How to deal with the ignorant public.

General reenactment discussion

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HkSniper
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How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by HkSniper »

I have a topic that has been picking at me after I remembered an incident I had encountered last year. I wondered if anyone else has run into something similar (I am sure you have) and am curious of how you dealt with it.

My story is as follows.

I was at one of the major public reenactments last summer in which a very large crowd of the public was at. We had just finished one of the battles and I was lagging a little ways behind my unit carrying some heavier equipment when I was approached by a woman. Now, I could tell that this woman was likely intoxicated so I am sure her encounter with me was fueled by some 'Liquid Courage'. Anywho, the conversation went like this.

"You are a reenactor right?" ( I wanted to say no duh, lady. I'm just walking around in this stuff carrying equipment because I can.)
"Yes I am."
"Are you American?"
"No I am a German reenactor."
"Oh, so, you're a Nazi?"
"No, ma'am I'm not. I am simply someone who reenacts a standard German grunt from WW2."
"Then why dress up like a Nazi? That makes you a Nazi."
"Just because I reenact it does not mean I support the ideas of the political stance."
"Then why dress up like a Nazi?"

At this point I became annoyed...

"I'm not dressed up as a Nazi. I am dressed up as a German Soldier. Just because a person was a soldier for Germany at that time did not mean they were a Nazi. That would be like me saying that a US Soldier is a democrat because of who is in office. Sure, some may have held the same political ideas but that is not the point of this reenactment, this is to show what the war was like - not express our current or past political ideas."
"Well, I kind of see your point but I still think you're a Nazi."
"Whatever."

My annoyance must have been very visible because her husband / boyfriend pulled her away and told her to leave me alone.

I walked off fairly annoyed and a little PO'ed. But I quickly shrugged it off.

However, it recently came back to mind when I was talking to a good friend of mine about reenacting, and he brought up the question if I had ever been asked that question.

I thought I would be curious, and come here to see if anyone else has had issues with this and how you dealt with the situation?

manstein
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by manstein »

i usally try to educate the person who thinks all germans were nazi's tha tthat was not the case
if they cannot be intrested in what i am trying to tell them and help them see the truth then i just walk away from them and leave them in there own little narrow minded world

i find this works in most cases and the person either goes away better educated on the matter or just carries on making a fool of them selfs to everyone around them

i know this works as i did it to john swenney when he inveiwed me for 1 hour and 40 mins asking all the usall questions and in the end only used 20 seconds of what he recorded and he came off looking the fool to the whole of the public watching the programme

i does not only happen in the reenacting world when people find out i am a ex RAF officer they assume that all people in the RAF who are officers are pilots
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JDR
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by JDR »

Easy just tell them to **** off has worked in the past :lol:

Or when they say are you a Nazi then just reply just thanks and carry on walking thats fucks them off also :lol:
And that boys is how you take a penalty.

Jaws
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Jaws »

Learn this phrase,
"Ficken sie hitler"
Say it, then walk away. Re-enactment of the ordinary deutscher soldat at it's finest. I've done it, it leaves a puzzled look on MOP's faces. :lol:

Regards,

Gary.
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Mooyman
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Mooyman »

Ignore them. :evil:
Those people want to push you in a corner were you don't belong.
If i were you,i would not even talk to them.
Because an honost debate is a waist of time.
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Liebstandarte
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Liebstandarte »

I carry my soldbuch at all times, when asked the "Nazi" question I produce it & tell them the story It contains..."Here is the document that says I was injured, here is my train ticket to visit my Mother, here are pictures of my children (Hilde & lotte) - Thats why I`m fighting this war, to protect them from the communists. this is a wedding picture of my cousin Ernst (I never got on with him) etc....
this normally makes the MOP say "You go in to all that detail ?" and they walk away impressed.
I`ve found this works every time. It makes me a human in the mind of the individual.
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Peiper

Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Peiper »

I had something similar while travelling on the GWR train at the SVR event last yr while in German garb, i was going to the battle
event a few stops down the line at Highly.

This ignorant young guy kept throwing comments and making stupid observations which i ignored at first but in the end lost patience
when he announced to the car "Has anybody seen Schindlers list"?? with a big grin, at this point i explained iam a re-enactor
portraying a German frontline soldier with no connection to the Concentration camp guards responsible for the Holocaust and if he
has anymore stupid remarks like that to keep his brain dead comments to himself, at this point he went red and shut up, sometimes
you have to tell and educate these ridiculous people!!!! :twisted:

Regards Pipes :wink:

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Tychsen
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Tychsen »

Talking to an even mildly intoxicated person is a waste of time, smile and move on - otherwise summarise and reflect back to them what they have just said and ask them if this is what you mean often it is enough to make them look foolish.

FMROMMEL
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by FMROMMEL »

Try "Wearing a German uniform doesn't make you a Nazi any more than standing in a garage makes you a car."
or "If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong."

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
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Bauer
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Bauer »

FMROMMEL wrote:Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Couldn't agree more Wayne.
Transferred to 17 Kompanie, Infanterie Regiment, Großdeutschland....

Peiper

Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Peiper »

Bauer wrote:
FMROMMEL wrote:Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Couldn't agree more Wayne.
Sorry kameraden i dont agree, i have to speak my mind :wink:
If somebody is having a poke i have to tell them im afraid, then
i'll take the consequencies that follow :?:

Cheers Pipes

Stigroadie

Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Stigroadie »

There is a problem with the 'they weren't all nazis' argument.
It is very clear that even if not party members a very large proportion of the population were supporters.
If in your role as a non nazi soldier you have to battle the Brits or the Americans would you, as would be sensible if you are fighting for your comrades and family and not the nazi state, surrender at the first opportunity or at least only offer token resistance?

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Chainsaw 7
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Chainsaw 7 »

Simple - don't go to public reenactments.

I only attend 1 public event each year - the rest are all private tacticals.

I simply do not speak to non-participants. I ignore them entirely. I do not care what they think.

We all have different reasons for participating in this hobby. Mine do not include educating the general public.

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Schnitzel
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by Schnitzel »

FMROMMEL wrote:Try "Wearing a German uniform doesn't make you a Nazi any more than standing in a garage makes you a car."
Hah, I like that one :lol:
It is only a problem if you make it a problem

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grenadier181
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Re: How to deal with the ignorant public.

Post by grenadier181 »

I was at a railway event, I dare not name it for fear of ridicule. Man with bulldog, cropped mohawk, leather jacket and ring in his nose.

I am in German uniform.

MAN: "Are you a Nazi"?
ME: "No, are you a bull"?

End of conversation.
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