Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Why did these Jungmädels wear white on this day in 1935?

It is unbelievable how much controversy is surrounding this photo taken in 1935 in Coburg, Germany during the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the German Gymnastic Association. 

On February 5, 2019, a Facebook user name Anna Love, shared this same photo on her website. She claimed that "the photograph show Nazi Socialist women wearing their customary white attire. They always went to public events wearing white." An identical post appeared on her Twitter account.

Some people are associating this photo of a group of 7 - 9 year old girls wearing white were part of the Lebensborn children.

They are also associating this photo with Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic women of Congress wearing white to President Trump's State of the Union Speech in February 2020. The women were wearing white "as a way to show their unity and a commitment to defending the rights of women and disenfranchised groups at the 2020 State of the Union address. The decision to wear white is an homage to the white outfits often worn by suffragists during their fight to get women’s votes recognized. (To read the entire article: Time Article)

The truth behind this photo is this:

On April 3, 1935, a short article appeared in the The Straits Times that read:

"10,000 gymnasts, men and women, from all over Germany are to take part at the Whitsuntide in the national memorial demonstration at Coburg to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of  the German Gymnastic Association." 

At this point, you might be asking yourself "What is a Whitsuntide?"  Good question. I'll tell you what it is in a moment. But, before I do, here's a little background information first. 
The German Gymnastic Association was known as the Deutscher Turnerschaft. Under the leadership and influence of Edmund Neuendorff, the Turnerschaft was completely absorbed into the National Socialist movement, losing its independence. It was done in a sense of duty to National Socialism at the Coburg Day of German Gymnastics in 1935. The German Gymnastic Association now became part of the National League for Physical Exercise, a centrally directed National Socialism sport association. (Source: Ueberhorst, Horst. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn - 1778/1978. Munich: Heinz Moos Verlag, 1978). 

Through Neuendorff's proclamations, the National Socialistic ideology used Friedrich Jahn's physical education program, which had renewed the spirit of German national defense and liberation against Napoleon. Neuendorff stressed that German gymnasts must be proud Germans, upholding the character of their largely Nordic blood, must uphold and defend their German freedom and self-reliance, and must regain what has been lost since 1918.  (Source: Ueberhorst, John, pg. 77). (1)

The Reich Sports Leader, Hans Von Tschammer und Osten said;

"When, therefore, the Deutsche Turnerschaft celebrated the 75th anniversary of its foundation at Coburg (Whitsun 1935), I was in a position to give expression to the thoughts which all sportsmen, owing to their National Socialist views, expected to result in their own sphere of activities from the fundamental transformation in all domains of public life. It will always redound to the credit of the executive of the Deutsche Turnerschaft that they voluntarily resolved upon the dissolution of their great organisation and that they enabled their large number of members to join the Reich Federation for Physical Exercises in a body." p. 106 (2)

There's that word again "Whitsun."  So, what does the word Whitsun or Whitsuntide really mean?

It is the reason why these Jungmädels wore white on this 9th day in June 1935.

Witsun means Pentecost.

What is Pentecost?  Pentecost is:

1. The  Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter - the day on which Pentecost is held.

2.  The Jewish Festival of Shavuouth.

So there you have it.  So, no.

The photo above is not associated with the Lebensborn program or Nancy Pelosi and the suffragette movement.

No. The young girls in the BDM did not wear white to their meetings. They had a uniform. Please see BDM History for a complete description of their uniforms.

Besides, the color white in the BDM was associated with purity and innocence. 

Also remember too that there was a group of  women called The Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft - NS Frauenschaft. It was the National Socialist Women's League, not the League of Nazi Socialist Women.

And, if you are questioning the dates from the newspaper clipping to the actual date of the anniversary, please read the newspaper article again. It says "are to take part at the....."

"10,000 gymnasts, men and women, from all over Germany are to take part at the Whitsuntide in the national memorial demonstration at Coburg to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of  the German Gymnastic Association."

(1) To The Berlin Games: The Olympic Movement in German From 1896 - 1936. Thesis Presented to the Graduate Council of the North Texas State University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Science by William Gerard Durick, B.S. Denton, Texas, May 1984. 
Link: Durick Thesis.

