only one area is represented in history. 8) Many European people still associate German re-enactment as 'bad', and the allies as 'good'. And I felt that was wrong. All sides of the story should be represented.

What is interesting is that the people who dislike german re-enactment the most are the modern generations, whereas the veterans tend to love it and sometimes feel proud that their own old unit has been brought back to life.

I have seen German and British veterans hug each other, shake hands and then go off for a drink together to chat about the old times, and even compare the feelings they had about each other during the war. Sometimes wonderful friendships are made. But from the comments I have seen on this BB in other areas a minority of modern re-enactors seem to have a real problem with German re-enactors :cry: Why is this, and can anyone suggest a way of addressing it? :idea:

As a final comment, why do the Americans re-enact more British or German Units, the British re-enact American [usually the 101Airborne] or Russian units, and the French just about everybody? :lol:

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mikeUK
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Post by mikeUK » 16 Jun 2004 15:20

Further more to this conversation about German women on the front line in WW2 i know of one active German women sniper, I have spoken to the soldier who shot her(sadly now not with us) and seen the picture of her afterwards (taken by a famous war correspondent) of a women serving with a flak unit who was shot from a tree in Holland after killing five officers and NCOs of a British Airborne unit who parachuted into Arnhem..

The interesting details were she was wearing a uniform of a flack unit had a bread bag and water bottle and it looks like a rolled up Zelt, but was using a scoped K98. If anyone is interested in this story I can provide all the facts and picture, it seems two pictures where taken one face down one face up but on different rolls, one roll of film was given to the solider to get out, which he did taking most of his squad with him, what ever happened to the other roll no one knows.

wehrmacht re-enactor
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ww2 re-enactments

Post by wehrmacht re-enactor » 16 Jun 2004 16:51

Well this is all i'm going to say on this subject. For one we as re-enactors spend some serious dough perfecting our own personas in ww2 re-enacting. I've myself spent around $2,500 and up. Every single re-enactor i've talked to including my own beliefs when ask why we do re-enacting. The same thing comes up. We honor those veterans who fought, and we only PORTRAY a german SOLDIER of the time. But we do it seriously. We buy Authentic reproductions such as our tunics, all the way to our k98k rifles which are original (just bought mine this weekend by the way =) beutiful she is!) But for example you won't see a wehrmacht re-enactor wearing a dot 44 tunic, because the wehrmacht never wore that during the war. Nazism is totally forbidden in ww2 re-enacting, the insurers (TSG,HRS, ect...) forbide it and you can't get membership on those accounts. Plus we only portray SOLDIERS, and nothing more or less.

For me i love everything about the soldat from the helmet, tunic, to the jackboots and the k98k. When i get to meet my first ww2 german veteran it'll be what i've always dreamed of!

Dieter

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 16 Jun 2004 21:33

mikeUK wrote:Further more to this conversation about German women on the front line in WW2 i know of one active German women sniper, I have spoken to the soldier who shot her(sadly now not with us) and seen the picture of her afterwards (taken by a famous war correspondent) of a women serving with a flak unit who was shot from a tree in Holland after killing five officers and NCOs of a British Airborne unit who parachuted into Arnhem..

The interesting details were she was wearing a uniform of a flack unit had a bread bag and water bottle and it looks like a rolled up Zelt, but was using a scoped K98. If anyone is interested in this story I can provide all the facts and picture, it seems two pictures where taken one face down one face up but on different rolls, one roll of film was given to the solider to get out, which he did taking most of his squad with him, what ever happened to the other roll no one knows.
Hi Mike,

Can you send me a copy of the above, ie all the facts and picture, as I would be very interested. I had a look for your contact details but couldnt find them, so can you get back to me? Ta.

I had heard rumours that women were active as snipers in 1944/45, but dismissed them as there was no evidence to back it up.

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craigob
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Re: Reenactment

Post by craigob » 16 Jun 2004 22:01

ancasta wrote:I have got into this conversation a bit late, but I thought I would add a few points that I have experienced.
The soldiers, he concluded, were perhaps a 'necessary evil' to get people to examine and study that period of history.
What are your thoughts?
Remember that the most people do a average soldat impression. (The guy at the front lines)

it wasnt always the soldier that was bad, just the govement that was in power..

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Eden Zhang
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Post by Eden Zhang » 17 Jun 2004 07:53

To me, when I start reenacting as a German soldier during WW2, it will be my way of paying tribute not only to the average German soldier, but to the foreign volunteers/conscripts and the British/Russian/Americans they fought.

Hollywood, with movies such as Saving Private Ryan makes the German soldier seem like a blumbering idiot, and that is the sort of impression younger generations get and maintain.

Reenacting is a great way of teaching the public the Germans weren't as idiotic as Saving Private Ryan or many other movies make them out to be. This is in a way honouring those who fought against and lost friends fighting in Europe.

If the Germans were so stupid, then imagine what thats saying about the people that were killed by them.

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mikeUK
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Post by mikeUK » 21 Jun 2004 15:30

Hi ancasta will do..i tend not to leave my addy in forums now..spam mailers go looking for them..hope to post the picture soon.

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Sarge
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Post by Sarge » 22 Aug 2004 09:00

"To each his own." However I see nothing wrong with doing WW 2 German military any more than doing Confederate - both of which I do - or British for the Revolutionary War guys. If you are going to have a reenactment there has to be someone on both sides or you have a static display of half the participants in that particular war.
It is possible to have German soldiers portrayed with out having the "Nutzi" idiotology also portrayed, even for those doing W-SS.
You will find women portraying Both German & Russian soldiers and occasionally US or Brits in the WW 2 hobby. Some organizations may not allow them, but most do - it is a decision left up to the unit commander.
I have been a German reenactor and unit commander (I have had 3 women in my Fj unit over the years and all 3 were excellent soldiers in the field) for 24 years and I don't plan on quitting for quite a while.
We do Not allow any political type units such as NKVD, Gestapo, SD, Totenkopf or anyone who spouts their supid ideas.
You might give our web site a look - http://www.WW2LivingHistoryRegiment.us
Sarge

DarExc
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Post by DarExc » 22 Aug 2004 16:25

Bah, this again? One person had a problem with it cause he didn't understand. Its like the one person that always finds something wrong with kids playing sports cause they could hurt themselvs or joining cadets because its military. You'll never be a part of something everyone likes so do what you want and try to be as understanding as you can but otherwise don't pointlessly defend it when you are in the right eh.

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