12-16-2011, 09:27 PM
You can come with me to Munich and ask if you want, but you won't be too pleased with the response, I can tell you.
The other piece, you might recall, is that said period is now a very long time ago, and the human and personal link has become very faint. The firm obviously profited from the era, as did many who did so either legitimately or illegitimately through public theft of the "non-Aryan" competition.
I have no idea whether such a generalization applies in this case, but the party potentates in Munich were especially rabid proponents of aryanisation at the time.
Finally, I am not sure if you read the headlines, but an east German terror and murder ring with neo Nazi orientation has seized public attention, and put another displeasing light on the past. Such makes inquiries of the kind that Ben wishes to make not unproblematic.
Also, in writing above, some of you please refrain from your own political statements on contemporary events in this connection, as these are well placed either elsewhere on this site, or on other sites altogether.
In this connection, moreover, this title bears reading, Krauss ed Rechte Karrieren in Muenchen. I found it in Munich this year, and it is a fine example of local history that looks at just this theme. However, such also means no assault on any existing firm.
Many leading German firms have taken flak over the past, or done their own research to deal with same.
12-16-2011 09:27 PM
12-16-2011, 09:33 PM
12-16-2011, 09:52 PM
I have not noticed any politicization before in this thread, did I miss something?
F-B, have you ever had a chance to speak with individuals directly involved with the making of caps during the Third Reich era? There cannot be many of them left today though. A mere 5-minute talk with such a person could utterly destroy decades of collector-invented rubbish of the very kind that floods the maroon site and make a reference book or two seem frightfully uninformed.
12-16-2011, 10:10 PM
As concerns the statement about politicization, my words are preemptive.
In the second instance, much of my early professional life was spent with people who had lived through the III. Reich as adults. I have also known people who made militaria, as well, at the time, but these websites did not exist then, and the inane questions and issues that they exemplified had not emerged in anywhere near the berserk way that operates today. The collector invented rubbish has taken on a totally different character in the present, whereas in the past, the co relation of forces was different. The old Bavarian auction houses, which likely had a pretty strong ex Nazi contingent, hardly engaged the US collector sphere, which was no where as organized or stentorian as it has become via the internet. Nor did the super empowered individual "expert" of such websites exist either. There was a lot of real stuff, the fakes were pretty bad, despite what some of you might think about Atwood's hats, for instance, or parts daggers or whatever, and no one really cared much, other than there was prosperity and peace despite the cold war. The whole stitch fairy thing as well as crimped prong fetish was a level of analysis beyond comprehension in a more innocent time, since the electronic images on a globalized basis ala the medium is the message did not exist...maybe McCluhan foresaw such a thing, but those of us at the time did not. The real measure of all things was a plastic versus a cellon sweat shield, a very simple dichotomy, truth be told.
12-16-2011, 10:14 PM
Apropos your paraphrase of Beck and TF, I would translate Wissenschaft as scholarship and not science, actually. This is a pretty deep subject in military thought, and one with which I have some familiarity.
12-16-2011, 10:18 PM
I agree with you, F-B! This is not my own translation - I shall change it soon.
12-16-2011, 10:21 PM
Unfortunately, any serious study of the Third Reich uniform and textile production industry will unearth uncomfortable facts about the "aryanisation" i.e. theft of established Jewish firms, the huge exploitation of captive populations in places such as the Lodz ghetto which was a city with a long established textile manufacturing base and of course the well documented production facilities in various concentration camps. The more research I conduct, the more shocking statistics and facts come to light.
For example, most collectors would look at their tropical hats and tunics and not give a second thought as to where they were made, or, just assume that they were made in Germany by the German workforce. Not so in fact. Huge amounts were produced in the occupied territories such as Lodz. Another mistake is to assume that such forced jewish workers had been sent to their deaths long before the war's end. Not so, The Lodz ghetto had production figures peaking in 1944 when more modern uniform construction and time saving machinery had already been introduced which meant that more non skilled workers could be utilised which was the over riding aim of all Third Reich bureaucrats in the wartime years. The lack of skilled workers is evident in every period document I read from the period.
These facts are disturbing of course and maybe we are too close in terms of time to really be able to study them properly. It will probably take at least 2 or 3 more generations to do that without the rawness of human emotion.
12-16-2011, 10:22 PM
12-16-2011, 10:24 PM
Well said, Ben, and surely an insight reinforced by the work we have all done together to fashion this thread. The point was driven home for me in a fresh way by a close reading of UM and especially the RZM circulars, the latter of which has some pretty hateful ideas connected with deeds.
A group of us here is actually interested in history versus the antiquarian accumulation of fetish objects, which are somehow to make the owner better through the ethical and moral lights of the present. These items are a manifestation of the best and worst of the past, in which the details of the worst can appear in shocking proximity at times when one least expects it.
And, at some deep and profound personal level, our interest is totally irrational, and in my case, a rejection of hula hoops, surf boards, eight track tape players, as well as i phones and apps. Such has also been a life long attempt to understand those around me on both sides of the Atlantic in the age of my parents and grand parents.
The foetid woolens of the mass politics of integral nationalism and total war signify a connection to the most powerful forces of European history, politics, society, economy, and culture, in all their frightening reality. Consumerism aims to remake society in possession of status as well as things of rarity that establish value. I guess we are a form of consumerism, but my desire was always to have a direct connection in order to understand, interpret, grasp and comprehend fundamental truths about ourselves, which, in my youth were everywhere and still a part of most lives. My friends with a background in theology and philosophy have been especially helpful to give me an interdisciplinary perspective on this issue. A real moment of deep insight operated for me last year, when I saw with several hundred mostly east Germans the exhibit on Hitler in Berlin's Zeughaus. The mood among those present and the things themselves in said locale were ever so different from a gun show, a hock shop, a Bender publication, or on these websites. A profound and significant moment unfolded for me in my own life long concern with the flotsam of the III. Reich.
I am especially grateful to Ben, who enabled me to read the RZM circulars, which had been closed to me beforehand. They are a powerful source, as are the SS directives. You cannot get a real sense of the mentality and practices of these organizations without deepening yourself in them, which is certainly not remotely possible with the Schiffer books, that's for bloody sure, to say nothing of a casual reading of stitch fairy on line nostrums or prong wizard expostulations.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 12-16-2011 at 10:50 PM.
12-16-2011, 10:56 PM
You are welcome of course and if or when I can obtain the rest of the RZM circulars, you shall be the first to know.
It's very easy to get caught up in the whole buzz of extracting original TR items out from under the noses of the masses of other collectors, let alone dealers that are always on the hunt for them and in most cases, just to make a quick profit.
Lately though, I've honestly been more and more interested in the research and less and less interested in wanting to own this or that item. After all, without any historical study, these are just bits of wool and vulcanfibre, leather and rayon.
In other words, I could tell you a lot about the manufacture of rayon in Poland. The firms involved way back in the 19th century, the amazing fortunes the familes amased, the huge manufacturing buildings they built and how they all got carted off when Germany invaded but most people don't want to hear about that do they?
They just want to hear that their Lubstein cap is the bees knees and how much it's worth when it comes time to sell.