HERMAN THE GERMAN

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sammy
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HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby sammy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:46 am

There were many stories of weird and wonderful stories of ghostly appearances and events with a military connection doing the rounds in the sixties and seventies. (not that I was ever to experience any myself)
One was of the German soldier that was supposed to visit one of the attics in the blocks in Paderborn, can't remember which one.
The story that I remember best was of Herman the German at the Tank Museum Bovington. The story went like this, a Tiger tank had been captured on one of the battlefields of Europe and after the war was brought to England for the boffins to look at but it ended up at the Tank Museum. While they were cleaning the interior of the turret, human body parts were found and so started the story of Herman the German. he was supposed to appear at one of the north windows of the Tank Museum in full German uniform.
All JLR boys of the fifties, sixties and seventies will remember doing the Tank Museum and being warned that if they saw Herman it was a warning of bad things to come, needless to say we would not look up at the windows as we patrolled the northern side of the museum.
Just wondering if there were any other ghostly stories with a military connection that anyone can remember?
Does anyone remember any more about the German soldier that walked the attic of one of the blocks at Paderborn?
Sammy

Bill Bentley
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:38 pm

Herman was certainly very present in the minds of many during my time at the JLR. While I myself never had a close encounter of that kind I have to admit feeling rather spooked, hairs standing on the back of the neck etc..

There were tales of some workers who accidentally got locked in the tank museum overnight, so the story goes, the next morning their hair had turned grey and they all ended up in the nut house.

Another tale went like this: All of the tanks outside were spot welded closed to stop people climbing inside and injuring themselves. One day a young chap was found inside such a tank, his fingers were ripped to bits and the spot welding broken open, he claimed to have been trying to hide from Herman, he also ended up in the nut house.

It was also said that, after such a close encounter a JL ran to Wool Station and threw himself under a train.

Two guys did do a bunk from the camp and were 'caught' at Wool Station, they said that they were running away from Herman but that didn't stop them from being charged for 'attempting to go AWOL.

As for the origin of the story 'Herman the German' the version I know is the same as yours Sammy ...

Arnie
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Arnie » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:23 am

Hi Yall,
Must admit never having experienced a an event featuring a supernatural entity I can't comment. But I will say that I have never read, heard or any other form of communication which has said that a 'ghost' has ever harmed anyone, therefore if anyone is scared of ghosts there is no need to throw yourself under a train or anything else of a self-harm nature. Through if you think of that statement, in reality, the ghost has harmed them.
Come on lets hear more of these experiences.

Arnie :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Bill Bentley
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:59 am

Arnie,

don't tell me that you have never been at one of those 'seance' board games where 'the spirits are called upon' to tell the future and the like. In my early teen's it was all the rage and ghost or no ghost it was not easy to walk home on your own, afterwards, in the early hours, without continually looking over your shoulder :shock: .
Having been sensitized to such things at an early age perhaps that's why I was surprised not to have had a personal encounter with Herman.
Then again, it might have been the other sort of 'spirit's' which were missing, which sharpened ones edge, and that wasn't all that easy to get at JL's :lol: :lol:.

For you Sammy,

I have two very good friends who have, in their minds, had an encounter with God:
The first was himself a priest who shared a shell crater with me during a rather heavy bombardment. He swore that, should he survive 'he would change his life' and indeed he did as soon as we got home.
The second person was the then Maj. Chris Keeble who took command when Lt Col. H. Jones fell. (2 Para Falklands) Chris, a devout catholic, prayed to his God and was answered with a vision of what to do. He demanded of the enemy that they surrender ... and they did ! At daybreak we took three times as many POW's as we had men standing ! Jones got a posthumous VC and Chris a very well deserved DSO.
My point, or rather my question is this, did they have an encounter with a ghost :?:

sammy
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby sammy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:07 am

Bill
A very deep theological question so early in the morning, not one that I would attempt to give a full theological answer to on face book, I can only give you my own deeply held understanding.
Thankfully I have never faced the situations that you describe, I bow to your and their courage and experience when facing such difficult and dangerous times, but I do believe that even in such times(in fact particularly at these times) God can give us the strength and the fortitude to over come.
First of all, not being an expert on ghosts but I understand that to be a ghost you must first be dead? If that is correct then God, who is very much alive, is not a ghost but a living being, the source of all life and being.
I truly believe that God can and does make Himself known to us in many varied and different ways, and yes he can and does change our lives if we allow Him to do so, but the onus on us to believe and accept Him. If we do then all things are possible.
However it is not like having a magic wand to do with as we wish and I know that many people ask the question why do bad things happen? why doesn't He stop all evil? My only answer is that we can never fully understand how He works or why, but we do believe in the free will that he gives us.
There is an old song that I remember from my younger days, " There are more questions than answers".
Not a very satisfactory answer I know, but if they said that they had a vision or an encounter with God, and they believed it, then I believe them.

