“Life and survival in the postwar period”

Last month when I visited Amsterdam, my friend Birthe Weijkamp told me about an event held at a living history museum about an hour from me. It’s called “Leben und Überleben in der Nachkriegszeit“ or “Life and survival in the postwar period”. It’s a weekend-long event commemorating the years immediately after WWII. There are a few of these events around Germany, but this was the first time that I attended one. I knew that I would probably be the only attendee to dress up, but that’s ok. I had a great time and really enjoyed seeing the reenactors and learning a bit about what life was like in this area after the war.

Dress ~ eShakti 
Brooch ~ Vintage (I can’t remember where I got it)
Shoes ~ Thrifted
Purse ~ Vintage from a flea market
Umbrella ~ Vintage from a flea market
Hat ~ Vintage from My Vintage Hat Shop on Etsy

The event was fascinating, some many wonderful things to look at and learn about. There was a table set up showing the daily rations of food for each person, I was ashtonished at how little it was. There were samples of various baked goods, marmalades, and mustards that were made from ingredients found nearby, such as dandelion marmalade, carrot marmalade, a coffee substitute made from roasted roots and chicory.

Daily food rations for a normal consumer during the postwar period.

They even demonstrated how they boiled and washed laundry.

 

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WWII Weekend

 

 

June 6, 2014 marked the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy, France and the beginning of the end of WWII. Four years ago, my husband and I were able to visit Normandy and take a tour of all the D-Day landing beaches, villages and the Normandy American Cemetery. It was a moving and emotional experience and one that will stay with me the rest of my days.

My step-father and grandfather both fought in WWII. My step-father was in the Pacific and was wounded in Okinawa, Japan and my grandfather was in France, but I’m not sure where exactly he was.

When we found out that there was a WWII Weekend happening not too far from us, of course we had to make plans to attend. We had no idea what to expect…maybe seeing lots of airplanes and hopefully meeting some WWII vets. We’ve been to re-enactments for many different things and some are done really well and some are just sad.

This one was AMAZING. It was held at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum on an airbase and it was huge. There was a “French Village” built with wonderful little buildings that you can go into and talk to people about what it was like during wartime France. We met a lovely lady in the French Tailor’s shop. She had a vast amount of information about fashions during the war and how rationing effected both men and women. She was just wonderful.

IMG_7914 IMG_7912 IMG_7911 IMG_7907 IMG_7901 IMG_7893 IMG_7892 IMG_7887There were encampments of soldiers everywhere to give you a real feeling of what it was like to live in the trenches. FDR, Patton, MacArthur and even Bettie Grable were present and in full character. There were lots of beautiful WWII planes and they re-enacted some of the famous air fights.

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6:7:14 - 2IMG_7958IMG_7955IMG_7945IMG_7936IMG_7933The event is actually three full days and on Friday and Saturday nights they have live music in the hangar and a dance. We just went on Saturday, but we could easily have gone for two whole days….next year. As the day winded down towards the dance in the evening, it really started to feel like we were in 1944. Almost everyone who attended this portion of the day was dressed to the nines!!!! It was surreal and beautiful. So many dashing soldiers and dapper gentlemen, and the ladies wore their Victory rolls and beautiful hats and dresses….it was pure heaven.

IMG_8065 IMG_8059 IMG_8050 IMG_8045 IMG_8042 IMG_8040 IMG_8021 IMG_7992 IMG_7978 IMG_7926And if that wasn’t enough, there were several friends from the Facebook Fashion Group I belong to that I was finally able to meet in person. And of course they were all amazing and wonderful people. I do hope that I get to spend more time with them in the future.

6:7:14 R&C 6:7:14 - E&C 2 6:7:14 - E&C 6:7:14 S&C 2Two highlights of the day were being serenaded by “Frank Sinatra” and meeting a 92 year old WWII vet.

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I can’t wait for next years WWII Weekend!!!