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An open letter to all re-enactors of Waffen SS units

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Ron Goldstein, Jun 27, 2008.

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  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Sorry Ron. Those arent mine LOL. They were just some a few examples of what some reenators and reenacting units and orginizations feel about the issue and how they deal with it.
     
  2. Pvt. Pyle

    Pvt. Pyle Dishonorably Discharged

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    i would not mind wearing an ss uniform ( though i like the soviet nkvd that is beatiful) cause im quite aware of my political ideologies. Wearing a uniform of a waffern is not going to turn me more or less fascist (i hate fascism )
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Well I hope my postings weren't received as attacks because that was not my intentions. Excellent postings by Michelle and Stefan. My feelings are reflected in Stefan's post but I could not put them in such a way since I have not real experience in re-enacting but my thoughts are the same. Sorry I could not have posted them as such much earlier. I truly respect you in every way Ron Goldstein and I salute you and all of those you represent. Cheers.
     
  4. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Thank you Ron for starting this thread. It is an eye opener for me. I never realized until now the depth and anguish you veterans feel about this. Before reading your open letter, I thought I understood. Now I know better.
    For all the guys who shared their two cents worth, keep it up. Your views and explanations really do help widen my horizons. Thanks.
     
  5. Drucius

    Drucius Member

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    While it's obvious that not all SS soldiers or units were criminals (indeed some units have no black marks against them whatsoever), it's also obvious that the SS uniform, reputation and ideology attracts individuals who are less than savoury. I would certainly be wary of anyone who wanted to re-enact in an SS uniform and I would hope that anyone worth knowing would understand that wariness. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, after all.

    Why not just use a Heer uniform? There were far more of them in the war, after all.
     
  6. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    But they committed war crimes too did they not? Does the fact they weren't blamed as often or the fact their victims were usually Russian make it ok? The same goes for the German police.

    It is just a question of where you draw the line, you either include all German soldiers or none as I see it.
     
  7. Ceraphix

    Ceraphix Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't heard of any atrocities from the "Hohenstaufen" or 'Frundsberg" SS divisions.
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

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    Wikipedia:

    Despite the intensity of the fighting, the soldiers of Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg treated the captured paratroopers courteously, although there are reports of cold-blooded executions by some SS members, and Bittrich remarked that the tenacity and fighting prowess of the Red Devils was not to be matched, even by the Soviets.

    Ron
     
  9. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Member

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    I totally support Ron and his stance but not, as he willingly concedes, because he's a vet nor because he's Jewish (which being a gent he didn't mention), but purely on the grounds of good taste and historical accuracy.

    I go to two shows a year and I'm still not comfortable with the SS reenactors, there's plenty of German regiments which could be re-enacted with resorting to that particular sinister crowd and there'd be some small opportunity to reflecting the bravery of those soldiers involved as well as providing the "enemy" Tommy and Yank reenactors need to "battle" with.

    The real problem for me, which I see others have mentioned, is how limited they are in their reenacting and therefore do not reflect history no matter how accurate their kit and load outs might be.

    This inaccuracy is born of what they're reenacting though, for they're not doing WW2, instead they're doing a Hollywood influenced glamour pose and as such have more to do with fictional "cos-play"*, so please leave our mil-fares to the historically intrigued.

    *Cosplay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  10. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    WTC, I see your point but disagree with the latter part. The aspects of WW2 that SS re-enactors don't re-enact are areas that it would be thoroughly distasteful to do. On the other hand, surely all re-enactors can be assumed of applying the Hollywood gloss, the clean, public friendly side of war. All sides ignore things like allied soldiers shooting prisoners (it happenned), German Army soldiers butchering Soviet citizens and so on. So really, if you are going to get rid of the SS at events you get rid of everyone. To put an alternative spin on it, what about 'clean' SS units? Surely it would be ok to re-enact them?

    Of course the SS are so wrapped up in symbols etc that they are a fantastically easy scape goat, the truth is that what makes most people feel uneasy are symbols like Swastikas and Runes, so you get rid of them wherever you see them, again, clensing but not really helping things.

    So now I have to ask a question, you describe SS re-enacting as 'limited' in its portrayals, well how would you suggest developing that? More to the point, how are they any more limited than Tommy's and Yanks?
     
  11. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    'Cleasning' a good way to but it Stefan, it is cencoring the past, showing what happened but trying not to included the SS units. History deserves to be told in all its infamousy and its glory. People need to be told whether it be through books or simply reeinactors, about what the allies fought through and what the Germans did both as Wehrmacht and SS soldiers alike. Not to do is is punishing the men who fought by not showing the troubles they went through. History needs to be told accurate and not censored just because of what certain units did.:)
     
  12. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Member

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    "The aspects of WW2 that SS re-enactors don't re-enact are areas that it would be thoroughly distasteful to do."

    Maybe that is part of the problem. If lay people understood just how ugly war is/was, there might not be such a rush to conflict rather than trying diplomacy.
     
  13. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    True, but I don't think re-enactors can do that really ;)
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    From ARRSE: British Army Rumour Service > > Forums > > General > > NOW That's What I Call ARRSE 1 > > Search for a "Walt" Star!!!

    :D

    [​IMG]

    And what about Stumpy? :lol:
    [​IMG]

    I just love ARRSE, the funniest (and sometimes not so funny at all) military forum I know :)
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    And if you want the supreme authentic prop, do not miss your replica zyklon cannister!

    [​IMG]

    Sorry if this is offensive, but I wanted you all to see it. Believe it or not this is on sale.
     
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran

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    Za Rodinu

    Unbelievable and disgusting but lamentably true

    Thanks for drawing attention to this

    Ron
     
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Whitewashed it's real use.
     
  18. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Za, ARRSE is pretty entertaining (I'm on there but under a different name, try to spot me ;)) but I wouldn't put to much store in that speil, if you ask people to 'play' enemy they will play, with as much entertainment value as possible. Makes me laugh that the OTC guys in question seemed to be constantly getting bumped by re-enactors, says more about OTC training than anything else (I used to be in the OTC so I know whereof I speak).

    As for the Zyklon B, well, that is nothing to do with SS re-enactment. In fact any SS group would most likely kick you off the site for trying to display such an item. That kind of junk is generally bought by collectors of one sort or another.
     
  19. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    Well, it has no value to a collector if it's use description is like that.

    *very dark humour ahead if you are likelly to feel ofended please do not read*
    Well, on the other hand if you asked an SS, he'd probably tell you it was more or less what they used it for...

    *end of very dark humour, it's sick I know*



    Cheers...
     
  20. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    Notice that seemingly majority of U.S. reinactors decide to play as the 101st?
    It is because its the most SIMPLE and AVAILABLE unit to do. For the German players it could be the same. Most units play as SS groups so it is the most covenient part to play as. Regarding that the equipment might be easier to get, closer to join. Then those who make that extra effort to be the odd ones out and expend much more resources to form a fighting unit.

    Just my veiws on this as I have just finished reading this topic.
     
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