No, I’m not talking about reenacting a German civil war (not sure what that would be – the Thirty Years War maybe?) but about Germans reenacting the American Civil War. Via Coates and Appelbaum, it’s apparently a thing. Now, in the American context, I’m always a bit ambivalent about Civil War reenacting. I have no problem with the practice per se. You get Revolutionary War reenactors in Massachusetts from time to time, and it seems to be a relatively harmless and fun way of engaging with history. That said, in the context of the Civil War, reenacting is hard to separate from Confederate nostalgia, Lost Cause ideological posturing, and a cultural geist with which I’m… uncomfortable to say the least.
The PRI article reports/speculates that reenacting has an appeal in Germany because of the post-WWII discomfort with other types of war fantasy. Again, that’s fine as far as it goes. But if war fantasy is culturally verboten because of Germany’s legacy of fighting destructive wars in the name of morally outrageous, racist ideologies, it’s a bit unsettling that they seem to mostly want to play the Confederates. Just sayin’.