Tuesday, March 8, 2016

German Soldiers Shaving Each Other

German soldiers and their morning "ablutions". Eastern front, date unknown. Their shaving each other is likely the result of a lack of mirrors. Shaving was mandatory and enforced in the Wehrmacht except in the most extreme instances or special occasions (high ranking officers, soldiers at the frontline, or U-boat crew coming back from patrol). One issue overlooked here is the problems with facial wounds and beards, especially with large lacerations. That issue is specifically addressed in medic training. Apparently some Landser shaved their heads on the Eastern Front to get rid of the lice, but then were severely disciplined because of their alleged resemblance to the slavic "Untermenschen" of the Red Army, where shaving was a commonplace standard procedure. There are also Soviet reports about German plennys who endured every form of hardship without complain but stoutly refused to be shaven until they were beaten and their hair forciby removed. It seems that full hair was considered to be an important part of individual personality for contemporary Germans!

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