Sir, I started collecting in the year 1961, when I was all of eight or so years of age. Bob Coleman has explained in detail how it worked in the early period,
but in my part of the USA, there was already a lively market in this material, and I joined the process in the method of the time: a stamp store, that also
sold militaria. When I was in high school, and could drive, I branched out. In the meantime, there were other collectors in this part of the USA, as well as
excellent universities and so forth. The thing became the focus of my life by the age of sixteen, at which time I decided to embark on advanced study
when the time was right. I could afford advanced study. I worked, too, and built my collection from the late 1960s through the end of the 1970s.
I sold my collection of black SS things in 1981 when I went to live in the FRG. I then had to rebuy it at huge expense in the 1990s and so forth.
The internet has revolutionized the whole thing beyond recognition. Militaria was once on the fringes, in the dark and now it is a roaring furnace of activity. I have read about and studied the SS and the III. Reich at higher levels of complexity since I was in grade school. I am now 63 years old, so some time has passed. I am also a professional historian, and I teach about German and European history in an advanced setting amid much critical scrutiny. The professional historian piece took me rather a long time to become, more or less the best part of twenty years...more or less from 1971 until 1991.
In any case, thanks. I share my collection because I am a teacher, and I believe in the merits of historical study.
We are not Nazis on this website. We study Nazis to understand the world of the 20th century, especially because the 21st century may yet unravel into
similar unhappy moments. Our world would be a better place if many who needlessly suffered and died in the mid 20th century had lived on,
and given the world their full measure. Heinrich Himmler is not one of these people, but many of his victims deserved more life, despite what some
idiotic punk reading this hopped up on Stormfront rock music and Riefenstahl's pictures might believe. At the same time, I have know many
persons alive in the III. Reich whom I admired very much and from whom I learned a great deal, and without whom my life would be devoid
of much merit.
As concerns foresight and such, this material was never common nor easy to get, nor was it inexpensive. It was always too expensive.
The difficulty of the task was reason to keep going, to learn more. It is a German trait in me to understand something in its most subtle and arcane
depths, and it is a trait essential to the collector. The categorical imperative is what you need, as practiced by Kant.
If I can give any word of advice, do learn German. It makes a huge difference and is a great and wonderful language of a marvelous culture.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 08-09-2016 at 02:27 AM.
The struggle to understand these riddles and enigmas tests our intellect and our character. The test unfolds over the long haul, and hardly in an instant or a tweet.
Intellect and character require a challenge, or the result is too many pictures of mediocre food and woman struggling to have a wasp waist as in the 19th century,
without any of the redeeming traits of women in the 19th century.
Thank you Mr. Berthold... Amazing.... I shall try my hand at the German language again... It is difficult for me being older though... Again... Thanks... Gwar
I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "
The unfortunate thing about history is , Mankind seems doomed to Repeat it . As collectors of historical objects , we maintain a tangible connection to the past , a past we try to study and understand . So few have any understanding or appreciation of history these days , unless there is a movie made about it . The Bread and Circus fill every moment , if its not sport scores it pokemon or some other favour of the month distraction .
People should never forget Hitler was elected , elected on the same Right wing agenda we see in this US election year . The platform is scary similar , just change , Poland to Mexico and Jew into Muslim . Also they love their silly little hats , Deutschland Awake or I mean Make America Great again . Scary Sh#t if you ask me