Main | About Us | Membership | Articles | Events | Photos | Links | Books | Contact Us
 


 

 

We are a non-political organization.

 

We portray a "unit impression”.

Authenticity is strictly enforced.

Must be at least 15 years old.

Must be in good physical health.

Must acquire all required kit.

Practice “first person” reenacting.

We portray average Heer units.

We drill & train in field tactics.

Must learn German commands.



  



     

First Person Reenacting...

 

The "reenactor moment"; a phenomenon that only lasts a second or two when you forget that it is actually the 21st Century and are, for that fleeting moment, transported back in time. If you've experienced it before you know exactly what we're talking about. If you haven't, you're missing out on one of the most rewarding experiences in the hobby. Reenactor moments usually occur when your surroundings belie the fact that it is the modern era. You are suddenly immersed in another time period and there is nothing to tell you it isn't 1944 (or whatever you might be portraying at the moment). The uniforms, equipment, and kit are only one part of the equation. Practicing the proper field tactics and use of the German language take the experience to the next level, but actually feeling like a Landser in the Wehrmacht during WWII and having a reenactor moment takes a "first person" mindset to achieve.
 

The Meaning
First person is meant to put the "acting" back in reenacting. It does not by any means have to be staged or scripted. It is simply the individual playing a "persona" of his own creation and interacting with others on those terms. Of course, we aren't reenacting ourselves or an actual historical person, but rather a reflection of ourselves in a historical context. In addition to using German names, we have detailed personal histories that include everything from the names of our families and friends to our favorite music and movies.

In this sense, GI reenactors have it much easier. Reenactors in North America look, act, speak, and think more like our 1940's GI counterparts than we do Germans of that era. Those of us who reenact German have to shed a lot of the thoughts and mannerisms that define us as Americans (and modern ones at that) to more accurately portray Europeans. When the foreign begins to feel natural, we've hit our mark in this aspect.
 

The Use
If you have a completed Soldbuch, you have already put a deal of thought into the first person aspect of reenacting. It was the quintessential document of the German soldier that recorded details of an individual's personal life and military service. We require every member of Der Erste Zug to have a completed Soldbuch and Erkennungsmarke (dog tag) and to carry them at all times, just as the German soldier would have. On a unit level we create and update paperwork such as Stammrolle (company roster) for each man, just as was done during WWII.

In Der Erste Zug you will experience many forgotten aspects of WWII German military life. When we have mail call, you may receive letters and packages from home. When we have pay call, you will be handed WWII currency according to your pay grade. The Feldgendarmerie (field police) will inspect your Soldbuch at checkpoints to insure your paperwork is on order. Some of it may seem mundane, but when added up you will surely begin to feel like part of the German military machine. Hopefully, when you're huddled in a foxhole with your Kamerad sharing letters from home or gambling your month's pay on a game of Skat, you too will be hit by a reenactor moment.
 

Getting Started
All of the information you need to get started can be found on this downloadable form: 
 

1st Person Profile Questions (PDF)
View or download the printable form

Use it as a template to organize the details of your persona. It may seem like an excessive amount of details, but it is the basic personal information required in the Soldbuch and Stammrolle forms with a little extra about "you" for our guys to write Feldpost or strike up a period conversation. We are constantly adding to the Culture and Mannerism articles on this site to aid in your research, but there is a great deal of information out there on the internet and, of course, through books.

 

 



 

 

Copyright © 2005 der Erste Zug All rights reserved

Web Design by Jon Bocek