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Discussion in 'Living History' started by panzergrenadiere, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. Jason

    Jason Member

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    hey nick whats up? I am also a pal of drakes, i dont remeber if we have met yet. if not well im Jason. I have also thought of doing a sniper impression but after seeing the price on those scopes, forget it! it wouold be fun but I dont have that kind of money just for some optics. Well maybeill see you at the Rockford Ill reenactment then.
     
  2. Jumbo_Wilson

    Jumbo_Wilson Member

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    9th Waffen SS

    I think the diference is that no Civil War veterans, AWI veterans or anyone else are alive to be offended. I know that there are slave-related issues for ACW Confederate re-enactors but there is still 140 years of distance between reality and fantasy.

    Also neither the Confederacy, the Redcoats (and be careful here) were responsible for industrial genocide. The SS are the foremost representation of that regime and please don't expect the general public to differentiate between SS types.

    Personally I do believe that, given the current encumbent, coming back to the Crown might gbe a good idea: certainly the petition presented (jokingly) by residents of Washington DC to the British Embassy should have been given a more favourable nod than it was.

    Nobody is pretending these units did not exist. On the other hand I've been made aware by several people of the discomfort and unease that people wishing to re-enact these units gives them.

    Jumbo
     
  3. 9th Waffen SS

    9th Waffen SS Member

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    Well, just this past weekend in Washington, DC, there was a rally for support for reparations for slavery from descendants of former slaves. They are saying that the institution of slavery was the first Holocaust and was very much a form of institutionalized genocide. So, while no one is still alive that was a slave, the issue is still vibrant and on the front burner, and it still evokes heated emotions. One also has to look at the Confederate flag flap of a few years ago as well to see that emotions are very strong about the "Stars and Bars".

    I am not trying to make anyone uncomfortable in my impression. Like I said, I portray a combat soldier, not a camp guard or political figure. I am sorry if folks get queezy seeing the SS Runes, but they are the ones that need to understand that, like it or not, the Waffen SS was a fighting force of over 1,000,000 members, and it incorporated volunteers from all of Europe, including France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, etc.

    I have had numerous WWII vets come and talk with us, and they all unanimously thank us for what we are doing. They are appreciative of our efforts to try and show people today who the enemy was and what they looked like and why it was so hard to fight against them and why their (meaning the US soldiers') achievements should never be forgotten.

    For the record, our unit also does US 3rd Armored division. We are thinking of putting together some Russian kits as well. Members of my group are into the history, weapons, tactics, vehicles, and experience of the WWII time period, not the politics. If fact, we sign a waiver before joining saying we are not supportive or part of any Klan, neo-Nazi, or Fascist group. We have a 1 year probationary period before you are a "member". You have to be voted in. Any, I repeat ANY, sign of far right wing tendencies gets you the boot. No second chances, no "I'm sorry", nothing will get you re-instated. We are not about that, nor do we wish to be associated with it.

    Again, we do a combat unit representation. I don't think any serious study or analysis of WWII in Europe can exclude the combat formations of the Waffen SS. It is a fact that they partook in some of the most brutal and deadly fighting on both fronts, and to exclude them today because folks are ill at ease in seeing them is totally ludicrous in my opinion. In fact, I believe that they have to be included so as to never forget what tough bastards they were, and why the Allied victory in WWII came at such a cost and should be cherished today.

    The only grief we've ever gotten has always been from folks born post-WWII who have not a clue about the difference between Waffen SS, Totenkopfverbande, Allgemiene SS, KZ guards, etc. They tend to see an SS collar tab and go ballistic without really understand what they are railing against. I my opinion, the problem revolves around their ignorance of historical reality, not my impression. If they want to lump everyone with an SS collar tab into one big gang of murderous concentration camp guards foaming at the mouth ready to kill innocent people, then they are being historically and intellectually dishonest and uneducated. While I am not a Nazi or SS sympathiser, I believe it is important to keep a historical context to what the Waffen SS represented: The armed branch that fought against the best units the Allies could throw at them. That they served evil masters with an evil purpose is not, in my opinion, even debateable. However, they did exist, and to deny that they did is very sad in my opinion. It reeks of a sanitzed historical revisionism that cares more for people's sensitivites then for accuracy. And that is not history, that is propoganda.

