Monday, September 16, 2019


Burgschneider is an Orgeon (US) based costume maker, specializing in medieval outfits.
For more than twenty years, the Burgschneider team has been manufacturing historical clothing focusing on medieval reenactment. Gowns, capes, tunics and cloaks and, needless to say, some very interesting berets (or what I would call beret predecessors).  
To distinguish between medieval garments and costumes lacking definitive historical sources, Burgschneider divides their products into two different lines: 
fashion based on historical sources can be found under the brand Burgschneider Ancestry, whereas costumes inspired by literature, movies, pop culture, or gaming is subsumed under Burgschneider Legendary.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Alex Kaubtauuapela - Activist and Boinera

Namibia's Herero people are heartened that Germany is keen to atone for the genocide of their ancestors, but they expect something Berlin says it is not able to give.
"What we want is our land," said 74-year-old Alex Kaubtauuapela, whose parents survived the extermination of 80% of the community, a precursor to the Holocaust.
She lives much as they did, in a community dependent on cattle herding.
"The Herero are poor because of German people," she said, hunched over a walking stick as one of her grandchildren chased a stray dog around her crumbling house in the Herero ancestral homeland of Okahandja north of the capital, Windhoek.
About half of the arable land in the country in south west Africa which Germany annexed in 1884 is owned by descendants of German and Dutch immigrants, who make up just 6% of the 2.3 million population.
Land used by the Herero, also known as OvaHerero, and smaller Namaqua community for grazing was seized and thousands were executed after they rebelled in 1904. The rest were driven into the country's vast tracts of desert to starve.
The call for land restitution by indigenous groups is mirrored in countries across Africa, and any reparation agreement for the Herero could set a precedent to other groups seeking redress from European colonial powers.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Executioner (El Verdugo)

The Executioner (El Verdugo) is a 1963 Spanish black comedy film and is widely considered one of the masterpieces of Spanish cinema.
The story starts with an old executioner in Spain in the early 60's approaching retirement age. As his profession is quite rare, he begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual "spinsterhood"; as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad's "trade", he runs away from her, scared. 
However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a young handsome man who has exactly the same problem... No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other and soon get married.
Director Luis García Berlanga won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival for the film. At that moment, Francoist Spain was under international pressure because of the death sentence for the Communist leader Julián Grimau. The Spanish ambassador to Italy protested the projection of this "Communist" film.
Compulsory viewing for anyone believing that the death penalty should be a legal punishment. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Selma Van De Perre

Selma Van De Perre was just a young woman when World War II broke out in Europe. She remembers the day when her older brother came home with the news. “He came home on the 10th of May shouting ‘wake up, wake up! It’s war, it’s war!’” she remembered.
De Perre and her family were Jewish and as persecution against the Jews increased, De Perre knew it was no longer safe for them to stay where they were.
As others were being imprisoned, hauled off to concentration camps and killed, De Perre arranged for her family to go in hiding in the south of Holland, and eventually met a group of doctors working for the resistance. After spending time with many members of the resistance, She made a decision to stand up; she joined the fight against Nazi tyranny.
She started delivering illegal papers for the resistance and transported money used for the cause and to pay families which housed Jews hiding from persecution. 

The Nazis eventually caught De Perre. She was brought to the police station where she was interrogated for several days before being sent to a concentration camp.
De Perre did not stop resisting the Nazis even while she was imprisoned. De Perre said she intentionally assembled gas masks in such a way that they would come loose by the time they would be used.
From the Dutch camp, she was moved to the Ravensbruck women’s concentration camp in Germany, where she and her fellow prisoners were subject to cruelty and physical abuse.
“I didn’t want the Germans to be successful in having me dead,” she said. “I was in a very bad condition at times, but I survived.”
De Perre gives talks about the Holocaust at schools, companies, the military, etc.; considering it very important for her and other Holocaust survivors to speak out and tell their story to the coming generations.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Spy Pictures

The latest harvest of my my brother's Beret Spy pictures:
 Montey, Switzerland

 Den Bosch, Netherlands
Aosta, Italy

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Gendarmerie Nationale - in Polo & Beret

French officers of the Gendarmerie Nationale on an EU Police mission in Tbilisi, Georgia.
These superb hi-tech polo shirts are actually for sale in a limited supply at South Pacific Berets (scroll to the bottom of this page). 
Personally, the best polo's I've ever worn!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Zdravko Haderlap

When I finished reading Maja Haderlap's beautiful novel The Angel of Oblivion (highly recommended!), I found out that her brother, Zdravko, is a boinero.
Zdravko worked as a precision mechanic, author, director and choreographer, among other things, is founder and artistic director of the Tanztheater / Plesni teater Ikarus - present at many international theaters and at festivals. 
In 2001 he returned to the old family mountain farm which he took over and inserted with new life.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Auloronese Chocolate on SPECIAL!