Sammy

Bill Bentley
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:01 am

Thanks Sammy,

I found your thoughts and comments to be very fitting and I know for sure that both of my friends are unwaveringly convinced of their 'contact' and only a fool would get into an argument with them about it.

Perhaps you could enlighten a little on 'God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost' because that implies that he is both dead and alive, I suppose that's what makes him different from us, eh.

As you also brushed upon, 'such contacts are often at times of great stress' and I have for many years enjoyed the 'depth of gut feeling' that the so called 'war poets' so easily express. Many artists have also produced some of their best works as result of great stress, though often booze and drugs related. Indeed the master bee-keeper who's methods that I use as my own 'base guideline', Abbe Emile Warre, had his moments as a French priest during WWI.

I guess that having had such an experience, and survived it, brings one to understand / see / accept and resist things far more fundamentally than the average Joe. ...

Having said that, anybody who knows me well also knows that I was very strong headed from childhood on and that my experiences only served to deepen my convictions.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone ... over to you Arnie :lol: :lol: :lol:

Arnie
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Arnie » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:28 pm

Hi Bil and Sammy,

first on the point I made about ghosts hurting people. Feb 1959, Bourlon Lines, Catterick. In Basic training and the first few nights in a 8 man barrack room, after lights out. Someone started to tell a ghost story, then another and another. It was in an L shape, with 4 bed spaces down the longer side of the room and 4 bed spaces in 2's either side of the short side. I had been 3 years in an orphanage when 9, 10, and 11, so I was quite used to being away from home and to the regimented environment of the Army. The others in the room were a reasonable mix of National Servicemen and Regulars, but not used to being away from home. So this was a new experience for them.
I was in the second bed from the door which was at the end of the long side of the room. After a fair number of stories had been told I was finding it very amusing, when the guy in the end bed crept out of his bed, onto the floor, taking one of his sheets with him. i could see him drape himself in the sheet and crawl silently down the room. When he got to the junction of the L he stood up and gave a long MOOAAN. I burst out laughing, because I could see the humour in it. Everybody else, who must by this time have worked themselves into a scary lather screamed and started jumping out of bed. The guy two beds down from me, whose bed was next to a window, jumped through the window without opening it. Being on the first floor there is quite a drop from the first floor level to the asphalt below. he broke both his legs. But there were two more 'hurts' for him. He was back squadded and he had to pay for the window. No ghosts, but he got hurt.
Bill it is called a Ouija Board and as I understand it, it involves the participants, usually 3 or 4 each putting a finger on an upturned glass (the indicator). First someone has to summon a spirit, and then questions are asked of this 'spirit' and the glass 'moves' around the board spelling out the answer.
Being a naive, simple soul I had never come across one until I was in my late 20's. By this time I was very much a none believer, and very sceptical, so never explored it further.
Before I left the Army in 81 I was planning to emigrate to Australia on demob, so went with my first wife on holiday and stayed with an Aunt and her daughter in Perth.
They both professed to being white witches (supposedly good witches as opposed to being dark or black witches). It was a surprise to me but I went along with them when they suggested an evening of calling a 'spirit' up. After all the cousin was a dishy blonde who was great in . . . . (but that's another story)
To me, the evening was fun, for instance they firmly believed they could hear the arrival of the spirit, but all I could hear was the fridge starting and stopping periodically.
Bill never having been, as you and your comrades were, in actual 'blood and guts' battles I can't say. From the accounts I read in the safety of an arm-chair, quite possibly British propaganda, was it not possible that the Argentinian soldiers were not quite the calibre of you and the Paras, together with being cold, starving and fed up with what the Junta back in Argentina was risking their lives for.
Sammy, having made several visits to Belsen I cannot in all conscience agree with what you say. In that "hallowed" ground, and many, many more places like that, there must have been many millions of prayers said by millions of people who genuinely 'believed and accepted' (h)im. Why, Oh why!! did things not change? Sorry, to my mind it's nonsense.
Sermon over.

