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    SA Mann speaks....

    SEAN - GEORG, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY BACKGROUND

    Georg - I grew up in Neu-koln, Berlin, my father was an Engineer before the first war, my mother stayed at home and i had 2 younger sisters. my father died in the war, he was in a reserve regiment on the western front, i think it was 1917 when he died, the last letter my mother recieved was dated December 1916.
    I never met my father, well i certainly cannot recall meeting him due to my age when he died, i grew up not understanding where or why he died, i wasnt the only boy like this, many boys at my school had no father because of the war, i suppose we just got on with childhood without a father.
    My mother would work during the morning whilst a neighbour looked after us, of course the neighbour was paid for this.

    We lived in a block of small apartments in Neu - koln, ours was the top floor, we had to share a toilet with 2 other families on the same floor, sometimes we would eat together when money was bad, i thought for years that the other family who would join us where relatives of ours but they werent, i suppose it was needs must for people like us, we certainly had no holidays away from Berlin, in fact a trip to Mitte(Central Berlin) was an adventure for us.

    SEAN - WAS POVERTY AN ISSUE FOR YOU AS A CHILD?

    Georg - No not really, i mean we knew no different, our area was a poor working class area so we saw no difference, no class barriers.

    SEAN - WHEN DID YOU FIRST HEAR OF HITLER AND THE NS PARTY?

    Georg - I think it was in 1929-30, the depression was bad for us, i was working instead of being at School, i moved coal near to the Anhalter Bahnhof, the locomotives excited me so the work wasnt so bad, all my wages went to my mother for food, i was always hungry well we all were, sometimes the rich train passengers would leave half eaten food near to the exit barriers, it was almost a riot to get the scraps sometimes, you had no room for pride when your hungry.
    I saw my first NS leaflet whilst at work, it was a speech by Hitler, i wasnt so interested, if i had some pepper id had probably eat it instead of reading it(smiling).

    SEAN - HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE STURMABTEILUNG?

    Georg - My friend Norbert told me about an SA meeting in a Bierhall in Neu Koln on the next Friday night, i went more because we were promised some soup and bread, Norbert was convinced by Hitlers promises even then.
    So we went, it was crowded i think because of the free soup, no women just men and some younger teenagers like us, they were clever, they would only serve the soup after the speeches.
    The speeches were dull and promised us bread and freedom, someone shouted "GIVE US THE BREAD WE CAN WAIT FOR THE FREEDOM COMRADE!", the whole hall erupted and a fight broke out, the SA men jumped from the small platform and,well it was scary, but i was so excited, i threw some punches but i have no idea who at, the SA men stood firm at the front and fighting spilled out into the street, the police arrived, some on horses and people ran in every direction, Norbert and myself stood and watched, SA men wearing brown shirts sang, i knew these men where my type of people and well, i wanted to be an SA Mann from that day.

    SEAN - HOW SOON AFTER DID YOU JOIN?

    Georg - The Monday after, i met the Trupp leader, he swore me in, i attended meetings and political speeches by local SA leaders, i wasnt so interested in speeches, i wanted action and in Neu koln it was everywhere, Neu Koln was a Redfront area, i wasnt so old but i was fiesty for a fight.

    SEAN - DID YOU KNOW ANYBODY IN THE REDFRONT?

    Georg - oh sure, look, we didnt live in different areas, we lived in the same blocks, the same streets, i would say hello to a friend who was in the Redfront then maybe fight at one of theyre meetings and sometimes wave over the room to them, it was serious stuff but we had fun times too.

    SEAN - WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR UNIFORM FROM?

    Georg - The Brownshirt was issued by my Sturm but we had to pay weekly for it, my armband was homemade. My kepi again was issued and paid for weekly, sometimes i couldnt pay but they were ok with this as long as you didnt miss payments often, i was so proud in my uniform, i felt i was part of something good.

    SEAN - DID YOU HAVE MORE THEN ONE SHIRT OR KEPI?

