Article about: by Friedrich-Berthold If a person says they are a costume designer, I take it on faith. In any case, the fakers here and elsewhere are usually less fluent in English and take a different tac
Might I ask if anyone could share some information about SS doctors ranks. What was the highest rank issued ? What uniform insignia, patches and such would be congruent for that rank? I do costume work but militaria is not my field of expertise and I am a bit overwhelmed with so much data on German uniforms without knowing what things go together for the less common seen uniforms. Was there such a thing as an Oberstgruppenfurher doctor??? If so I need to understand what shoulder board, cuff titles, collar tabs etc should be correct . Did any of the doctors use the Algemeine style black uniform? If anyone might be so kind if they have some pictures or advise to offer I would really appreciate it.
This site is amazing with all the data and pictures I have not seen in the books I have had available to me. Some of the uniform pictures in here are incredible . Especially those showing the garment construct. Generally pictures I have stumbled across so nowhere near some of the detail I have seen in here.
Hi Eva, first off, welcome to the forum and it is nice to see another lady join us here.
The questions you have asked I can help with. But it is a fairly broad subject. If you are intending making a uniform for a production it might be much easier to know a little background detail, such as the date, etc.
There was indeed a Reichsartz SS, whose name escapes me. In the film Der Untergang he blows himself and family up with a hand grenade. That sounds fairly dramatic, but in any case, someone here or on the Axis History Forum will know indeed this man's name. He was at general rank. Also, there were surely very senior medical personnel in the III. Reich who also had honorary SS rank, too. The SS had a large medical organization in all its branches. The black uniform was used by those who wore only it, i.e. people in part time billets as honorary rank or in the Allgemeine SS where there were very few full time billets. If the figure you must depict served in a full time billet in the SS structures (RFSS, Allgem. SS, <acronym title="single decal German steel helmet"><acronym title="single decal German steel helmet">SD</acronym></acronym>/Sipo, Waffen SS) more or less after about 1938/9, then the person wore a grey uniform. The pictures of Mengele and his colleagues in Auschwitz in 1944 are very representative of the doctor's uniform in the Waffen SS by the height of the war.
To my mind, the best treatment of this issue is in Mollo's Uniforms of the SS, which is hard to find, though.
Bob Coleman owns an overcoat of a medical person on the staff of an Abschnitt of the Allgemeine SS, if I recall. He might post it.
I do not think the Reichsarzt SS was an Oberstgruppenfuehrer, as there was only a handful at said rank. You can look in the Dienstalterliste. The event is also treated in Joachim Fest's book Der Untergang, his last upon which the film was partially based.
As Adrian suggests, if you offer us more data on your project, we can help you. If there is one thing in this world in the year 2009, it is a lot of reproduction SS uniforms and all the insignia, some of extraordinary quality.
Thanks to my Belgian colleague for the excellent intervention.
Grawitz was indeed an extraordinary war criminal.
Here is one of the new images of Mengele and his chums (whose names escape me at the moment, but Hoess is there, too, with Kramer and this man who was the Adjutant (he is gesturing...these images are from his album now in the US Holocaust Museum) Mengele is on the left looking at him. This in the summer of 1944 at the height of the mass murder of Hungarian Jews.
The article in Wikipedia on Grawitz looks pretty well done to me, in fact. I had not know that he was head of the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, but such makes perfect sense. Such is the pleasure of learning something knew each day.
Here is one of the new images of Mengele and his chums (whose names escape me at the moment, but Hoess is there, too, with Kramer and this man who was the Adjutant (he is gesturing...these images are from his album now in the US Holocaust Museum) Mengele is on the left looking at him.
Allow me to add that the adjutant's name was Karl Höcker. The Sturmbannführer next to him is his superior, Richard Baer.
If a person says they are a costume designer, I take it on faith. In any case, the fakers here and elsewhere are usually less fluent in English and take a different tack.
Usually they simply reverse engineer the pictures of rare material that we stupidly post like a bunch naive twits that we earn bonus points for our nice things.
In fact, my postings over the past several years have given the fakers a one up, but they cannot reproduce real age and actual materials in caps and tunics. Surely in the much loved and inflated SS cap badges the websites have revolutionized the fakers, as near as I can tell. But then I do not follow the cap badges as closely as some. But the fakes today are closer in certain aspects to authentic pieces than ten years ago. This has all be reverse engineering.
Besides, a uniform faked from whole cloth would be pretty obvious. And one made of real bits etc. would likewise be in a different class and there are enough hyper alert people to pursue such a thing, too.
Much of life is based on faith and trust, and why not?
I do not mean to criticize my British friend, but part of the reason I have made some 1600 or more posts is simply for my own pleasure. If someone learns from it, then all the better. I know I have aided the fakers, not with wanting to, but I refrain from posting or explaining certain key traits that would enable them to clinch the thing with even better fakes.
The alternative is to live in some Soviet or Taliban like world, which we all eschew.
this was a generalisation, not meant to be personal, trust is something earned and not given away freely in my opinion, but thats a personal thing for me, i dont trust people in this game ,
You are absolutely right, and I do not either. However, I teach people how to read and write for a living and one develops a sense of things from how people write. Of course, such is meaningless in an absolute sense. I also could not agree more that trust is precious and also that knowledge is more so. It has taken me nearly fifty years to learn what I share here, and I made up my mind forty years ago at the age of 16 to devote myself solely to German history. But as a teacher, then, I believe in the positive aspect of such knowledge. The right collar patches and hints of cuff titles are not going to enable a super fake. These are made by collectors and dealers whom we already know and who also own the reference books we do, as well. Or, as is often the case, they write the reference books and make the fakes at the same time. Think of the ex US Army officer cum dagger authority of the 1960s, he was a prime example of many, in fact.
I would most assuredly exclude Mr. Robin Lumsden in the above generalization, but there is more than one such figure who was or has been a wolf in sheep's clothing, hence the need for skepticism. This fact becomes the lode star for other people, the focus of their whole being, which it is not in my case. I am skeptical of human nature, and take it as a given that there is much larceny and thievery going on here.
After all, the trade in this junk started in the black market and remains deeply embedded in the same ethos and milieu.
But I appreciate your words of caution and thank you for making a point with which I fundamentally agree.