Arnie :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

sammy
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby sammy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:09 am

Arnie
We all through our different experiences come to many and varied decisions about our lives and how we live them, that is the beauty of humanity, we are all unique(I'm glad that no one is exactly like me).
Sammy

Arnie
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Arnie » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:30 pm

Sammy,
if anyone is like me I pity them. Joking. You are right of course.

Arnie :D :evil: :D :evil: :D :twisted: :D :roll:

Bill Bentley
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:19 pm

Dear Sammy and Arnie,

I don't usually start with 'Dear' but I was waiting for and wondering about how the clash of philosophies would pan out and I am delighted that you two appear to have accepted each others opinions without getting shirty; this proves we are all getting old :lol: :lol: :lol:, well done !

Yes Arnie, which of us was not in Belsen and had to wonder 'how in Gods name these things could ever happen'. And, when I was there in 1977-8, (and what could be more pertinent to the subject 'Herman the German') it sure was weird that very few birds flew or sang in that place.

My being a German speaker, I got acquainted with some of the old folks living in the area and they told a quite different story than that what we 'the winners of WWII' tell: Yes of course Hitler wanted to deport the Jews, Gipsy's and Homo's, but it was the loving neighbours, the French, the Dutch, Belgians etc. etc. who closed the boarders causing an incredible build up of 'unwanted's', leading to the concentration camps becoming so over-full that they could not all be fed. The guards themselves were on rations and so the prisoners went hungry, very hungry, eventually starving.

The human body can survive on very little food for a very long time and for sure many died of abuse, torture, execution and starvation and their bodies were, for reasons of hygiene cremated. But how come there were mountains of 'undamaged bodies' when the allies freed the various concentration camps ? Had they been dead for ages they would have been in various states of decay. (Look at the photo's for yourself !) Well, the story that I heard was that they got too much food too quickly from their rescuers and their system just couldn't cope with the sudden bulk of food causing systemic collapse and sudden death AFTER being freed ! They were then just bulldozed into heaps and buried en'mass.

Belsen; spooky as hell for sure, but even with the help of plentiful 'duty-free's' I never met a ghost there and as sure as hell never made friends with God either.

Looking at how the UK, EU and USA are dealing with the estimated 60 MILLION people who are currently 'on the move' and standing in front of 'CLOSED DOORS' one does not have to be a genius to see history repeating itself soon :shock: !

The simple truth is that nowhere can cope with taking on 60 million wanderers and so the cast is set, history will repeat itself, and millions will suffer and die, but why ?

Well in my opinion it is because we refuse to recognize that the world is overpopulated and take action to REDUCE the global population. And who is responsible ? In my opinion it's the various religions, all as bad and MAD as one another.

God aside, it is people who are evil and do the Devil's work - :shock: who said that :shock: ?
.

Arnie
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Arnie » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:26 am

