A lot can go into a living history impression. Expenses can be high enough just to get your uniforms, weapons, boots, etc looking spot on. There are lots of reenactors that go to great lengths to get the exact color thread, or buy that extra little trinket that makes their impression stand out.
And there’s always the ones that want to do even more!
I first started getting interested in the clerk side of reenacting right after I decided that I wanted to go further than just putting together uniform. I wanted to do more. If I got “captured”, I thought I wanted my captor to pull things out of my pockets that a real German soldier might have carried on his person. I bought a Soldbuch and other “pocket trash” that might have been common to carry by the every day soldier. From there, it has progressed into award documents, promotion papers, leave and transfer documents, and every other little thing I can sink my claws into!
I bought a 1930’s Torpedo brand German typewriter so that I can fill out documents in the most authentic way possible. I even bought some fountain and dip pens to try to teach myself 1930’s-40’s German script. It’s been fun learning!
Our talented unit tailor has also been able to replicate period type Soldbuch wallets, which were commonly carried by the German soldier. Not only would it store the Soldbuch, but also money, pictures, orders of transfer and leave and whatever else the soldat would stuff in them. Always carried in a tunic pocket. If you ask, I’m sure Obergefreiter von Lubin can custom make you one too! Send us a message on Facebook!
More to come on being the Kompanie Shreiber in later posts! Thanks for reading!
Hallo from Grenadier Regiment 211!!
This is our first blog post! Thank you for reading! We are excited about our new website and updates will continue as we find the time to do so.
For our first topic, our discussion is awards and uniform standards and how it relates to what we are doing here at Grenadier Regiment 211. We are aware of a reputation that Florida has received in years past for what reenactors call “farbiness”. Or “farbs”, or “farby”.
Our goals with the 211th is to learn; and teach what we learn about the common German soldier of WWII. We find that a lot of the time, our own personal ego gets in the way of authenticity. If you go to either a public or private reenacting event, look around at the people portraying living history. You’ll notice lots of badges, lots of awards, lots of bling on their uniforms. When you see some of the very elite awards being worn by both lower and senior enlisted, as well as officers, it just screams that farb word. Gold crosses, Close Combat Clasps, Knights Cross of the Iron Cross, gold Wound badges…. These were awards given to people for valorous actions on the battlefield. I just don’t feel these awards have a place in the world of reenacting. Even the Iron Cross First Class, though common, is a prestigious award and the soldat should do something prestigious to earn it. Can a living historian do something that warrants such things?
We would like to honor the veterans of this World War. Not take away from the awards that they earned. In the Grenadier Regiment 211, we will reward our soldaten for their actions. But not in a way that detracts from our mission: To educate. Our soldaten will have awards. But they may even be tailored to the event we are attending. Not only does that add to the authenticity of the event, but it also may give us practice with certain crafts that a German soldier would know by his upbringing. Like hand sewing on a ribbon or rank device to his uniform.
I hope this doesn’t rub anyone the wrong way. Is this too far? What are your thoughts?