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 Pre War Nazi Germany

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ciphers
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 966
Age : 84
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Pre War Nazi Germany   23/8/2009, 22:33

These photo's were recently released by Time Life Magazine from their archives ... interesting as to the grander and military pomp coupled with the love of uniform .. Click on the ling from one of my web sites

Len (Ciphers)

http://web.me.com/lenpayne/Site_5/My_Albums/Pages/Addy_and_Friends_Album.html
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Pre War Nazi Germany   24/8/2009, 03:52

ciphers wrote:
These photo's were recently released by Time Life Magazine from their archives ... interesting as to the grander and military pomp coupled with the love of uniform .. Click on the ling from one of my web sites

Len (Ciphers)

http://web.me.com/lenpayne/Site_5/My_Albums/Pages/Addy_and_Friends_Album.html

These are quite spectacular. The shots of the athletes in the Berlin (?) Stadium are particularly awesome. In another related thread I mention the Monumentalism of the Third Reich. This illustrates it perfectly.

Most of the photos of the Stadium back then are in black and white and one really does not realize how spectacular it was in all it's white pristine glory (all that whitewash is now a dinghy flaking gray). Even the red, white and black Nazi banners add to the spectacularism (is that even a word??).

Here,too, by the way, the design ethic of the Nazis is evident...I read somewhere once the Party when deciding on a flag finally opted for the thick black 'crooked cross' on a white background on a red field.

The symbolism, of course, was important...the mystic attributes of the crooked cross/swastika (both from an Aryan perspective but also a Germanic one). The swastika, while an Aryan (and by that I mean historical Aryan, not the ersatz creation of the Nazis) symbol for Life, I believe it was, is often found on many Eastern images, was distinct from Germanic symbology. The crooked cross also carried certain runic attributes. The swastika, then, had historical and mystical roots as well as runic attachments (the symbol for the SS, the double lightning bolts, were also runic as were many symbols used by the Nazis. Runes, it is also believed by some, hold mystical/magical power).

But over and above the symbolism of the Aryan/Germanic/Runic aspect, the colours used on the Nazi flag were heavily symbolic to the 'modern' German.

In the centre is the runic 'crossed cross', surrounded by a pure halo of white (Purity...or perhaps even Pure Race) surmounted on a blood red field symbolizing Pure Blood, courage, martyrdom. This of course also could appeal to the staunchly Catholic parts of German as it evoked similar symbological touchstones (Blood of Christ), even though the Nazis were vehemently anti-Christian.

So, while there is heavy symbolism, there was also a definite design element. Even if you knew nothing at all about the symbolism of the colours or even, as hard as it is to believe, had no idea what the banners/images represented, had never seen a swastika as used by the Nazis, for instance, you'd still be struck by the design of the flag. It is one of the most striking, well-designed flags ever. Bold, simple, eye-catching, and perfect for the Art Deco-oriented 1930's. Even now, 60+ years on, it's a fresh vibrant design. Horrible associations, yes, but from a strictly design perspective...fantastic.

On the same note: The black SS uniforms were specially designed to evoke a host of emotions in people: awe, fear, trepidation, even I've heard it argued, sexual arousal. What I didn't know until quite recently was the uniforms were designed by no less than Hugo Boss!!! Yikes. Guess I won't be wearing any of his suits for a while LOL

Militaria collectors are especially interested in Nazi memorabilia, not because it is "Nazi" but because it is so beautifully designed and so impressive with its large use of enamels and steel.

Regarding the love of uniform....this was not restricted to the Nazis or the Nazi era. There is something in the German psyche that loves uniforms. Schuetzenfests are a perfect example. Even lowly postal carriers had pretty decent looking uniforms...better than what ours have to wear! LOL
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PostSubject: Re: Pre War Nazi Germany   24/8/2009, 17:14

Anything less like a "uniform" than the present one the Politzei wear would be hard to imagine. The Bundeswehr No1 dress is also a bit short of the martial

Did'nt know about Hugo Boss, I'm wearing a pair of his jeans study
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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Pre War Nazi Germany   24/8/2009, 19:52

Yes, I was surprised by the Hugo Boss connection, too. Forget where I read that...to be honest, I didn't even realize the design firm of Hugo Boss was around back in the 30's! Such a sheltered life I lead, dontcha know LOL

Of course, I really doubt the SS connection is something Hugo Boss Inc. incorporates into their ad campaigns "Want power in the boardroom? Wear Hugo Boss, designer of top drawer Nazi uniforms!" Hmmm, yeah, I don't think so! Smile

Given my politics I suppose I should boycott but if I started doing that, there are any number of companies that are around now that, back then, also supplied or were otherwise connected with the Third Reich...objectively speaking, of course they would be; just like companies now seek or respond to patronage and contracts with a particular government in power. Some may have known what the Nazis were really up to, but I'm kinda guessing most didn't, or didn't realize the extent, and were simply responding to the market of the day.

Munitions...sure, a German munitions factory is going to supply munitions to the German war effort, regardless of the "politics" involved.

Volkswagen....who hasn't owned one of the Volkswagen Kleine buses or a Volkswagen 'bug' at some point? A more Nazi-identified vehicle would be hard to imagine. It was, after all, specifically designed and marketed as the People's Car (Volks wagen) by the Party and yet, here we are all these years later, seeing the Volkswagen 'bug' as a benign, even cute, little economic car...which it is.

Returning to the uniform topic....for years I had an orange leather peak cap worn by railroad authorities, similar in style to that worn (only in green) by the Politzei. I wish I still had it, actually, but my father -- who was a military collector as well as a soldier himself -- had a friend who collected uniforms and who wanted the cap, so we gave it to him. I thought then and think now I got ripped off LOL The damn thing was probably worth a few scheckels.

Kicking around somewhere, I have an East German border guard uniform...cap, jodhpurs, high boots, shirt, suspenders (but not the jacket), epaulets, etc. Got it dirt cheap too after The Berlin Wall fell and the East German border guards ceased to exist. The cap was of similar design to the railroad and Politzei caps mentioned above.

The other thing about the design and "look" of the Third Reich uniforms, especially the dress uniforms, was the departure from previous German/European uniforms. Think what some of the dress uniforms from the Second Reich (Kaiser) or Austro-Hungarian Empire looked like...the Hussar-type uniforms. Pretty spectacular in their own right but the SS etc. uniforms were a radical departure from that look. At the time the "new" uniform must have made a helluva impression because nothing before looked anything like it.
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