(2) Germany Speaks by 21 Leading Members of Party and State with a Preface by Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affair - published June 1938, by Thornton Butterworth, LTD, London. English translation: Ostara Publications - all rights reserved - used by permission.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MVPA's First Florida Chapter - Winter Rally Swap Meet and Military Vehicle Show FREE EVENT

Making the annual trek to Renniger's to watch the MVPA's First Florida Chapter - Winter Rally Swap Meet and Military Vehicle Show that is held the 3rd weekend in February. It seems like we go back in time watching the WWII Battle Re-enactment and weapons demonstrations, getting muzzle flash photo with the tanks firing, talking to the military vendors and the owners of the military vehicles. It's great fun for the entire family. 

There's the battle re-enactments between the AMERICAN - WW2 Armor, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, the COMMONWEALTH - 15th Scottish Recon Regiment and the AXIS - 211th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 6th SS Gebirgsjager Division. 

And with the battle raging on, 82 years old, nine - time award winning book author, Elin T. Gottschalk will be watching the battle from a distance and autographing her book "Into Exile: A Life Story of War and Peace." 

Such an exception lady who is full of spunk and life! She lived through the bombs dropping down all around her with only the bodies of her mother and grandmother for protection. 

Spanning the years from 1939 to 1990, the horrors of war are exemplified in this compelling memoir of a young girl and her family. 

Young seven year old Elin, her mother, and grandmother are swept up in the mass exile from Estonia during World War II, through Germany and into Great Britain. 

"Artfully written, the author provides the reader with a detailed and compelling story of hardship turning into triumph! " 

Winner of 9 book awards! 

Autograph books will be available for $20.00 

Facebook Page: 

Feel free to stop by and say "Hi" to Elin!

PS:  I'll be over at the next table if you'd like to drop in and say "hi" too!  I'll be there with my BDM History display and selling my book "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth."  

Renniger's Antique Center - Trip Advisor

Address:  20651 US-441, Mt Dora, FL 32757
Phone: (352) 383-8393

Thursday, January 9, 2020

World War II Commemorative Weekend Dade Battlefield - 2020 - Bushnell, FL

March 7 - 8, 2020

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 Battlefield Parkway
Bushnell, FL  33513

For over twenty years, the Dade Battlefield Society has been commemorating the most widespread armed conflict in history and celebrating both military and popular civilian culture during the WWII war years..

This weekend includes:

Allied and Axis uniformed re-enactors
Authentic camps and equipment
1940’s military vehicles
USO - Style Music
Comedy performance in the style of George Burns and Gracie Allen
Participate in intelligence gatherings and other missions
WWII Military Vendors
WWII Book Authors

Each site has a representation of authentic memorabilia during WWII with living history re-enactors available to answer your questions. You become fully immersed when they regale you with their stories. They portray the units of the military and civilians from different backgrounds, German, and American. One such German re-enactor is Aldis Grauds who portrayed Bruno Almanis who was the Unit Commander for the First SS Panzer Battalion. I’ve even seen a Russian or two walk around!

Elin T. Gottschalk experienced WWII when she was a child and documented her story in her award winning book “Into Exile: A Life Story of War and Peace.”  It’s always a pleasure talking to her at the event. Publisher: Evershine Press, Inc. Facebook:  Author Elin Toona Gottschalk

Four months before her mother passed away,  Cynthia Sandor found her mother’s secret journal from the time she was in the League of German Girls and wrote her biography entitled “Through Innocent Eyes – The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth.”  She will be displaying various BDM items.
Publisher: BDM Publishing
Facebook: Cynthia A. Sandor - Author

Set under a canopy of oak trees, military vendors display their authentic pieces and food vendors will fill your belly. Stroll along the hiking trails with their abundant wildlife, stop by the visitor’s center and view the WWII displays. The bathrooms are clean and everyone is friendly! This is a great place to bring the kids and educate them about World War II history.

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday

10:00 am - Saturday - opens to public
10:15 am -  Raising of the colors at the Gazebo
11:00 am - USO style Armed Forces Radio broadcast at the Alligator Pavilion
12:00 pm / 2:00 pm - Review of military troops and vehicles
4:00 pm - Sunday - Closing ceremony lowering of the colors

It takes a dedicated group of people to plan, organize and host this annual event. Special thanks to Steve Resnick, President of the Dade Battlefield Historical State Park Society, the First Florida Chapter MVPA, and the Florida Historical Preservation Society for putting this annual event together.  

