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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:10 am 
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To be completly honest, i dont know why SS re-enactors (and i am one myself) get up tight about not being allowed into shows where ss uniforms are not wanted.

There are so many events now in the season that a ban on ss recenators at some events are a pimple on the arse, as long as the shows shuch as Beltring or Detling continue to invite ss groups our hobby will carry on.

This is a old argument that continues to reservice each year and each year the same outcome.... the same old arguments and i am sure W-ss troops at converlessing at Kamps and w-ss uniforms being made by slave labour will also crop up.

I guess if you rearly had a problem with the politicaly inccorrect side of ww2 german you'd never buy a modern BMW or VW car... where and when do you draw the line???

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:15 am 
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Miss Spitfire wrote:
So is it misinformation or bad behaviour by reenactors that means we get this 'No SS' rule at a lot of shows?

Sledmere House is ok with Axis, but they want to discuss the SS issue with the Classic car owners and the local pub isn't keen on any runes in there on an evening.

So where do I go with this? No ss -no Axis at all? Would welcome your thoughts.

K


Why do they need to go to the pub in uniform.... would be my 1st question....

And that goes for any uniform not just SS.....

In the evening the show is over.... Ok if there is a dance etc.... but down the pub.... in town .....

As for asking the classic car 'gang'.... well ask them 1st what there historical reference is… Hollywood would be my guess… therefore all Germans are ‘Nasty’ and therefore etc etc….

As a group we have worn US, Polish Para, British, Resistance both French (may even have been French Communist resistance) & Polish, German inc SS…. So what does that make me… a Nasty Republican Communist Liberal with a uniform fetish… :wink:

The uniform does not maketh the man…

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:18 am 
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The pub in on the estate itself, and the landlord was very happy for people to come down for their drinks etc in kit.

I see your point, we did hold a dance last year but the majority went to the pub. :roll:

Oh yes, apparently I'm an anti-Nazi, Nazi. Work that one out.

K

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 14:11 pm 
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Andrei Kozlov wrote:
prgeyer wrote:
Lets take away the whole "tinderbox" issue of debating wearing nazi uniforms and instead substitute something else.... if you (as a man) collected historic womens' clothing and spent your free time dressing up in that clothing, what would anyone from the outside think about you? Now I am sure you easily can see what people would think and the argument that "nobody ever thought Wesley Snipes was really a crossdressing woofter" would be pretty poor...

:lol:


An interesting point about changing the context. But think about all the amateur pantomimes and drag shows out there. LOTS of men dressed as women - portraying a role, if you will - who are also straight. These people aren't professional actors, and they are not paid for what they do. They dress up and play these roles because they think it's fun and because they know that people in the general public enjoy it. Because of cultural convention and spectator expectations, few people give this a second thought. If somebody writes a letter to their local newspaper, upset because they firmly believe the guy dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood MUST be gay, does the local playhouse say "Well, we can have our annual production of Little Red Riding Hood, but only as long as we don't have a guy portraying Little Red Riding Hood because that offends some people"?

Then the question turns around to what outsiders coming to reenactments truly expect to see. Do they expect to see British and American reenactors shooting at air or being "killed" by an incoming barrage of -um- nothing, or do they expect to see them shooting and being shot at by Germans? If the latter, then it follows that somebody has to play the Germans; and if historically correct for the scenario, by SS. If the former, then there are events that only portray the Allies that they can choose to go to. If spectators want to see real neo-Nazis, I'm sure there are plenty of other places they can go for that. If spectators are unable or unwilling to accept that we are playing a role (or acting), then they're either closed minded or not very bright, and there's not really anything we can do about that.

I understand that we all want to be liked and accepted. But provided we accurately reflect history, and provided we are always respectful toward the public, at what point have we as reenactors become responsible for how others perceive us? There will always be people who are offended by reenacting in general, and by reenacting the SS in particular. Why do we feel that we need to win their acceptance and understanding?