Bill,
my first visit to the place was in May 1959, a few days after I arrived in BAOR and joined RHQ in Hohne. Although at the time it was a beautiful spring day, as you say, there were no birds evident at all. As we all were, we were told various stories about the place, but I have since read the story of the camp, it's history and subsequent relief and destruction.
Briefly, the history is that it was originally established, in the mid 1930s, as a camp to house the thousands of workers who were brought from all over Germany to build Hohne, by anybody's imagination, a huge construction, taking several years. When Hohne was finished the camp was disused for a while, then re-opened to house dissidents, and Jews. After Operation Barbarossa in 1942 the dissidents were joined by thousands of Russian POWs. It was not an extermination camp as some people think. There were no gas chambers, nor were there any ovens for cremations.
The 55,000(?) people alleged to have perished here died of malnutrition, neglect and harsh treatment by camp guards.
The ones who died here before the arrival of the conquering armies, the British, were disposed of in lime pits, (so I was told). There was still evidence of one Olympic sized lime pit when I first went there in 1959.
You were right Bill that we know history from the winning side. For instance, my research shows that the Brigadier Commanding the troops relieving the camp, transported all the surviving prisoners to Hohne where they were housed until proper arrangements could be made for their rehabilitation and eventual repatriation to wherever.
After the remaining bodies were buried, as we have all seen in the many documentaries now available, by being bulldozed into mass graves, the same Brigadier ordered the establishment to be burned to the ground. So the story goes he then visited the Burgermeisters(?) of both Bergen/Belsen and Celle, to warn them that he was 'opening' the camps, and would not be responsible for the security of their communities, should the inmates of the camp 'try and take revenge'. Both Mayors vehemently denied knowledge of the camps existence. This, despite these thousands of people arriving at Bergen railway sidings and being marched off in the forest, and the stench from the camp could smelled in Celle, 23 kms away. The large Medical Centre, just north of the Roundhouse, in Hohne is or was, named after him.
On my last visit some students were building the Museum and facilities at the entrance to the site, which initially for some reason I found offensive. Later reflection brought home the realisation that a place like that needed, to remind people that 'it should never happen again'. Though again, as you say it looks like we are heading that way again, in fact did not "ethnic cleansing" take place in the Balkans.
Incidentally, can ANYBODY please explain to me why the Jews have been persecuted from time immemorial?
Or is this another topic? :?: :?:

Arnie :( :( :(

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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:03 am

Arnie,

interesting that you mention that there were no ovens in Belsen when you first went there. There certainly were when I was there ! Could this be 'presenting things how we (the winners of WWII) want them to be remembered ? Or, as a certain Mr Trump would say, presenting 'FAKE NEWS' ?

Myself, I have never looked any further into the whole issue of the Holocaust because I don't believe that there is any 'pure truth', certain is only that there were good and bad on ALL sides and that the whole event of both World Wars was an orgy of evil, as are 99% of modern conflicts. Those that get rich as a result of war are surely the scourge of mankind and, were there a God, he would surely, happily watch them burn in Hell.

It is one thing for a soldier to go off the rails during a time of unrelenting pressure and do something regrettable, but it is another thing entirely for people to plan and cause wars just to make money.

The insane thing is that war removes from society the young, healthy and fit, leaving the old, sick and the skivers to reproduce, is it any wonder that society is so sick today :( ?

If you wanted to start a thread about the strange history of the Jews, I would have a few a few points to add ...

Arnie
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Arnie » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:34 am

No Bill it intrigues me that these people have been so reviled and regularly slaughtered in the frequent pogroms that have occurred in Europe, and they are looked down on in America. WHY? That's all. Nobody has yet given me a rational, answer.

Arnie :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

Bill Bentley
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby Bill Bentley » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:21 am

No new input ...

Does this mean that poor old 'Herman the German' is finally dead ?

If so then may he rest in peace for all of eternity :lol: :lol: :lol: .

Probably completely out of order, but ... one of my old mans jokes:

When a recent Pope died and went to heaven and received his audience with God, he was horrified to see Atilla the Hun at God's right hand, Napoleon at his left hand and Adolf Hitler cuddled up by God's feet. The Pope asked how this could be ? God answered: 'these three men have caused more people to turn to God than all of the Pope's, Bishop's and Priest's throughout all of history !

I have resisted putting a 'lol' behind that out of consideration for you Sammy, but there is a twisted truth in there and as you yourself said Sammy, "but I do believe that even in such times(in fact particularly at these times) God can give us the strength and the fortitude to over come.". Perhaps we need evil so that we can recognize good :? :?
.

sammy
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Re: HERMAN THE GERMAN

Postby sammy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:21 am

Bill
I have used various versions of that joke in talks on many occasions, so a LOL would have been in good order. We do still have a sense of humour in fact if you remember Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, both comedians and both believers who take the mick out of the faith more than non believers.
I'm not sure that we need evil, but there is a propensity for evil present in all of us, as you said earlier Bill
( it is people who are evil and do the Devil's work). Conversely it is also people who are good and do Gods work.
Arnie
Aren't we all guilty of feeling a little careful or wary of strangers in our midst, and there is always someone who likes to stir up trouble and differences, does this mean that the Jewish people should give up their differences and become just like those around them. I would say no, we should celebrate our differences and learn from each other.
Sammy


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