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Thread: Have you ever seen a German WW2 veteran wearing uniform or medals?

  1. #1

    Default Have you ever seen a German WW2 veteran wearing uniform or medals?

    So, I decided to post this after I went to an airshow today and saw a real WW2 Imperial Japanese IJN pilot. He was wearing a full uniform, complete with the worn out bandanna. It was the coolest thing ever; he even was wearing his 60 year old glasses which were perfectly round like the old stereotypes on Japanese people back then.

    After a brief conversation, I randomly began to think of all the WW2 Veterans I've met from different nationalities. I've met Canadian, American, British, Polish, Russian, and now Japanese war veterans. While most I've met while they were wearing medals while at a memorial event of sorts, I've seen a few (including today's encounter) wearing their uniform, and what a sight it is!

    This got me wondering - Have anyone met a WW2 German Veteran who has openly worn either their medals (Iron Crosses?) or even their Uniform? (Maybe they ripped out any Swastika patches sewn in). I'm not talking the SS which maybe is really inappropriate to see wondering around, I mean the regular honorable German soldier, which a good amount of were not the cold blooded Nazis they were thought to be, but regular people who were young and didn't care for the politics that Hitler brought on.

    I've seen German WW2 veterans on TV, but none of them I've seen wearing any medals they may have earned.

  2. #2

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    I assume they are probably ashamed of what happened and don't want to wear the uniform for the guilt that they were involved in the horrors committed by nazi-germany.

  3. #3

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    I haven't but when I was a little kid, our neighbor who lived across the street was a German WWII survivor. She was a young girl living in Berlin. At the end of the European war, the Russians stormed into Berlin. Sadly, they sometimes would rape the young girls. A Russian soldier broke into their house and her father killed him with his bare hands in order to protect his family. Later, the Americans took over West Berlin. She met a young Master Sargent and he married her and brought her to the states, where they became our neighbors.

    Years later she gave me some piano music which she played when she was a girl. One book had the music from the 1038 Olympics. If you know your history, those Olympics were in Munich, I think, and they were to be the showcase of the superior Aryan race. As it turned out, they were embarrassed by the Americans and others. Their theory of white supremacy got blown out of the water when Jessie Owens, a black man racing with half a foot, set new records, and medaled Gold.

    When Peggy gave me her piano music, she showed me where all the swastikas were printed on the pages, but they weren't there. Even as a child, she had cut them out. Her family were courageous protestors to the movement, something which could get you killed. She was a remarkable person.

  4. #4

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    Not to be a dbag but I'm guessing they don't want to hear about it.

    Family Guy - Crazy Nazi - YouTube

    Sorry, I couldn't resist......

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I haven't but when I was a little kid, our neighbor who lived across the street was a German WWII survivor. She was a young girl living in Berlin. At the end of the European war, the Russians stormed into Berlin. Sadly, they sometimes would rape the young girls. A Russian soldier broke into their house and her father killed him with his bare hands in order to protect his family. Later, the Americans took over West Berlin. She met a young Master Sargent and he married her and brought her to the states, where they became our neighbors.

    Years later she gave me some piano music which she played when she was a girl. One book had the music from the 1038 Olympics. If you know your history, those Olympics were in Munich, I think, and they were to be the showcase of the superior Aryan race. As it turned out, they were embarrassed by the Americans and others. Their theory of white supremacy got blown out of the water when Jessie Owens, a black man racing with half a foot, set new records, and medaled Gold.

    When Peggy gave me her piano music, she showed me where all the swastikas were printed on the pages, but they weren't there. Even as a child, she had cut them out. Her family were courageous protestors to the movement, something which could get you killed. She was a remarkable person.
    Thats epic, doesn't get any more firsthand then that!


    Ok, well I guess it might be more or less very unlikely to see one wearing the uniform, but I can still believe some would put an iron cross on their vet-suit or such. I know shyness from them is a key thing, but I still have faith that a good amount of them arn't afraid to tell their tales.
    I've seen quite a few German vets on TV (best example is Luftwaffe Ace Gunther Rhall [spell error?]) He spoke about EVERYTHING, and wasnt afraid to speak about it. Even after meeting Hitler 3 times, he wasn't ashamed because he said he knew he didn't actually participate in the holocaust or such, he just did his job like a good soldier. Sorry for getting off topics a bit there...

