Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Dueling Scars

Mein Gott! Look at that handsome young man. He cuts quite the figure with his deeply slashed face.

There was little in the outward appearance of nineteenth century German young men that could more clearly mark someone out as a man of distinction than an angry gash across the face. A schmiss translates as a strike or mark.

Otto Skorzeny - a filthy Nazi, but owner of a great scar

Otto Skorzeny - a filthy Nazi, but owner of a great scar

The Tough College Years

…the wearer was a gentleman of distinction with a military bearing. He was obviously a member of a social elite, part of the officer class…

The complex gaggle of states that made up Germany at the time was a tumultuous and fractious union. The nascent and short-lived empire had a difficult, at times even incendiary and violent, birth. States bristled with antipathy toward their neighbours. The militaristic predisposition of the populace was particularly evident to contemporary visitors in the faces of the better-heeled males. Young men of the social, aristocratic and economic elites were sent off to college and expected to return with (in ascending order of merit) an adequate education and at least one big scar.

Ostensibly, these scars were the result of over-enthusiastic, but legitimate, fencing practice. More regularly however, it was itself the desired result of extra-curricular displays of bravura and machismo – dueling.

Why Have them

The scars were a social signifier. They were a mark of honour and class, showing the wearer was a gentleman of distinction with a military bearing. He was obviously a member of a social elite, part of the officer class. He was an honourable member of the gentry.
The scars were signs of certain personal qualities. The wearer wouldn’t back down, instead standing firm and resolute; the normal macho bluster. The young men’s obsequiousness in following this fashion made them perfect subjects for a regime looking for cannon fodder – they were compliant and would follow even the worst example unerringly.

In fact, the scars were so sought after, they were often exacerbated. The recipient stuffed the wound with irritants such as horse hair to worsen the scarring. There are even stories of young men having their faces cut by accomplices, or even willing doctors. The scars, usually on the wearer’s left cheek, were not always restricted to one. Many young men had several.

Fencing

Fencing in Germany used heavy swords unlike the modern rapiers and foils. It was a ritualised process, a formal exchange of blow and riposte. In the end, the loser stood and took the blow. Strangely, this acceptance was itself seen as a victory of sorts.

Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches by Anton von Werner (1877), depicting the proclamation of the foundation of the German Reich (18 January 1871, Palace of Versailles). Pomp, bombast and unrestrained virility as seen in the image of the proclamation of the short lived empire.

Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches by Anton von Werner (1877), depicting the proclamation of the foundation of the German Reich (18 January 1871, Palace of Versailles). Pomp, bombast and unrestrained virility as seen in the image of the proclamation of the short lived empire.

Social Sanction

The scars were approved by the patriarchal society. The ruling elite, Bismarck included, had a fondness for the marks which many of them had received in their own youth. Eventually, Germany bowed to the inevitable and banned what was seen increasingly as a barbaric practice. The ban came into force just before the Great War.

The practice was briefly de-criminalised by the Nazis. It was propaganda, allowing them to look back on a glorious time in the past that never truly existed – a time when men were fearless and strong, when Germany was an imperial force, when Bismarck was at the helm and the future was bright.

A Distinguished Example

Otto Skorzeny was an SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer in the Waffen-SS (that was his picture you saw up the top of the page). While a student in Austria, and while the practice was banned at home in Germany, he received the mark. As was expected of someone in his position he was a nasty, harsh piece of work. He led the mission to free Mussolini when was captured by his Italian opponents. He later led false-flag incursions into allied-held areas during the Battle of the Bulge, although it must be imagined that he stood out with his fractured visage. Otto Skorzeny had a long and storied life, eventually escaping to MAdrid. He died in 1975 having been involved in ODESSA.

The Irish Connection

Have you read about the Nazi spy in Ireland? Or the Swastika Laundry? Well, Otto Skorzeny also had Irish links. The Nazi was made welcome by the much pilloried, political chameleon Charles Haughey, a man of less than scrupulous morals. The Telegraph enjoyed loudly trumpeting, years later, how Irish society had thrown out the red carpet for Hitler’s thugs.

Bibliography
Otto Skorzeny
German Scarfaces
The omniscient Wikipedia on Dueling Scars
Otto Skorzeny in action
Nineteenth Century Germany

This article was posted by on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 13:19.
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