Were they Real?

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Were they Real?

Postby templarcommander on Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:04 am

I was recently speaking with some young teens, about WW2 with a focus on the German Army. One young man shocked me when he asked the following:

"you know those concentration camps and "stuff", were they real?, i mean did that actually happen?"

What a question i thought, he was serious and others even followed up with the likes of:

"was it really that bad?", "No-one will believe that", or "no-one would do that."

This, i think is so important, to deal with. When memories become stories, events and realities can become distorted.

I am still thinking about this one.
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby Dave Mooney on Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:59 am

Holy cow! It's that that's unreal!
We're still making films about it, you'd think they'd believe what they were seeing like they do with the conspiracy rubbish.
Discovery Channel, Hello!

What a Stumper!
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby redneckjedi on Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:23 pm

Well, you know how the media can distort minor little things like, you know, facts. Then god forbid Hollywood gets hold of it. It really is up to the Re-enactment/Living History community to keep things true.
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby Tychsen on Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:31 pm

Hollywood make movies - and movies are not history.
As far as reenactment goes I would not even consider in anyway a reference to the Holocaust or the genocide which was ordered in the east.

To some extent the comments do not surprise me - as few people are well read on the subject - especially the young - the second and third generations post WW2.
I think WW2 reenactors can gert too wrapped up in the uniforms and "action" and possibly forget or minimize the true nature of the German war effort as directed by ther "party" - a racial war run with a genocidal purpose in mind.
The conduct of the war in the east was one without quarter fought with little regard for the civilian populations.

Whilst I do not wish to demonise the Geramn soldier who more and more was fighting for his life - the goverment which directed the war effort did so certainly from 1941 onwards with genocide in mind - it was an intrinsic element of the Hitler Goverment's war efort.

How would reenactors filed an answer to the questions which "templar commander" was faced with - to me you have to be prpared to meet questions like this head on and have a little more understanding that the fact that concentration camps existed and to be aware of the the time line through which genocide evolved , how and where it took place.

Youngsters spent a lot of time on th einternet and the internet is the home of Holocaust denial - those who deny it outright or seek to water it down as being "not that bad" , seeking to deny the process of murder and the responsibility of the Hitler Goverment for its implementation.

For those doing "SS" the need to be able to answer question in an open and balanced manner is absolute - to do otherwise is to be ignorant and stupid beyond belief - knowing the weapons, the generals , the uniforms etc is fine but WW2 was a war like no other and its darker aspects did touch on the frontline soldier via the orders and expectations of the Fuhrer and his underlings who demanded thaty frontline soldiers and their commandeers "assist" in the round up of Jews , communists and "antisocial elements" and to render help to the Einstatzgruppen.
Those who seek to deny genocide will insist that these men only took action against "Partisans" and that the Jews were instrumental in supporting the "Partisans" and as such it was reasonable to execute them.
When did the elderly , children and nursing mothers bear arms ?

The camp system existed before WW2 to control and re educate the German population , with the fall of Poland and the ghettoisation of the Jews the CZ system was extended to the rest of Europe - especially the east where the bulk of the Jewish populations existed - the treatment metted out was one of work or die , and those who could not work were killed.
The drift to extermination camp with the Reinhard Camps - http://www.deathcamps.org/

It is worth recalling that T4 the so called mercy killings with killed an estimated 70,000 of the most vunerable section of German society prior to the war - by gassing and starvation , lethal injection and intentional neglect - the people who ran this programme assisted in the setting up of the death camps , Himmler having brought the killing process into the concentration camp system prior to this .
( It is worth remembering that what is referred to as the Holocaust was not predicated on the Jews alone , they just became one of the largest target groups with the invasion of Poland and the eventual occupation of areas of Russia.)

This very brief overview of time line needs to be known and understood - it stems from decisions made in the Fuhrer's Office of the Reichschancellery , the instructions given by Hitler / Himmler to men like Heydrich who called the Wansee Conference - not to make policy but to arrnage the process by which it would be enacted - also to allow him to consolidate power allowing him to control and implement the process at all levels and caross all interlated agencies and departments.

As far as doing "German WW2" and reflecting and answering questions on this subject- it causes me not problems - if anyone thinks I am being unfair to Hitler , his gobvermetn or the German Army please throw your hat in the ring I will be glad to "chat it out".

Ignorance and unawareness amongest the young - it does not surprise me - we talk about living history - education is part of what we say we are trying to do - this process goes beyond "dressing up and playing soldiers" - which is how the average member of the public looks at us.

I firmly believe that any re enactment process must be based in the history of the time anyone doing "German WW2" and not making themselves of what the public might ask and how to answer it is a fool to themselves.
To believe that the public don't know otr should be bluffed or side tracked - that is even worse - it is unforgivable in my eyes to treat folks like fools or to believe them to be is to reduce what you do to simply "dressing up" and if this is all you do it is time to sak yourself whay are you doing it and whom are you folling - my view is that the first person you are fooling is yourself.

Holocaust denial - don't kid yourself it is out there and it exists - answering the idiot brigade who press this empty case is not hard - by and large they have a great veneere but that is about it - it is one of our responsibilites that we should be able to at least give the public the confifence and understanding that we have no time for such views and are able to give reasonable answers to reasonable questions.
Last edited by Tychsen on Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby Na Fianna Éireann on Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:12 pm

what annoys me are the people that try to excuse the crimes of ww2 ( or any period in history) and try to throw back into your face " that the allies did this or did that " recently on one forum i witnessed a lot of this by a particular poster who attempted to excuse atrocities with feeble excuses . when challenged on the matter the poster conviently erased the posts and thought out of sight out of mind .with re-enacting comes a collective responsibility to the past to the present and to future generations , the hobby is to be enjoyed but we must be sensitive to the emotions of others .
Na Fianna Éireann Fíor inár gCroíthe Neart inár Láimhe Comhsheasmhacht inár dTeanga.
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby tommyargue on Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:50 pm

I'm curious to know how you answered the question templar, whatever about watching history programmes on discovery or history channels, do these kids not even watch the news or read newspapers. Deathcamps and ethnic cleansing were still in full swing in the balcans only 15 years ago and the perpetraters of these atrocities are being tried now.
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Re: Were they Real?

Postby brendan on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:09 pm

And many of the perpetrators are being lauded as heroes and/or sheltered by neighbouring countries...

Kids DONT read newspapers or watch the news. They Watch shows about current/future/has been celebrities and send text messages... there are exceptions of course.

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Re: Were they Real?

Postby redrazors on Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:29 pm

there was a very interesting article on "counterknowledge" in the sunday times magazine this week. anyone read it?
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