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 14:33 pm 
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[/quote]I understand that we all want to be liked and accepted. But provided we accurately reflect history, and provided we are always respectful toward the public, at what point have we as reenactors become responsible for how others perceive us? There will always be people who are offended by reenacting in general, and by reenacting the SS in particular. Why do we feel that we need to win their acceptance and understanding?[/quote]

Mainly because if you are doing a public show, the organisers want what the public want to see? I think if you choose to wear the uniform, be it RAF, Navy or Traffic warden you have to be prepared to take some flak.

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 15:38 pm 
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prgeyer wrote:
Andrei Kozlov wrote:
prgeyer wrote:
Lets take away the whole "tinderbox" issue of debating wearing nazi uniforms and instead substitute something else.... if you (as a man) collected historic womens' clothing and spent your free time dressing up in that clothing, what would anyone from the outside think about you? Now I am sure you easily can see what people would think and the argument that "nobody ever thought Wesley Snipes was really a crossdressing woofter" would be pretty poor...

:lol:


An interesting point about changing the context. But think about all the amateur pantomimes and drag shows out there. LOTS of men dressed as women - portraying a role, if you will - who are also straight. These people aren't professional actors, and they are not paid for what they do. They dress up and play these roles because they think it's fun and because they know that people in the general public enjoy it. Because of cultural convention and spectator expectations, few people give this a second thought. If somebody writes a letter to their local newspaper, upset because they firmly believe the guy dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood MUST be gay, does the local playhouse say "Well, we can have our annual production of Little Red Riding Hood, but only as long as we don't have a guy portraying Little Red Riding Hood because that offends some people"?


Well done for replying back, but you have missed the other half of my argument.... its not that actors don't dress up in outfits which do not reflect their true self, it is the difference between an actor dressing up for a play/film/tv and that actor having collected a big pile of the "dubious" clothing at home and declaring that his spare time is spent wearing it.

*THAT* is the difference.

Its that slight nuance of having sought out and spent one's own money on it and then spending your own time wearing it.

Quote:
at what point have we as reenactors become responsible for how others perceive us?


Well, depending on how you perceive society on a day to day basis, I'd personally say that at the very least a casual regard for how others *might* perceive me would cross my mind when choosing historical subjects to portray to certain audiences.

I *personally* would never choose to wear something just to get a reaction out of someone and I would always be mindful of the chances of causing serious offence to others. But then again, everyday I see around me plenty of evidence that by and large the society in which I live doesn't actually give a sh*t anymore about other people's feelings, so probably its just me being over sensitive about others...

I do sometimes wonder how much of what I see people do is just to be a "little naughty", ie offensive just to be, well, offensive to others. Don't get me wrong, I've done it in the past, but I guess I've grown out of it now.

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 16:01 pm 
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But what does the public really want to see? If they're coming to a battle reenactment, presumably they want to see a battle. If the SS fought in the scenario being presented, or if it is an event where it is advertised that any and all WW2 appropriate impressions will be presented, then presumably a spectator would want to see that too. If they didn't, and many don't, they wouldn't come attend the event. If they do come out to the event, and if they are offended by what they see, it seems to me that's nobody's fault but their own.

There are people out there who are offended by competitive sports, so presumably they don't pay to get into football matches. There are people out there who think trainspotting is stupid and pointless, so presumably they don't hang around on train platforms watching trainspotters writing down engine numbers. I've known many people who think reenacting is stupid at best, and offensive at worst. That's fine. Nobody is forcing them to attend an event.

In response to Andrei's most recent post, I think we fall into a dangerous trap when we ascribe different motives to SS reenactors than we do to any other kind of reenactors. Why do we necessarily assume that SS reenactors dress up to get a reaction, or worse that they're all neo-fascists, instead of because they think it is an interesting or a compelling role to play? I don't think that most people assume that all American Civil War reenactors want to re-establish slavery. I don't think that most people assume that all Roundhead reenactors want to kill off the monarchy. I don't think that most people assume that all Roman reenactors want to kill Christ. Other than perception, what's the difference? The sad part, at least in my own opinion, is more that many reenactors have this perception than that some in the public have this perception. Reenactors really should know better.

