Frequently asked questions
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First and Foremost, why the SS-Totenkopfdivision?
Is your unit recruiting new members?
Can I be in your unit and another unit at the same time?
Do you have a minimum number of required events?
Does the unit have dues to be paid by members?
How expensive of a hobby is this?
Where is your unit located?
Where do you attend events?
What do you do at events?
Do I have to cut my hair?
Can girls do it too?
How can I become involved?
Who do you portray in Western Front events? As SS-Totenkopf is primarily an Eastern Front unit.
If you are Americans, why portray German soldiers?
Well.... All German soldiers are Nazi's, right?
What was the Waffen-SS?
Wasn't the SS really bad, and murder prisoners and stuff?
Didn't the Totenkopfdivision guard camps?
The guys in Schindler's List had the same patches...
Are you guys Nazis?
How many members do you guys have?
What are the ages of unit members?
Do you have strict standards for authenticity?
You claim to be early war? What is the difference?
The Totenkopfdivision is one of the most infamous and controversial units of World War Two. It is commonly associated with concentration camps and murderers. Because of their brutal beginnings, the incidents in France, and their collar insignia, the SS-Totenkopfdivision is shunned away. They saw almost constant action from 1940-1945. They destroyed countless Russian units, and material. The faught in perilous conditions throughout the war, and never gave up. The division was surrounded and beseiged by several Russian armies at once, and held out in a blistering defense for over 4 months, in the Russian winter, and the disease infested summer. SS-Totenkopf overcame hardships not many units would survive. They deserve to be represented, and we will be the ones to do it. For more information on the History of SSTK, visit our history page.
Yes, of course! We are always looking for new members who aren't tools. As long as you are willing to spend the money on a top shelf impression, willing to deal with sarcasm, and you want to look and perform the best on the field, we'd love to have you!
Absolutely. We can be your primary or secondary impression. Unlike most units, we don't care about this. It's your hobby, your time, your money. You do what makes you happy. If you want to attend events with us part-time, great! We'd still love to have you.
Nope! Although we would like to see you at as many events as possible, we don't believe it penalizing members for not being able to attend an event. This is a hobby, not a job. It's expensive, and sometimes things in our personal or business lives keep us from attending. Come when you can, and we're happy to see you. However, to remain an active member, and not be placed on reserve status, you do have to attend ONE event a year.
As a unit, at this time we do not collect dues from our members. This may change with the addition of vehicles. However, we are a member of HRS, and therefor all our members do have to be members of HRS and pay their annual dues, which isn't much, 15$ or so. But this gives you insurance at any event you attend, and you can write off re-enacting expenses on your taxes because it's a 501-C!
It can be an expensive hobby. The Grenadier can expect to spend around $1000-$1500 for his complete kit and weapon, however this varies depending on your specific impression and other factors. It may seem like alot, but if it's spread out along a year, it can be very affordable, even the broke college students in our unit are able to participate.
Our unit is mainly based in the Midwest of the United States. We have members in Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri. The majority of our guys are coming from the St. Louis area.
We attend events in the Mid-west United States. We will one day expand farther, but for now we stay pretty close to home. I.E. Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky.
We do two types of events. One type are public events, where we set up a camp and display. We spend the day talking and teaching the public and doing planned scenarios or public battles. We also do tacticals. These are our favorites. At a tactical, there is no script, no set winner, and the two sides fight each other to see who comes out on top!
That depends. We do have regulations, and recommendations for hair. The unit requires the hair to be cropped short, above the ears and off the collar. This is a military unit, and we will look like one. All-though it is not required, the unit recommends a 40's style German hair cut, being cropped very short almost two inches above the ear, and around the back of the head. The top can be left long to the wearer's preference.
Yes! There are plenty of things for women to do to get involved in the re-enacting, We currently have three ladies portraying Deutsche Rote Kreuz (German Red Cross) Nurses. If the nurse impression doesn't quite interest you, there are other options as well. E-mail the C.O. with any questions.
First you have to contact the Zugfuhrer by sending us a message and then the unit will help you with everything you need to get started, including your very own handbook.
We portray members of the 17.SS Division 'Gotz von Berlichingen', 9.SS Division "Hohenstaufen, and 6.SS-Division "Nord.
If everyone portrayed an American, these re-enactments would be about as boring as the Vietnam ones, now wouldn't they? Some-one has to be the bad guy. Our group has traditionally, always been the opposition in whatever time period we do, so it only made since we'd be the big bad Germans when we came to World War Two. We are trying doing both American and German veterans a service, and by properly portraying German soldiers, people can understand the hardships that our military had to face when it came into contact with the German soldiers. Aside from that, we didn't want to be Easy Company..
