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Time Periods => WWII Recruiting Area => WWII => Upper Midwest Region => Topic started by: Philonivs Maximvs on September 08, 2007, 12:35:48 AM
Tired of the same old "shoot again, shoot again, shoot again"? A soldier's life not entirely for you (all the time)?
Well then, I'd like to form an organized group of civilian reenactors. I've mentioned this on a couple discussions already, but here are my thoughts on how to organize such a thing, and make it good:
- The group would be a catch-all for European civilians during the war, both neutral or belligerent. We would only wear correct, period, civilian clothing, and use pieced of militaria only for partisan/resistance impressions.
- Displaced persons/refugees: Your average citizen, caught up in the war, home recently bombed, or otherwise chased out of their home due to the devastation. Armed with little more than a cart full of their more valuable possessions, displaced people are only interested in making it away from the conflict, perhaps also to find a loved one in the sea of evacuees. This impression would be open to any & all ages and genders, even children (supervised by their parents of course). Could be a wild card at tactical events... a distraction to one side of the other, an obstacle, or simply an added touch of realism.
- Resistance/partisan: Fairly self-explanatory. These men & women might live a normal life by day, but work to subvert the occupying enemy by night! Some even take up arms and terrorize the enemy with force! This impression would allow for pieces of military uniforms and gear, and especially appropriate weapons.
- Spy/informant/collaborator: A secretive operative, working one way or the other inside the occupied country. Would dress in better period civilian clothing, as they get paid well for their services. :) Would probably act like a regular civilian, perhaps even among displaced persons, and unlikely to engage in combat as a resistance fighter would. Could be used in a tactical battle to lead one side or another into traps, etc.
The main thing I would want to stress is authenticity.... I think a lot of resistance impressions have gotten bad names, either because of their lack of authenticity or by their actions. Physical authenticity is the first step... only correct European dress would be allowed, not simply a few pick-ups at the local thrift store. Appropriate for the place too. Western Europeans generally wore more stylish clothing, closer to what Americans wore, but generally a decade or so "behind the times". Eastern Europeans would be far less likely to have good clothing, especially in rural areas (many photos of these people show them looking almost 100 years behind the times in fashion!). Adding things like carts full of possessions ("they're not gonna get Oma's favorite china!"), bicycles, animals, etc would only boost the look.
The second authenticity consideration I would want to stress is the "act". Put on the personae of whatever you are portraying... a lady walking her children out of the bombed-out city won't be likely to walk up to German reenactors that she knows and start making jokes. I would want us to be "living backdrop", and something that the military reenactors would talk about on the way home with fondness! Also, language: if you are portraying a French person for example, it might help to know how to speak French to add to the overall coolness... or in the least, learn a few key phrases.
In function, basically my theory is this: show up at an event, ready to do any one of the aforementioned civilian impressions (unless previous arrangements were made with the event organizer). See what is appropriate and what the event has to work with, and go forth.
So, if you are in the upper Midwest, I am in Indianapolis, IN... feel free to contact me or discuss possibilities here. I'm really serious about this, and would love to pull it off... doing it with a diverse group of like-minded people would be awesome! Perhaps even, this would be a way to get people into the hobby that would otherwise not (like friends of yours that are into retro/vintage). Let me know what you think.............