Really, my earlier question has nothing to do with not having regard for public perception. Rather, it is an acknowledgment that somebody somewhere will find something offensive in anything one does. At what point do we get to the point where we just have to say "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm not going to discard my hobby (which by the way is appreciated by a great many people both public and private) just because you personally find it distasteful"?

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 16:22 pm 
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Good discussion - and I say that because not many actually seem to want to discuss this point at all, ever. (In fact expect someone demanding this thread be locked sooner or later)

Quote:
I think we fall into a dangerous trap when we ascribe different motives to SS reenactors than we do to any other kind of reenactors. Why do we necessarily assume that SS reenactors dress up to get a reaction, or worse that they're all neo-fascists, instead of because they think it is an interesting or a compelling role to play?


I think you are probably correct in this line, except for the inescapable fact that by and large in Western Europe (and the USA) the only WW2 insignia that causes offence is the swastika and SS runes. We could debate forever why people get offended by it, but we all know they do and in the next 100 years you are unlikely to change that.

Unfortunately remaining in the world today there are those who actively use those symbols to mark their mission to re-establish some of the nastier elements of nazism today.

I've not looked, but I haven't seen too many people wearing Roman gear and waving banners advocating the restoration of the Roman Empire and execute Jewish messiahs, the number of Roundheads looking to execute the British monarch seems to have somewhat reduced after the Restoration and despite the large number of trailer parks with the stars and bars, the South does seem to have not risen again - must be something to do with the crack I suppose...

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 16:59 pm 
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Andrei Kozlov wrote:
I've not looked, but I haven't seen too many people wearing Roman gear and waving banners advocating the restoration of the Roman Empire and execute Jewish messiahs, the number of Roundheads looking to execute the British monarch seems to have somewhat reduced after the Restoration and despite the large number of trailer parks with the stars and bars, the South does seem to have not risen again - must be something to do with the crack I suppose...


An excellent point, which I think (hope) brings us full-circle. It is essential for all reenactors to create a publicly visible and unassailable, Chinese wall between modern politics and reenacting. As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I am troubled more by fellow reenactors who question the motives of SS/German reenactors more than I am by the public who question their motives. I say this because I think it is precisely the non-SS/German reenactors who are the best people to say that they are NOT neo-Nazis. It is the non-SS/German reenactors whose statements and actions can help to inoculate all of WW2 reenacting from accusations of militarist or fascist tendencies. I think it is ultimately self-destructive for non-SS/German reenactors to openly and publicly demonstrate their suspicion of SS/German reenactors' motives. If we have people within the hobby questioning the motives of each other, it comes as no surprise that people outside of the hobby who don't understand what we do in the first place would have even more reason to do so.

Of course, hand in hand with this, it is incumbent on SS reenactors to act responsibility and with respect. I understand the tendency to feel some sort of relationship with those who wore the uniform (often exhibited by the tendency for many reenactors to say "During the war, we did such and such," as opposed to saying "During the war, they did such and such), but it is important to be honest when talking about what the units being portrayed did. If a spectator asks an SS reenactor about atrocities, it's neither particularly true or particularly helpful to say, "Well, I guess some people got hurt, but my particular company/regiment/division had nothing to do with it." The better answer (in my opinion) is to say, "Yes, the company/regiment/division that I am portraying was fighting for a fundamentally repugnant regime. We are here, not to celebrate that fact, but to faithfully represent a historical fact for the benefit of the public."

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 17:59 pm 
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You cannot accurately portray a battle without having the re-enactors cover ALL the participants & there were alot of battles during the Western front that involved Waffen SS units or divisions.
I personally like to portray 2nd SS panzer Rgt as a tribute to my great uncle who I may point out was NOT an ardent Nazi he was actually a transfer from the old Deutschland division & was told you WILL join this regt or you WILL find yourself in not a nice place!
This man was a great inspiration to a small kid that loved war stories from Vet's & told me alot more than for example my dads uncle (REME), Grandfathers brother (1st Airborne) & mothers uncle RAF Wellington Bomb aimer!
At no point did he ever attempt to bombard me with nazi propoganda just told stories of how it actually was (toned down of course for a small boy at the time!)

