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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Toys for Totenkopf

Cute Lil' Fascist
On my 2010 vacation to Asturias, Spain, I stayed a week in a fishing village called Llastres.  There just next to the port is an antiques dealer specializing for the most part in WW2 and Spanish Civil War-era militaria.  The collection of wares for sale is largely Nazi and Spanish fascist articles:  banners, uniforms, medals, knives, signs, even an enormous metal bust of General Franco.  The owner is a tall, blond German guy, which makes it all much creepier. (Apparently the owner also plans to create a museum).

When I saw the little fellow above I had to know what it was.  The owner told me it depicted a fascist volunteer who fought with the Nazis on the Russian front. I hesitated, but figured what the hell, I might as well ask how much it cost.  10 euros.  I hmmm'd a bit.  "Oh, It's a good gift for the boy....I will sell it for 5 euros.  It's cute."

Cute?  A 50% discount on a fascist figurine because I was with my son?

Mouth like a blow-up sex doll, jughead ears, shirt open almost to the navel, giving the Nazi salute....call me a freak, but I bought it.

Later I tried to find some more about this figurine and came across an article about the División Azul, or the División Española de Voluntarios....250. Infanterie-Division to the German Army.  According to Wikipedia,

Because the soldiers could not use official Spanish army uniforms, they adopted a symbolic uniform comprising the red berets of the Carlists, khaki trousers used in the Spanish Legion, and the blue shirts of the Falangists – hence the nickname "Blue Division."

A popular name.  A brigade of Irish fascists in who fought for the Falangists in the Spanish Civil War had the same nickname.  Likewise Croatian volunteers in the Wehrmacht during WW2.

Come to think of it, shirts in general seem to have impressed the fascists.  Everyone knows the brown shirts, or SA.  Mussolini had his blackshirts.  America had the Silver Legion of America, better known as the Silver Shirts.  The Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit weren't strictly fascists although some supporters of Social Credit, such as Oswald Mosley, later became prominent in the British Union of  Fascists.  This group grew out of an alternate Scouting group called the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift....or KKK (no relation to our hooded pals).

All these groups pretty much began in the 30's and it's not unlikely this shirt thing is indicative of a kind of fascist fashion statement (fascionistas?), a result of contacts between various national groups.

But that's not really my point here.  My little figurine doesn't match the description given by online sources.  Perhaps the División Azul uniform had variants?  Maybe the figurine is simply inaccurate.  Perhaps it's another thing altogether.

Any info would be appreciated.  I know it's in bad taste this little fellow, but it's a historical curiosity I just couldn't pass over.  And I didn't give it to my son.

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