    Georg - No, i couldnt afford more then one of each, my mother would repair it when damaged in battle, she was good to me but didnt agree with my choice of being an SA mann, mainly because of my safety, its a mothers thing i suppose, my sisters would laugh at me with my uniform on, but they were young girls they didnt understand.

    SEAN - HOW STRICT WERE THE UNIFROM REGULATIONS

    Georg - very, we couldnt even have a button missing, alot of old soldiers where in our Sturm, smartness was everything to us, the Redfront had the reputation of being shabby and unclean.

    SEAN - WHERE BUTTONS ALWAYS SMOOTH OR PEBBLED?

    Georg - smooth silver buttons, i cannot recall anyone in my Sturm wearing military pebbled buttons, buttons were issued in bulk as we lost so many in fights and general wear and tear.

    TO BE CONTINUED THIS WEEKEND, BEAR WITH ME FELLAS - SEAN

    #2
    Look forward to it Sean. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

    Comment


      #3
      sean,
      PLEASE continue this!!!
      this is the good stuff!!!

      thanks!!!

      (looking forward to this weekend!!!!)
      looking for tan Ordensburgen cufftitles, (Sonthofen, Vogelsang, Krössinsee)

      and the tan "Stellv.d.Führers Reichslager" cufftitle... please notify me!!!

      Comment


        #4
        Great! I look forward to the next segment! I'm surprised that he remembers what his buttons looked like, but since the pebbled type equated to the military, that does make sense.
        Thanks!
        Erich
        Festina lente!

        Comment


          #5
          Fantastic! I can't wait for the next part!

          Comment


            #6
            Very nice reading. Good job Sean!

            Comment


              #7
              THANKS GUYS THE NEXT PART IS HERE

              SEAN - WHAT ABOUT BELT BUCKLES?

              Georg - My first was a plain alminium buckle, some men left the SA for various reasons, fear, family and work, if they left, some would leave buckles or sell to us at a low cost, though not many left our Sturm, my first good buckle was brass, i polished it highly so it shone when i went on parade, these parades where mainly Monday and Wednesdays and alot of weekends, weekends where for marches, attending Redfront meetings to disrupt them, also SPD meetings where on the increase in 1932, they fought as hard as the Reds.

              SEAN - DID YOU MEET WITH OTHER BERLIN STURMS TO BREAK RIVAL MEETINGS UP?

              Georg - Oh this was usual, we would meet up close to a rival meeting, this was organised by our leaders, no one knew the rally point until maybe an hour before, this was for security reasons, if we entered another district we went as a Sturm, never alone, this was too dangerous, sometimes we had transport and jumped on the back of a truck and made way to the Bierhall, we were all apprehensive but excited, we were young men, its what makes young men join things like the SA and Redfront, sometimes you could feel the fear in our men, quiet but determined.

              SEAN - ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR EVENTS LIKE THIS THAT STAY IN YOUR MEMORY?

              Georg - Of course some good some bad, we went to Wedding(district of Berlin) in 1932 i think, this was to break an SPD meeting up, they had a speaker from the Rhineland who was a big shot, i cannot recall his name now these years later.
              We met as a Sturm in Neu - koln and travelled by truck to the outskirts of Wedding, we wore over - overjackets but brownshirts underneath. We had had a bloody nose in Wedding some months before by the Redfront and well once you feel that sort of pain and fear it stays with you doesnt it?
              We approached the venue which was an open air Biergarden and well we forced our way into the venue past the stewards, we shouted and screamed and made as much noise as possible, the men threw bottles, sticks and bricks at us. The next thing i knew i was looking up at two of my comrades, i was back in the truck looking up at the sky, totally confused and a pain to my head i cannot describe, i was knocked unconcious by a flayling bottle and saw nothing else, my comrades where covered in blood and bandaged, we stopped the SPD meeting as the police had intervened, that was what we wanted, it was a VICTORY, that night i went home happy but the pain aghh!!!
              The next day it was on the news that a comrade Ernst Schwarz had died in the fighting, i knew him well, it hurt so bad i cried i really did im not embarressed to say this to you, i cried like a baby. He was hit by a glass and died of arterial bleeding. I still hate the SPD to this day.