I find this question a little like opening a can of worms you might as well ask why portray the Canadian Loyal Edmonton Regt, Argyll & sutherland highlanders of Canada, the Maquis of France numerous other US regts, just about every soviet unit & of course an RAF bomber crew!

I do not personally believe in any Nazi ideals, Im not racist however Im also not one who likes brainwash propoganda.

I think ALOT of people forget the Waffen SS for all the atrocities (for which ALL sides are guilty of during WW2.....POW's & Civilians alike!) was still considered an elite group of fighting SOLDIERS << keyword.

This like most things involving WWII falls into the catergory Propoganda.


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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:26 am 
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We have all seen the event posters and application forms that say
"No SS" but, 9 times out of ten when you look around those attending the event there are people wearing SS badges!
My opinion for what its worth, because I aint no expert, is that organisers state the above rule because what they think of as SS is the black Allgemeine uniform with armbands, leather cross strap and whips.

or, that the NO SS rule is a stipulation of the venue owners, i.e. National Heritage, or Railways R Us, who also mean the black uniform.

Anybody ever been chucked out of an event because the badge on their cap wasnt a WM wreath?

Strange thing at Victory Show last year. Probably irrelevent,
How many re-enactors at that event wearing German uniforms?

Hundreds??


On the Sunday at end of show, last of the public leaving, I was wearing white shirt, black tie, no cap, black trouser, shoes, and going to collect some water. Passed a family on thier way to car park,,, as we passed a lady said "thats disgusting. Shouldnt be allowed" Methinks, whats she talking about, I turned to look at what she was complaining about, expecting to see that she had found half a mouse in her burger...... they were looking at me... I then realised that I still had Iron Cross around my kneck.
Just what had she/they been looking at/doing all day? Did they not realise what half the re-enactors were wearing?

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 0:51 am 
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I still remember the look of disgust on some eastern European MOP's faces at Detling a couple of years ago when they saw Soviet re-enactors wearing NKVD uniforms! Many Poles still view the NKVD as torturers, murderers and criminals and as the executors of the innocent Katyn victims, amongst many others (see the film Katyn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geu0R4xGAi4 and BBC's 'WW2 Behind closed doors.')

But as a previous poster stated, we are not helped by a small minority of our fellow Allied re-enactors who allow some of the attitudes to perpetuate by not defending their Axis colleagues. As an Axis re-enactor of long standing within the community I'd stick up for everyone's portrayal (okay, perhaps with the exception of those NKVD nasties, lol :wink: ) as I know that the vast majority of us, if not everyone, are here for the best possible motives and for the furtherment of the hobby as a whole.

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Last edited by schafer12 on Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 0:53 am 
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dishmop wrote:
On the Sunday at end of show, last of the public leaving, I was wearing white shirt, black tie, no cap, black trouser, shoes, and going to collect some water. Passed a family on thier way to car park,,, as we passed a lady said "thats disgusting. Shouldnt be allowed" Methinks, whats she talking about, I turned to look at what she was complaining about, expecting to see that she had found half a mouse in her burger...... they were looking at me...


Perhaps she thought you were wearing a wheel-clamper's uniform, Chris? :wink: lol.

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:54 am 
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If your to portray the political side of the SS then NO,
but if its only the fighting man then why not

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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:28 am 
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LAH 650 wrote:

Why do they need to go to the pub in uniform.... would be my 1st question....

And that goes for any uniform not just SS.....

In the evening the show is over.... Ok if there is a dance etc.... but down the pub.... in town .....


Sorry for dragging this point up but I have a response.

1. If you fancy a quick pint and plan on going back to the show, then it is simply not practical to get changed twice.

2. If they want to go to the pub dressed in that manner then that is their right - comes with living in a 'free' society, ironically. If anyone has a problem with it, it would be no skin of the publican's nose to eject them from the pub.

I don't see a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: ss....why not?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:09 am 
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ain't that the thing about living in a so called free society.
You can do want ever you want, just don't expect anyone to agree with you.

And vice versa.

Sometimes in reenactment you don't portray something because you have any view on it - its just what all your mates are doing and you don't want to be left out.

I'd prefer to be unique, but that's cos i got no friends

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