There is a $4 per person fee into the park.
Kids under 6, WWII & Korean Vets FREE.
Please contact the Dade Battlefield for more information Dade Battlefield Historical State Park

Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Author Signing Event and Military Collector Show

*** FREE EVENT ***

April 13, 2019 - 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Renniger's Military Collector Show
Author Book Signing Event
20651 US 441
Mount Dora, FL  32757

Book authors:

Elin T. Gottschalk, "Into Exile: A Life Story of War and Peace," and Cynthia A. Sandor, "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth," will be displaying their items and selling their books $20 each - autographed.

About: "Into Exile: A Life Story of War and Peace" by Elin T. Gottschalk

The horrors of war are exemplified in this compelling memoir of a young girl and her family. Young Elin, her mother, and grandmother are swept up in the mass exile from Estonia during World War II. As Germans and Russians battle over Estonia, Elin and her family are forced to flee the country or be deported to Siberia. They use any mode of transportation available to arrive in a refugee camp. They spend months trying to find a way to immigrate to England, the land of promise in their eyes. Arriving, they find that all is not as they thought it would be. Mother and Grandmother are assigned to cleaning duties at a hospital and Elin is sent to an orphanage. As they struggle to stay together as a family and retain their heritage, they rely on each other while learning independence and perseverance. Artfully written, the author provides the reader with a detailed and compelling story of hardship turning into triumph!

2004 – White Start V Class Medal from President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel

2013 – The Economist – Best Books in December category

2015 – Royal Dragonfly Book Award – Honorable Mention

2015 – US Review of Books

2016 – US Review of Books

2016 – Eric Hoffer Award – Memoir Honorable Mention

2016 – Eric Hoffer Award – Grand Prize Short List

2016 – Eric Hoffer Award – The Montaigne Medal Finalists

2017 – Estonia Cultural Capital Endowment Best Book of 2017
Freestyle Golden Globe Award

Publisher: Evershine Press - Tampa Florida
ISBN# 978-0-989566131

Facebook: Elin T. Gottschalk - Author


"Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" by Cynthia A. Sandor

The National Socialistic upbringing in the League of German Girls uses paramilitary-like disciplinary measures to build their loyalty and moral character. Coupled with pagan rituals, songs, and folklore, "Through Innocent Eyes" captures the self-actualization of ten-year-old Gertrude as she progresses from childhood and living in poverty to adolescence and becoming "one" with her country. By age thirteen, Gertrude is chosen for Country Service Year Camp, called "Landjahr Lager." Here, she will receive the very best rural education for the Reich only wants the healthiest and strongest girls. In 1941, there are one-hundred thousand girls serving in Landjahr Lager and Gertrude Kerschner is one of them. Based upon the original journal and discussion with the author's mother and anchored in historical facts. Includes 51 photos.

Publisher: BDM History - Tampa Florida
Hardcover ISBN # 978-099975500-6
Paperback ISBN # 978-0-578-17724-3
E-book ISBN # 978-0-999-75501-3

Facebook: Cynthia A. Sandor - Author

About the Military Collector Show - Military collectibles from all countries and all time periods bought, sold, traded.

For Directions please visit Facebook Event Page:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

E-Book Available On Sale!

Click on the link below to preview and purchase a copy of 

"Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Commander's Call - Sidewalk Sale & Bazaar

January 20, 2018

Commander's Call - Sidewalk Sale & Bazaar
Hosted by the Museum of Military History 
5210 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Contact: Nicole (407) 507-2894 – Vendor Registration
Time: 11:30 am – 5:00 pm

To educate, increase awareness, build knowledge and understanding of the American Military experience through interactive, interpretive exhibits designed for visitors of all ages. 

The Museum of Military History will be holding a Sidewalk Sale & Bazaar Fundraiser on Saturday, January 20th, 2018. We will have food & drinks for sale and a variety of vendors, including military surplus items. If you would like to set up a booth, please contact the Museum at 407-507-3894 between 10am and 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday and ask for Nicole. Space is limited, so make your reservation soon! Booth fee is on a donation basis, if you have a good day, help out the Museum by making a generous, tax-deductible contribution! The Sidewalk Sale & Bazaar are free to attend, but regular admission is required to tour the Museum. See the "About" section under “General Information” on our page for a breakdown of admission fees. Must bring your own tent, tables, and chairs. Booths can be set-up at 10:30am.

We are happy to announce that Cynthia A. Sandor, author to the book "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" will be attending our event.  A limited amount of the first edition copies of her book will be available. 

To reserve your vendor spot, please contact Nicole at: (407) 507-2894. Vendor displays on a donation basis. All vendors are requested to RSVP on event page. 

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