    I'm sure quite a few of them still living today wouldn't be embarrassed to speak about it. I know German law prohibits denying events of WW2, but I'm still curious if some anyone's met one, and if they were shy about it or not.

  6. #6

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    The German soldiers who were really amazing were the U-boat sailors. Almost all of them died, eventually. Though it was horrible, sneaky warfare, all sides participated in it. Imagine being trapped in this relatively small tin can submerged at extreme depths and being depth charged! I wonder how they kept their sanity. So many of the flyers were killed as well.

    I talked with an American flyer and he told me how they had to fly something like 30 missions. As that flight number increased, your odds went down. They more they flew, the harder it was to go up again. He told me that many of them "got sick" or had other excuses. By the time you had 25 flights, you just knew you were going to die, yet up you went.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I talked with an American flyer and he told me how they had to fly something like 30 missions. As that flight number increased, your odds went down. They more they flew, the harder it was to go up again. He told me that many of them "got sick" or had other excuses. By the time you had 25 flights, you just knew you were going to die, yet up you went.
    I'm pretty sure that's why people say that veterans from WWII are crazy. They've seen a lot and have been through stuff people can't understand if they've never been in a situation like it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by frank5 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that's why people say that veterans from WWII are crazy. They've seen a lot and have been through stuff people can't understand if they've never been in a situation like it.
    Given what hittler's ideology was and america just coming out of slave ownership, I'm pretty sure at least some saw fighting the nazi's and their allies as the right thing to do. Though it seemed far from easy, the german's were just really lucky that the neucular weapons weren't ready when they were still fighting with the allies.

    Think about how different Normandy beach landing would of been if we just leveled the whole place a week in advanced? Though I assume we would of bombed berlin or something. However what really seems odd to me about warfare, is a lot of it at least in movies, games are set in towns. But there's hardly civilians if any. Like when Germany firebombed London it just seems fucked up that governments evil or not sign off on bombing mostly civilian places.

    Though I do understand why they did/do, to destory moral.

  9. #9
    Peachy

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    I can tell you why. If you take a look into the (current) German Penal Code (StGB), section 86a (English translation):



    Quote Originally Posted by Section 86a StGB
    (1) Whosoever

    1. domestically distributes or publicly uses, in a meeting or in written materials (section 11 (3)) disseminated by him, symbols of one of the parties or organisations indicated in section 86 (1) Nos 1, 2 and 4; or

    2. produces, stocks, imports or exports objects which depict or contain such symbols for distribution or use in Germany or abroad in a manner indicated in No 1,

    shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than three years or a fine.

    (2) Symbols within the meaning of subsection (1) above shall be in particular flags,insignia, uniforms and their parts, slogans and forms of greeting. Symbols which are so similar as to be mistaken for those named in the 1st sentence shall be equivalent to them.

    (3) Section 86 (3) and (4) shall apply mutatis mutandis.
    Section 86 applies to:



    Quote Originally Posted by Section 86 StGb
    (1) Whosoever within Germany disseminates or produces, stocks, imports or exports or makes publicly accessible through data storage media for dissemination within Germany or abroad, propaganda material

    1. of a political party which has been declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court or a political party or organisation which has been held by final decision to be a surrogate organisation of such a party;

    2. of an organisation which has been banned by final decision because it is directed against the constitutional order or against the idea of the comity of nations or which has been held by final decision to be a surrogate organisation of such a banned organisation;

    3. of a government, organisation or institution outside the Federal Republic of Germany active in pursuing the objectives of one of the parties or organisations indicated in Nos 1 and 2 above; or

    4. propaganda materials the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organisation,
    In other words: Wearing such a uniform in Germany is strictly illegal. The only exceptions given in Section 86 are:
    "(3) Subsection (1) above shall not apply if the propaganda materials or the act is meant to serve civil education, to avert unconstitutional movements, to promote art or science, research or teaching, the reporting about current or historical events or similar purposes."
    I'm not sure an air show where war planes are shown falls under such teaching. At least I'd think air shows teach war, not peace.

    Peachy

  10. #10

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    Wow that's really interesting Peachy. Thanks!

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