              The better time was in January 1933, we marched from Neu Koln to Mitte, our flags high, the air was cold but our hearts warm, Hitler was announced Reichskanzler, what a day!

              SEAN - DID YOU SEE THIS AS A NEW BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE SA ONCE YOUR GOAL ACHIEVED?

              Georg - A new beginning, we were the new Army in our minds, we made this happen, through our sacrifices not the officials who swarmed to the party, these men made us sick, in 1933 our ranks swarmed with new SA men, some good mostly bad, some criminals joined our Sturm, it wasnt what we expected.

              SEAN - WHAT WAS THE GENERAL FEELING ABOUT HITLER AND YOURS IN PARTICULAR?

              Georg - Hitler? a funny looking man, he was so odd looking with that moustache but when he spoke he made us feel we were invincible, i saw him more after 1933 but a few times before, i saw him in Potsdam and we thought wow this guy will lead us into a new Germany, alot of SA men thought the same as me, we really believed in him.

              SEAN - DID YOU SEE OR MEET ANY OF THE OTHER LEADERS?

              Georg - Sure, remember we were a Berlin Sturm, so many looked for close protection when in the capital, it was still Red Berlin.
              Goebbels was my favourite, he would sit with us, drink with us and listen to us, some Sturms disliked him, he seemed to have alot of money, i think he did but he was our man in the Capital and i always thought he stood with us in the bad times.
              Rohm too, he was the truest, a true revolutionary! what happened to him was a discrace and a betrayal, it was the end for me when he was murdered, alot of other SA men thought this too.

              SEAN - DID YOU HAVE DOUBTS BEFORE 1934?

              Georg - Doubts?

              SEAN - ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE PARTY AND SA AFTER HITLER CAME TO POWER?

              Georg - Let me tell you this, in April/May of 1933 we where to be spoken to by some high ranking NSDAP Gau leaders, we had requested extra pay, why shouldnt we? we fought for the victory and we wanted a few extra pfennigs, SO, we waited at our Sturm HQ one Friday evening, i was watching out of the window, well thse Mercedes rolled up, top Mercedes, ive never seen such things, brand new, shiny, chaffuers, these big wigs got out, wow such wonderful uniforms! they strode in, we stood up and sang the Horst Wessel leid. These big wigs stood in front of us, our uniforms battered, re - stitched, scars to our faces, poor wages and you know they told us THAT THE GERMAN REVOLUTION WAS STILL IN PROGRESS AND WE MUST ALL TIGHTEN OUR BELTS, can you believe this? tighten our belts? we began to throw stools and chairs at these clots, they were lucky to escape the room, we chased them out of the HQ, down the street, we smashed the mercedes up, left them in tatters...i think some of us realised we had been lied to and the only man to sort this mess was Rohm.

              GUYS NEXT PART TOMMORROW, MY BLOODY FINGERS HURT

              Comment


                #8
                sean,
                thank you for the extra effort this requires!
                i know this is time consuming, but we very much appreciate the history!!!

                this is the real history most of us search for!!
                again, many thanks!

                waiting anxiously for tomorrow...
                looking for tan Ordensburgen cufftitles, (Sonthofen, Vogelsang, Krössinsee)

                and the tan "Stellv.d.Führers Reichslager" cufftitle... please notify me!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by TxGauleiter View Post
                  this is the real history most of us search for!!
                  again, many thanks!

                  Agreed, excellent stuff!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great job, this is really interesting! Thanks for posting this!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hello,
                      Fascinating stuff for sure. I thank you and also your friend for telling his story. I too can't wait to read more. Nothing better than hearing from people who actually experienced this time in history.
                      Thanks!
                      Duzig(Bill)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Great Story!

                        This is one aspect of our hobby that makes it all come alive! Many thanks for recounting his story with great detail-Ray>

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Great interview. Thanks for sharing with us. I can't wait to read the rest.
                          Todd
                          Collector of German Press Photos and Waffenrocks

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What an internesting information right from the source ... excellent job ... very well done ... you´re the man please tape your fingers and continue asap

                            Comment


                              #15
                              yes, more please!

                              Comment

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