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 Post subject: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Ok I might take a bit of a backlash from this one but id like too see what people opinions are. The Allgemine SS thread got me thinking of this So anyway here goes. If say I were to start up a group representing the 36th SS dirlewanger how would the reenacting community react as a whole? Before I get the barrage of Scum, Wakners, Farb it would be done too the highest possible standard and with the purpose of education. Members would be only be accepted if they were part of the pre exisitng reenactors community as not too encourage the "Railway Nazi zombie" type from joining and research would be paramount. I know this unit is far from everyones cup of tea and is possibley one of the darkest chapters in the Third reich's history. but outside of axis reenactors and other military cricles they are generally unheard of. So let me know what you think.


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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:26 pm 
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ok to start off the convo

id ask why?

as the kit is the same as the many other groups allready out there
so unless the group is reenacting a certain battle ...then i see no reason to start a new group .. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Usuing that argument les then theres no need for majority of the groups in reenacting. No need for Das reich as the 1st leibstandarte have got all the kit coverd, No need to the 82nd as the 101st have the same stuff. Are we showing and educating people units and there history or just the kit that was used. If its just kit then its only certain groups (Mountain troops, airborne etc) have specialist kit. Everyone else is using the same.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:36 pm 
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My response would be like Les. Why? There are many aspects of WWII that currently might not be covered by re-enactment but does that mean we should. Whats next? A group representing concentration camp guards? As Axis re-enactors we always know the question "Why do you do it?" is never far away at a public event. What would your response be when someone asked you why you portary that particular division. I hold my hands up and say I know little about the division in question but what I do know they seem to have no redeemable quailities.

History should never be forgotten but some parts might be better left alone.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:27 am 
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Education would be the answer to why dog. You your self said you know little about them and your part of the reenacting world. Ive read up a bit on the 36th and there are some quite interesting things ive found out (turns out there were soldiers who had been sent too that unit for quite minor infractions and werent all serious criminals and the mentaily disturbed). Im all for idiots who just dress offensivley for the sake of it too be told where to go, but if one of are main objectives as reenactors is too educate people on WW2 Why should some parts of history be left alone? Or are we just educating people on the things we feel wont show what happend in too bad a light. The argument for "what can you actually reenact" doesnt work here as they took part in some serious battles against partisans in the east and were a major part of the warsaw uprising. Finally surrendering just outside Berlin (I think) in 1945. Yes they were on occasion assinged too the einsatzgruppen and by 44 there reputation proceeded them with PK units refusing too be attached to them. But if were not going to do units like this because "everyone knows the germans were bad they dont need to know anymore" then educatiing people on any aspect of it seems to be a bit pointless.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:43 am 
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Ive done a fair bit of reading on the 36th and I have to agree with the other comments, why? Would you really feel comfortable that you were reenacting people that burned civilians alive and threw children from windows?

The other issue is the one of when the public ask what your collar badge means and you tell them its history; with an ordinary waffen SS badge its sometimes hard to explain or justify what you are doing but with the 36th I think once youve educated that member of the public, they will just think you arent right!

Werent they originally all convicted poachers and the like, chosen for their sharp shooting? I do think this ones best left in the past though.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:48 am 
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I think everybody who has some intrest in WW2 or re-enacting has read something about the
Dirlewangers so am not going to list their shortcomings here but if you want to start up a
group based on this kamerad then go for it, fair play!!.

Obviously you have done your research so i know it wouldn't be a "Dead Snow railway affair"
lol, personally i have nothing against it and doubt that the MOPS would be offended anyway
because most of them wouldn't have heard of the Dirlewanger Brigade anyway but be
prepared for some slating from other re-encators lol :roll:

Good luck, Pipes

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:40 pm 
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As one not currently active I will answer this as a member of the general public .
Why do you want to cover this unit and what do you know about them would be my first questions .

With any member of JP thiscould lead on to a discussion on the nature of their less than honourable activities , war crimes murder and the treatment dished out to the civilian populations in the occupied east, just be sure you want to go there and are prepared.

Looking at the nature of re-enactment events what actually do you think you can do to illustrate the nature of this units service and it's track record that which can or should be addressed by having a group focused purely on them , how do you intend display wise to deal with their record - how are you going to make this aspect "a part of living history" a simple men around a camp or tent scene will not really be anything radically different from what anyone else is doing.

I know I would not want "do them" and from what I have seen some folks have enough problems addressing the "darker side of the SS" without going out of their way to "be them".
Peiper says that few MOTP will have heard about this unit - I think that is a very misplaced judgement - quite a few people who attend events will know of them and will understand the subject very well .
I am not for an instant even thing that you would seek to defend them but creating a worthwhile representation of them will bring problems and will be quite a challenge.


