Tuesday, 23 April 2013

She Married a Swastika and Steel Helmet

You've probably already guessed that we're still in WW II.

The title of the article below reminds of the 1950's science fiction film like "I Married a Monster from Outer Space".

"She Married a Swastika and Steel Helmet
UNDER a recent edict promulgated by Hitler, German girls can marry "invisible bridegrooms," who must be soldiers.

The first of these marriages to take place in the Fatherland is described in the "Berliner Zeitung am Mittag."

It tells how a young German madchen became Frau Ruth Dinse in the local town hall, by plighting her troth to Corporal Dinse, a soldier in the Siegfried Line, who was represented by a swastika banner and a steel helmet.

Dr Goebbels has coined a new word for these girls. They are to be known as "fernbraute," the far-away brides.


The bride tells how, when sitting in a bar with her grandfather sipping a glass of lager, Corporal Dinse introduced himself to the girl. He returned to his post in the Siegfried Line, and sent her a letter proposing marriage under the new Hitler decree.

On the stroke of eleven of the appointed day Ruth appeared at her local town hall, and at the same moment the bridegroom was appearing before his battalion commander the Western Front.

The Registrar asked Ruth to sit in red leather armchair in his room  — the bride's chair. ("My head was in a whirl; I was tremendously excited.") On her left was another red leather chair — the bridegroom's chair. On it were a swastika banner and a steel helmet ("It was a solemn moment for me; the tears rushed to my eyes").


The Registrar delivered "a beautiful address," and told Ruth she was making history as this was the first wedding to a soldier by proxy.

"Then," says Ruth, "I changed my ring on my left hand to my right finger all by myself, and I was married. It was wonderful. And when I came out into the street the bells of the church started to ring by mere coincidence, but I knew, of course, it was all for me." "
Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 24 January 1940, page 6.
While we're on the topic of women marrying German soldiers, I'm also reminded of some of Dolores's family photos. There are some of one of her relations marrying a bloke in military uniform. I noticed something odd about the way he was sitting. It turned out he had no legs. Quite disturbing.

I'm reminded, too, of my own wedding. Which was also officated by a German registrar. Now there was a bizarre experience. I didn't understand German at the time and needed to be prompted when to say "Ja". One of Dolores's friends had advised her before the ceremony "Don't teach him the German for no."


Matt said...

Have you seen the late 40's US "red scare" film I Married a Communist? It's supposed to be terrifying but is actually pretty hilarious.

Ron Pattinson said...


no, I'ver never seen that, It sounds like fun.

Craig said...

I will admit, the M35—45 steel helmets of the Heer units were superior to the U.S. M1 "pot" and U.K. Mk II Brodie helmets of the time. That's it. That's all I'm giving them.