Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Divisional standards on parade.  I'm guessing this is the 1934 Nurmberg rally, but it could be anytime up to around 1938.  I have no documentary support for that, but its my feeling based on all the photos I've seen.  The Germans were good at spectacle.  The prominence of these standards at such a propaganda event reflects the totality of Hitler's co-option of the Wehrmacht.  The German Army ceased to serve the nation, but rather served Adolf Hitler. This is literal, they took an oath to him, personally.  Few officers questioned that oath until defeat was certain.

Here are the same standards on display in Red Square during the Soviet victory parade, June 24, 1945.  This parade was remarkable for several reasons, and mostly unknown in the West.  More photographs of this memorable day will appear in this series of WW2 posts.  While the Germans were good at spectacle, the Russians were good at symbolism.