Last edited by Tychsen on Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:52 pm 
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barryG wrote:
Ive done a fair bit of reading on the 36th and I have to agree with the other comments, why? Would you really feel comfortable that you were reenacting people that burned civilians alive and threw children from windows?

The other issue is the one of when the public ask what your collar badge means and you tell them its history; with an ordinary waffen SS badge its sometimes hard to explain or justify what you are doing but with the 36th I think once youve educated that member of the public, they will just think you arent right!

Werent they originally all convicted poachers and the like, chosen for their sharp shooting? I do think this ones best left in the past though.



Das Reich Burned people alive in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane and yet there are many 2nd SS groups around the world. If were going on what can and cant be reenacted then on war crimes then im not sure any division is squeky clean allied or axis (I may be wrong there). Yes they were Originally poachers. Later when it became an official penal Batallion it had members from 1st liebstandarte to the 13th SS handschar. Some had been sent there for serious crimes. Others for very minor ones. Some people who attend events will be aware of this unit. But id say the large majority wont have. So when people ask about the Collar tab and then ask why on earth I wear it the simple answer is to show people that this unit existed, to explain how it came to be and how it went so very wrong. Id never try to defend there actions, or say "they wernt that bad really" but educating people on somthing (Dark side or not) the large majority didnt even know existed has got too be a good thing no?

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:53 pm 
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On another note this is all hyperthetical. I dont have the time,money or resources too even reenact my Normal portrayal at the moment let alone start a group.

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:27 pm 
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i want to see an honour guard being represented . Black uniform, white webbing. hmmmmmmm now that would look gucci


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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Ropes wrote:
Usuing that argument les then theres no need for majority of the groups in reenacting. No need for Das reich as the 1st leibstandarte have got all the kit coverd, No need to the 82nd as the 101st have the same stuff. Are we showing and educating people units and there history or just the kit that was used. If its just kit then its only certain groups (Mountain troops, airborne etc) have specialist kit. Everyone else is using the same.



tru

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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Ropes - not sure a group would be viable but not for any of the, somewhat hypocritical, reasons posted on this thread.

I am also interested by the unique history of the 36th and the regard in which they were held by certain senior members of the Waffen-SS (which very few people know and even less care to research!). However I fear that a group would stuggle to get of the ground given that most UK shows remain, understandably, welded to the Western front and Normandy in particular (with North Africa on the up if we get the sunshine lol) - trying to tempt an event organiser with an offer of a group portraying 'Waffen-SS soldiers at rest following the burning of Partisan dwellings during Operation Fruhlingsfest, April 11 1944' is unlikely to be received as a 'hot ticket'!

What is reassuring, for me, is that at least I'm not the only bugger interested in the anti-partisan conflict. I already have 'Handschar' and RONA kit which I've worn as 'beer tent' wear at multi-period events and I've always had a positive response from other re-enactors (of other periods at least) who are interested to ask about the uniform and are usually amazed by the history attached to these units - the 36th are, however, only identified by that little collar patch and therefore don't cut such a dash....... but go for it and spit in the eye of conformity.

Let the 'bleating' commence...............


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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Some people might say i dont have a right or i dont know what i am talking about as being new to the forum and new to re-inacting but not new to history and all its downsides. As an outsider looking in this is my opinion. When i see other people saying why this why that, that's not right. Most people will ask you when you find out that you are into re-inacting - why do you do it, when you tell them that you protray german units, they ask you why? and screw up their faces. To me it dosen't matter what unit you protray you will always get the for and against's. Every unit in every army is gulity of some crime in one way or the other in different peoples eyes you cannot hold war in your hand clean it up dust it down and pick the nice parts to put on your mantel piece and show people all parts of war need to be looked at in their own merit. If you wanted to protray a certain unit and if you are happy with yourself do it. You will always get critisisim. Good Luck.


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 Post subject: Re: The 36th SS
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:53 pm 
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les hearn wrote:
Ropes wrote:
No need to the 82nd as the 101st have the same stuff.

tru


Not true, lots of details differ that's one thing that makes it an interesting subject to re-enact. Might not be obvious to the punter or the casual observer.
The overriding reason to start any group is an interest in their history as a unit I would have thought. Perhaps kit plays a part for some. Esp. when choosing between elite or ordinary soldiers. We have seen that many times, why so many SS? 'The guys like the camo and elite status.'
The 82nd and 101st have very different histories, with minor changes in their kit. The punters only see the kit.
For an SS unit they will only really see different runes? Only if they ask will the nature of the units history become obvious. Only if we inform them will they ever know the truth behind the unit.

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