    I can't control the intelligence level of an audience. All I can hope to do is educate someone who ask me about my uniform or impression. I am glad when my appearence is enough to stimulate dialog-It shows that people DON'T know things, and are taking time to learn. That to me is very satisfying. While I don't profess to be an expert on WWII or the Waffen SS, I do my best to answer questions and provide information.

    For those that want to sit and stew and be upset over my presence, I ask them to sit down and spend a few minutes with me and discuss things. I am quite confident that they will soon realize I am not a neo-Nazi, that I am not trying to create a 4th Reich, that I am not looking to create problems. What I am trying to do is honor the fighting men and memories of WWII, to educate people, and to personally experience and recreate as closely as possible the existence of a WWII soldier.

    Many may say "You can do that without doing a Waffen SS impression, why do you have to chose them?" My reply is that they are the most interesting, for me personally, because of their historical fighting record, their uniforms, their equipment, and the fact that my geographical location and personal situation is such that my particular unit is the best fit for me.

    Again, I think it is unfortunate that folks (and my understanding is that it is a very small percentage) may not like to see me or view me at an event, but I again say, I am portraying a historically accurate combat soldier. I think if you start to say "No SS", where do you stop? After all, every service branch fought under the swastika, so where do you draw the line? Should no German reenactors or groups be present at any event due to the genocidal actions of the Third Reich? Technically, they all fought to further that cause. And according to a recent History Channel series on the Holocaust that I watched last week, the Whermacht was just as murderous as anyone else when it came to the Holocaust and Partisans. Again, where does one draw the line? Shall we not invite ANY German units to events? In a sense then, the hobby would fall apart very soon. Living history dieplays are good and well, but I feel most people get into the reenating hobby for the battles. Without someone to fight against, what are you going to do? You can't play "Cowboys and Indians" without any Indians.

    In the final analysis, if 40 years from now, we had hobbyists doing "War on Terror" reenacting, recreating Operation Annaconda where US troops slugged it out with the Taliban in Afghanistan, I would support it. I may not like to see folks portraying the Taliban, but I wouldn't want it any other way. That is the way it is and was, and that is how it should be preserved.

    [ 22 August 2002, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: 9th Waffen SS ]
     
  4. Jumbo_Wilson

    Jumbo_Wilson Member

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    I think I'd probably say "yes" to not doing WW2 re-enactment. I'm not ideologically driven to say this, it's more an emotional decision, gut instinct if you like. But it's a personal choice based on personal experiences. i just wanted to know what other people's were.

    Jumbo
     
  5. Doc Raider

    Doc Raider Member

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    Goals for my impression (although US)- to carry nothing but what I can get in my pockets, to get rid of all my "showy" crap, to be covered in mud at all events, to find someplace that lets me dig a foxhole and a dugout, to find some GI boxers that actually fit my fat ass, find some GI socks (both can be found on ebay, but for way more than what they are worth), to associate with relatively large groups that are not in TSG or HRS, and to actually find enough like-minded people to get more than a squad of authintic GIs. Oh, and to kick the ass of the next guy I see in the field with cheetos, coke, a bic lighter, filtered cigarettes, 290 pounds of fat, Wal-mart boots, slim-jims, or the fake patch of any airborne, ranger, or any US special unit. I'm not sure why all the US guys have to portray elite units, but it really gets me pissed. Any event I go to, there are tons of 101 AB or special servic guys, but no infantry. I guess it makes em feel special. Sorry, I get a little worked up about this.

    As for SS units - as a GI I give em my bad attitude, but I have never seen reenactors give SS any kind of guff. Actually, they seem to be very popular among the reenactors I've been around. We "fought" 1st Pz. SS in Illinois and it was one of the best units I've seen, especially since they captured us, mowed us down with the MG42 they had in their running half-track, and then shot our dead bodies in the back of the head with a luger. I guess some people are just scared of history and think that ignoring certain parts of it will make it go away. Then again, how many people in the world are like us?!?!?!!
     
  6. 9th Waffen SS

    9th Waffen SS Member

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    Jumbo,

    That's fine, I fully understand. Doing WWII reenacting is not for everyone, and pulling on a "bad guy's" uniform even less so. I just wanted you to understand that I recognize that I am playing the role of the villian, and that I am not doing it out of spite or malice or trying to stick my thumb in the eye of anyone. That is really not my intent.