This is another common misconception about World War II. In Germany during World War Two, service in the German military was compulsory, meaning every able bodied man, who could bear arms, did bear arms. If that particular German wanted nothing to do with the war, it was of little consequence. Much like the draft in the United States during times of war. One can not even begin to assume every soldier drafted wishes to serve, and believes in the cause. Do you think every soldier in Iraq believes in the war? No. Do you think every soldier in the U.S. Army supports President Obama? No. Why would one assume that every soldier in the German Army would have to be a Nazi?
The Waffen-SS was the combat branch of the SS. It was one of the four services in the German military. It was composed in the beginning of the best specimens that Germany had to offer, and by 1944 was comprised mainly of foreign volunteers. It was truely the worlds first multi-national military organization. Now considered a criminal organization the Waffen-SS fought with distinction in all fronts of the war in europe, and earned respect from any of it's adversaries.
The Waffen-SS is often seen as a criminal organization of thug soldiers who enjoy killing. Allthough there are accounts of Waffen-SS brutality, this stereotype is far from truth. Waffen-SS soldiers recieved more political indoctrination than their Heer counterparts, however, they were German soldiers, just like any others. One cannot deny the acts of brutality that Waffen-SS soldiers have committed however, in recognizing these acts, one must also recognize acts of brutality on all sides. There are countless acts of German prisoners massacred by British, French, Russian, and even American troops. War is war, and it's an unfortunate mess.
No. The SS-Totenkopfdivision was formed in 1939 after the invasion of Poland. It was formed of mainly new recruits, and a cadre of men from SS-Totenkopfstandarten, that were at the time, political camp guards. The camps guarded by pre-war Totenkopfstandarten were no happy place, however, they were NOT the Death camps commonly thought of, when thinking of the holocaust. The majority of the men serving in Totenkopf who had previously served with the Totenkopfstandarten had enlistments run out, or were the victims of Totenkopf's extremely high casualty rate. The result of that being, the few men who had seen service in the camps, were not the same men fighting in the Totenkopf throughout the war. The SS-Totenkopfdivision was an elite formation of soldiers, critical to the German military. So critical, the division rarely had time out of combat. It is utterly rediculous to assume, the German High Command would assign one of their best front line combat outfits, to guard duty. However, in the early stages of the war, many men wounded while serving in Totenkopf, and many men who had been punished found themselves doing tours of duty in camps.
Yes, the collar patches are the same. Allthough the 3.SS was the only Waffen-SS unit to wear the skull collar tab, the SS-Totenkopfverbande also wore the skull. The guards of the camps, (Members of the SS-TV) Whenever the SS-Totenkopf-Division was formed, the commander, Theodor Eicke, was the commander of Dachau, which at that time was nothing more than a prison for political prisoners, gypsies, and other assorted criminals. He wanted his division to keep ties with it's origins and ordered them to wear the individualistic Totenkopf. One can also assume, that as the main alottment of uniforms for the Totenkopfdivision was surplus from the SS-Totenkopfverbande, the skull collar tab would have been much more readily available for the men of Totenkopf, as their uniforms were produced at Dachau exclusivley throughout the war.
We are not a political organization in any way. We do not support or condone fascism or nazism, nor do we promote or glorify the actions of the Third Reich. We do not tolerate any type of racist, or nazi behavior in our group. If you are looking for an extreme right-wing group, you are looking the wrong place. We are history buffs who have decided to portray one of the most effective and notorious units of WWII.
We have about 30 active members. At any given event we average between 15 and 25 unit members.
We have members as young as 16, and also in their 50's. The majority of our unit members are in their twenties.
We expect unit members to take their impressions seriously, and to equip themselves based upon our guidelines. We do have pretty strict guidelines, and a certain amount of uniformity we look for, but this is do to the fact that Totenkopf troops recieved most of their uniforms and equipment from the same sources, so photo evidence shows TK men with alot more uniformity than you might see with other SS Divisions. We expect unit members to stick to the guidelines and be a team player, and not attempt the 'rare unique' impression.
We chose to do early war because it is very under-represented in WWII reenacting. It's like people forget there was a war before 1944. We also have alot more information regarding Totenkopfs appearance in the early years. Because of this, we are able to be as accurate to photos as possible. In the early days the uniforms were a bit different. The main differences are the uniform items, the tunic, trousers and caps. We are also quite uniform. This is something we try to maintain.
If you have any questions about our unit or the real units we portray, please fill out the boxes to the left and we will answer your question as soon as we can!
We are more than happy to assist in providing information to individuals doing research. We try to provide as much information to the public, and prospective recruits.
It is our mission to help others better understand the units we portray, and if we can do it by answering questions, we would love to do so.
Or if you would like to drop us a comment, concern or compliment, we would love to hear from you as well.
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DISCLAIMER: 2. Kompanie is a non-political organization We do not support naziism, or fascism. We are not associated with nor do we condone the actions of the Third Reich or the actual 3.SS Division.