Ruhr Pocket Train Battle

I'm being lazy today because I was a German civilian who was arrested by Nazis on Saturday, and a French resistance fighter for the first time on Sunday. It took a lot out of this introvert, but it was so worth it! Whew! What a weekend full of old and new friends, lots of traveling and trying new things. Since I haven't even started editing the French resistance pictures yet, I'll start off with the train battle and explain why I was interrogated by a Nazi. 

My sister and I went with our reenacting group to portray German civilians during the Ruhr Pocket Train Battle in Titusville, PA. Haley did a BDM (League of German Girls) impression and my impression was inspired by Sophie Scholl. I made White Rose resistance leaflets and passed them to spectators on the train. I even wore White Rose earrings! (Thanks, Morgan!) 

Waiting for the train to begin boarding ... 


The photograph of my "boyfriend" Fritz saved me from arrest a few times. When the Germans saw his picture they said: "Ah! Wehrmacht! Very good." 



There were some rowdy American POW's aboard. They created quite a scene!


And Haley was stuck beside them! She looks thrilled. 


Passing out leaflets .... 


 My own sister turned me in! You can't trust those BDM girls. But something funny happened when the officer was coming to find me. The little boy across the aisle (who I had given a leaflet to) shouted and pointed at Haley: "She's a spy!" The officer checked Haley's papers, and said everything was in order. Then he turned to me.


"You. Come with me." No matter how many times I pleaded and said the leaflets weren't mine, the German officer said I had to come with him. "Nein! It's not mine! Someone gave it to me!" He took me to another officer who interrogated me. It was a bit intimidating!



He ask me a lot of questions and I had to come up with things on the spot ... probably not all historically accurate but I didn't know what else to say!

"What is your name?" Greta Von Essen.
"Where are you from?" Munich. Please, someone gave this to me. It's not mine!
"Who gave it to you?" I ... I don't remember what they look like. 
"Don't you know this leaflet could get you in a lot of trouble?" Yes. But it's not mine.
"Are you a member of the party?" (I show him the picture of Fritz) This is my boyfriend. He's in the student medical company in Munich. I am a loyal citizen of the Reich. 
"Loyal citizen? I see. Is he serving on the front?" Yes.
"Eastern or Western?" Eastern.
"How many years?" A year and a half.
"Is he still alive." Yes.
"Are your parents still alive?" Nein.
"How did they die?" They were killed in the air raids. 
"What was your business in Berlin?" I was visiting friends. 
Stands up and hands the leaflet to the officer who arrested me. "Burn this." Turns to me. "I'm letting you go this time." Danke, danke. 


"Thanks for turning me in. That was fun."


The train was rumored to have gold stolen from France on-board, and the Allies got wind of it.  The train stopped and their was a mini battle that ended with an Allied victory.


 We had the pleasure of meeting a WWII vet who was one of the soldiers who liberated Dachau concentration camp. He showed me his cane which was engraved with all the battles he had fought in during the war. Amazing man. Such an honor to meet him!


It was such a fun day and I'm looking forward to getting arrested next year! =)


-Emily

4 comments

  1. I've been waiting for this post! Your costumes/hairstyles look so authentic!
    Was your boyfriend inspired by Hans Scholl? Was thinking that because of your answers and his name was Fritz. If it was, that's clever!
    (Just now remembered Hans' middle name was Fritz.)
    You have inspired me to start reenacting!
    ....and I can't believe you wore the earrings!!!! I didn't notice on your IG that you did, thanks for pointing it out and your welcome!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Morgan! Yes, my boyfriend was partly inspired by Hans Scholl. And afterword I remembered that Sophie's boyfriend's name was Fritz!

      I love the earrings! Thank you!

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