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February 7, 2012 12:42 AM   Subscribe

One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich

In Essen they were called the Farhtenstenze (Travelling Dudes), in Oberhausen and Dusseldorf the Kittelbach Pirates, in Cologne they were the Navajos. But all saw themselves as Edelweiss Pirates (previously). Trailer for the 2004 film Edelweißpiraten
posted by Mister Bijou (19 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
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(that's an eye patch)
posted by mannequito at 12:51 AM on February 7, 2012


The Gestapo declared the group criminals, and gang members were often rounded up and released with their heads shaved.

And told to stay off the lawn. It would seem that despite calling them criminals the Gestapo understood that even a master race has its share of rebellious teenagers.

Jülich was 15 years old when the Red Army defeated Hitler. What a world to come of age into. And then to imagine that generation of kids went on to build modern Germany.
posted by three blind mice at 1:45 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy Nazi Hippies on Dope, Batman.

"It would seem that despite calling them criminals the Gestapo understood that even a master race has its share of rebellious teenagers."

er, not exactly:

"on November 10 1944 his friend and fellow prisoner, Bartholomaeus (Barthel) Schink, was executed without trial on the public gallows at Ehrenfeld railway station, along with seven adults and five other “Pirates”. Jülich was later transferred to a concentration camp where he survived beatings, starvation and typhus until the camp was liberated by the Americans in 1945. "

.
posted by marienbad at 1:59 AM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I first learned about these guys from The Tin Drum. I think their story is amazing. I'm going to have to track down the movie.
posted by Ritchie at 2:12 AM on February 7, 2012


We could use more rebellious teenagers like that! On the other hand, I wonder how much the image of the Edelweiss Pirates played into the formation of groups like the Red Army Faction, and do I approve of the first and have serious doubts about the second because a) the Edelweiss Pirates were more or less on the side that won, b) everyone hates a Nazi, c) I know more about the RAF, their ideology, and activities? Regardless, this was really interesting, and it's a little depressing that we were OK with pardoning people like von Braun but not these guys.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:53 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You are a military officer in charge of post-war Germany's non-democratic American Zone, just next to the Red Army that has a truly impressive amount of men under arms.

a) von Braun builds militarily useful rockets;
b) the Edelweiss Pirates make problems for military dictators.

Which type do you prefer?
posted by jaduncan at 4:21 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lovely part of Germany, I lived there for 5 years. Reminds me of a song:
Zig Heil!
PBTHHTBHTH!
Zig Heil!
PHTHTHBTHHTH!
Right in the furor's face!
posted by Goofyy at 4:28 AM on February 7, 2012


These folks were pretty ahead of their time, what with their long hair and love of "sexual relations" and amazing that they'd retain their Gestapo classification after the Allies came in...what bullshit.

Also, Edelweiss Pirates, is going to be the name of my next band.
posted by Skygazer at 5:46 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to track down the movie.

I had to chuckle when I realized how I'll probably get hold of a copy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:58 AM on February 7, 2012


The Edelweiss Pirates is the coolest name for anything, ever.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:45 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think it's entertaining that even the resistance groups to the Nazis had Weiße (white) in their names: die Weiße Rose, Edelweißepiraten.
posted by JauntyFedora at 8:36 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how long it'll be before Spielberg decides to produce an American version of the movie? (In all seriousness, though, it sounds like an incredible story!)

Oh, and I wonder if the 'white' in their name was more a byproduct of them being kind of outdoorsy and deciding to take on the name of the most famous flower in the Alps, the edelweiss.
posted by jsr1138 at 9:14 AM on February 7, 2012


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posted by jann at 10:16 AM on February 7, 2012


“The position of the authorities is that the Edelweiss Pirates were insects, anti-social elements and criminals,”

Given their efforts at fighting Nazis, I imagine we could use a few more insects, anti-social elements and criminals like this....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:30 AM on February 7, 2012


More heros of the era: The White Rose
posted by Twang at 11:05 AM on February 7, 2012


Goofyy: Der Fuhrer's Face, by Spike Jones.
posted by dhartung at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2012


The position of the authorities is that the Edelweiss Pirates were insects, anti-social elements and criminals.
Sounds a bit like the liberal activists and spokespeople who trip over themselves when rushing to denounce the black bloc today.

It's fortunate that there are people who naturally rebel when confronted by authority; they can do a lot of good, especially after all the reasonable, peaceful, civilized dissenters have been co-opted or imprisoned. (Even if some of them are annoying as hell to work with in the meanwhile.)
posted by eotvos at 12:53 PM on February 7, 2012


I had to chuckle when I realized how I'll probably get hold of a copy.

You're going to raid a Nazi supply depot?
posted by Ritchie at 2:45 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You're going to raid a Nazi supply depot?

I'm gonna be doin' one thing and one thing only... killin' ACTA.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:41 PM on February 8, 2012


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