    Doc,

    I also find that most reenactors are OK with Waffen SS units. Probably because they understand historical reality, and look forward to going against some of the "elite" German units. I mean, who would you rather go up against, some obscure Infantry Division that was cannon fodder on the Easter Front or a Waffen SS Division or Fallschirmjager Troops? There is a certain thrill about going against the "evil enemy" that I think most Allied reenactors really enjoy.
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Well, everybody can dream a bit, can't we? ;)
     
  8. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    Welcome to the forums Nick. Dane and Adam are also members here. I'm glad to see that my thread has grown like this. 9 Waffen SS do you have plan on coming out to events in the midwest and Doc let me know if you are attending any main stream events this fall.
     
  9. 9th Waffen SS

    9th Waffen SS Member

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    I'd love to hit a mid-west event, but I wouldn't know which one would be the best one to make the trek out for. What would be your suggestion for the best events to attend? In the North East where I am located, one of the best, if not THE best, events of the year is 2 weeks away, at Odessa NY.

    Very much looking forward to it.
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    And Carl. I cannot beat you in militaria, for now. But wait until my grandfather inherites me all his militaria collection! ;) Although, let's hope it will be in some 30 years. Let's hope he could be like one of those "veterans" (I'd call them corpses) of the 1898 war Carl mentioned... ;)
     
  11. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    I'd have to say the best battles to go to in the midwest would be Atterbury which is the TSG national battle and the fall tactical at Rensallear. It usually has abou 200+ reenactors plus the site is 800 acres, has a concrete bunker, and tons of other fortications. Both of these events are in Indiana.
     
  12. 9th Waffen SS

    9th Waffen SS Member

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    Do you have any dates for these events in 2003?

    Perhaps I can get a few guys from the unit to make a road trip.

    Also, I would assume these events are "invite" only: Any idea whom to contact to check into gaining attendance rights?

    Thanks again,

    9th W SS
     
  13. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    Actually, these events are not invite only. Anyone can come if they belong to a recongized society. The TSG national is always the last weekend of september and the Rensallaer tactical is always held around the 25 - 27 of October. I love the Rensallaer battle. They have a western front one in the fall and a russian front one in thespring. http://www.geocities.com/rensselaersite/
     
  14. K98 Sniper

    K98 Sniper Member

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    Here is a link to the site in Rnslr that we do our training and have tacticals. The big tactical in the fall is Oct. 25-27. Oh by the way we start making a film on the 6th of September with a amature movie crew out of Michigan. I can't wait!! I don't know about you Drake but I need to learn how to act!

    Nick

    http://www.geocities.com/rensselaersite/
     
  15. K98 Sniper

    K98 Sniper Member

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    HAHA replyed the at the same time!
    Nick
     
  16. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    Nick, you missed a fun time at Leaf River. Since there were so few GIs we had a 2nd battle of Heer vs SS . I ended up doing alot of hand to hand combat with the SS guys. Also I think I need to work on my acting more.
     
  17. K98 Sniper

    K98 Sniper Member

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    Who won between Heer and SS? Actually thats pretty funny, I don't think thats ever been done before. I was slightly hung over saturday morning and didn't want to make the 3 hour drive.
    Nick
     
  18. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    I don't think there really was a winner, it turned into guys throwing acorns and monty python jokes. Thank God it wasn't a public event.
     
  19. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Friedrich--lets hope so--lets hope so... :D

    Also a request please sir! Do you have any pics of your Opa in uniform that you can possibly post here? I would love to see a few........ [​IMG]
     
  20. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I will be glad, Carl! But I don't have a scaner around here! :mad: But I'll see what I can do.

    There are some quite interesting!!!! First, two studio photographs of him wearing an uniform, one in 1944 after receiving the RK as a Major and the other one in 2000!!! God, the man does not go any elder!!! ;)

    Beside, there are some awesome pics of him with some field marshalls!!! There is one with two of them in North Africa: he is with some other officers and Generalleutnants Friedrich Paulus and Erwin Rommel!!!! :eek: :eek:
     

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