Servus,Mark C. Yerger wrote:Anneleie
Those I attended were by invitation only. Many were annouced in the veterans magazine "Der Freiwillige" which resulted in some unwanted people coming/protesting. They then went to announcing without details except the person involved who took care of hotels, transporation, etc who one then contacted. After a reunion an article was posted saying the notables who came, how the affair went, etc. "DF" was Fri night through early Sun morning, meetings in the evening. People all stayed in the same town and lunches, walks, coffee, etc arranged with those you wished. It was grand, the actual meeting hall was invite only and one simply did not appear and walk in. It only took a couple of, untrue, "noisy" newspaper articles to produce probelms (including threats). They were just, as one KC holders son called them, "old warriors" gathering to see how old friends were doing. The jackasses (apology for language) who caused the negative reaction I never understood. Its sad that I felt it necessary several times to walk some older (70s and higer) men or widows to their veterans reunion in the evening, due to threats from lunatic younger generation members who had no clue what the Waffen-SS was or why they hated them. Everything SS is connected to the Holocaust in Germany, the paranoia amazed me and still does. The towns themselves welcomed the veterans for many years, most having it in the same location for decades.
I was invited to a reunion of the TOTENKOPF Div back in 1983. It was great talking with the vets and having them show me their old pictures. I was there in my civilian car and they saw my US Forces licence plates and were immediately suspicious that they were being observed by the authorities. Once I came in and identified myself and they found out that I had been invited, I was treated as an honored guest. I was invited to attend a reunion of the LAH the following month. Unfortunately I was unable to attend. I found out later, reading in the STARS and STRIPES, that the LAH reunion turned into a virtual riot by left wingers.
The following year , I was back in the States, and read about the TOTENKOPF reunion. The paper said that it was a closed meeting and the veterans had a TIGER tank in their meeting hall. Any rational thinking person would have to question where these old guys would get a TIGER Tank.
It's a shame that these old men can't just get together and have a good time reminiscing .