Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Private Helga Geerhart

British Humour, for a North American or French person, can be a little strange. But I love it. One of my Sweetheart and mine's favorite TV show is an old British sitcom called 'Allo, 'Allo!. It ran on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992, so of course, I was too young at the time, but my aunt and uncle introduced us to it some years ago and we couldn't get enough of it. It's stupid, but funny.

The story is set in a small French town during the German Occupation. On the one side, you have the Germans, mainly Colonel Kurt Von Strohm, Lieutenant Hubert Gruber, Captain Hans Geering, Major-General Erich Von Klinkerhoffen and Private Helga Geerhart, and on the other, the resistance lead by Michelle "of the Resistance" Dubois. Stuck in the middle, trying to mind and run his own business is Café owner René Artois, his waitresses, Yvette, Maria and later Mimi (all of whom are madly in love with him), his wife Edith, his mother-in-law Fanny and the Forger/Pianist Monsieur LeClerc. Oh, and the two British airmen hidden in his cellar.

Kim Hartman as Private Helga Geerhart, Sue Hodge as Mimi Labonq, Gorden Kaye as René Artois and Vicki Michelle as Yvette Carte-Blanche, 'Allo, 'Allo! (1982)

I love the character of Helga. She is devious, will associate with the strongest man around, doesn't mind getting her clothes off to get what she wants, and has iconic phrases such as "BRRIINNG-THEM-IN-HHHERE!". Plus she has that Marlene Dietrich look. So I would like to make a Helga costume, but there is an important "But": to anyone not familiar with the series, I would be wearing a German WWII "female of the opposite sex" uniform, and that might be misinterpreted as me being a Nazi. Which I'm not.

I guess as long as I don't wear silk knickers "with little swastikas around the edge", I should be OK, though, right?

I'm very interested on your opinion on the matter; not the knickers, but wearing a costume that might offend people. Are you for or against?


  1. German uniforms were the uniforms of the German Army. Some of the german soldiers were nazis, the vast mojority of them weren't. Some did want that war, most of them, not.

    None should put the SS and the regular army in the same bag. SS were "politically aware" or "political fanatics" or ambitious people. They were the political branch of the Army.

    There were war crimes committed by Wehrmacht soldier and by SS soldiers. SS did much more crimes then Wehrmacht. But never forget the Allies did commit a lot of war crimes: rapes, murders, mass murdering (carpet bombing of german cities, 80,000 to 120,000 civilians killed each time, complete destruction of historical cities, etc.).

    That war was an ugly one, both sides did evil things. One can argue that Nazis were "eviler" than Allies. My answer to that is: Two evils things doesn't excuse one evil thing.

    That said, Nazi iconography and esthetic was fantastic: the stylized eagle, the uniforms, the colors, much more interresting than the soviets', the Tommies' and the GI's.

    I'm not a Nazi, those who know me knows that very well. But it is not a reason to completely ignore the German aspects of the war.

  2. Tu sais, je me suis souvent posé cette question.

    Réponse... je sais pas ? Mais j'adore les costumes par exemple....

    De plus, si porter ces costumes posait problème, je crois qu'il faudrait interdire les films aussi qui les mettent en scène.

    Bref, je trouve ridicule les offenses qu'on peut en prendre.... Surtout si ça ne reflète as les ideaux politiques du costumé.... Tant d'acteurs seraient visés ! :o