With so many berets recently placed on CLEARANCE sale, time for a different weekly SPECIAL!
Oloron Sainte Marie in the French Béarn is well known as the birthplace of the (Basque) beret, with dozens of beret factories present in the last century and still home to France’s (and the world’s) oldest beret manufacturer Laulhère.
Lesser known is that Oloron Sainte Marie houses the factory of world-famous chocolatier Lindt – originally Chocolate Rozan, launched in 1924 by Maurice Rozan de Mazilly. Rozan survived WW1 but didn’t escape injury. He received severe injuries to his face, which required a two-year stay at the Hôpital du Val de Grâce in Paris and over twenty operations to repair the damage. Despite the pain and suffering, this period gave him time to reflect, and his first act after leaving hospital was to become a chocolatier.
His success came after he discovered a new way to create chocolate. In 1927 he launched the Les Pyrénéens brand, and his recipe for these chocolates remains a secret to this day. Rozan de Mazilly sold his brand to the Swiss group Lindt in 1956 but stayed on as ‘président d’honneur’ of the company and was able to ensure that production remained in France, in his original factory in Oloron Sainte-Marie. To this day, the Les Pyréneens chocolates are sold only in France, and only when the snows begin to fall on the neighbouring mountains.
For one week only, a free bar of Lindt's Excellence 85% Cocoa chocolate (made in Oloron Sainte Marie) with any order of a Laulhère beret. 

Józef Klemens Piłsudski

Józef Klemens Piłsudski (1867 –1935) was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920). 
He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia.
Deeming himself a descendant of the culture and traditions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Piłsudski believed in a multi-ethnic Poland—"a home of nations" including indigenous ethnic and religious minorities that he hoped would establish a robust union with the independent states of Lithuania and Ukraine.
Not known to be a beret-wearer himself, many (Basque and military) berets were seen on Piłsudski's 2019 birthday celebration.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Nuri Roufael Kotani

Nuri Roufael Kotani was born in 1905, in Baghdad, the oldest of six children in a prominent Christian family.
Nuri’s father sent him to the American University of Beirut, Syria (now Lebanon), where he studied from 1923 to 1930 and participated in an association that operated under the guise of a social club to support the Iraqi struggle against British occupation. In 1927, Nuri joined the Syrian Communist Party. He was active in party activities, including numerous trips into Palestine.
Nouri Roufael Kotani, right with beret
Nuri arrived in Spain on February 10, 1938, over the Pyrenees via Massanet, under the name “Anwar R. Nouri” and was listed as an “American.” After less than a month of training in Tarazona Nuri was sent to the front on March 13, 1938, as a replacement for the XVth International Brigade’s Lincoln-Washington Battalion.
After leaving Spain Nuri was likely placed in a French concentration camp. He later told his family that it took four attempts before he was able to make it out. After the 1958 Iraqi revolution he became a railway minister in the progressive regime of Abd al-Karim Quasim but lost his post after the counterrevolutionary Ba’athists came into power in 1963. Nuri spent almost half of his life in prison or on the run from consequences related to his political beliefs. He died in 1980.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

DKW Schnellaster

The DKW Schnellaster, also known as the DKW F89 L, was a van produced by DKW from 1949 to 1962. 
Alongside the DKW F89 passenger car, it was the first vehicle to be manufactured by the new Auto Union conglomerate in Ingolstadt, following the re-establishment of the business in West Germany. The model name Schnellaster translates from German to English as Rapid Transporter.
The van was also produced in Vitoria, Spain, by Industrias del Motor S.A. (IMOSA) from 1954. In Spain, DKW became a common term for any van, and is still used today. The Spanish subsidiary also produced a modern successor with all new bodywork, introduced in 1963 and called the DKW F1000 L. This van started with the three-cylinder 981 cc two-stroke DKW engine, but later received a Mercedes-Benz Diesel engine and was finally renamed a Mercedes-Benz in 1975.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Triciclos Abad

Triciclos Abad was founded by Norberto Abad Prieto and located in Madrid, a company dedicated to the manufacturing of vehicles that provide mobility for people with physical disabilities.
These vehicles were much in demand in Spain since the 1940s, with so many disabled people after the Spanish Civil War.
The adapted tricycles were equipped with Villiers, Guzzi and Vespa engines. Abad was in operation until the 1960s.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


45Str. Is a Bulgarian fashion brand, launched on 1 March 2013.
In their extensive headwear collection is a prominent place for berets, hand crafted from handpicked materials.
From their website: “In our attempt to find a brand that meets all of our requirements for quality and design, we decided to challenge ourselves and create our own.”
“We make hats. Not just hats. And we don’t just make them.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Vytautas Mikalauskas's attempt to Vote

Social worker and boinero Vytautas Mikalauskas was shocked to find that despite his best efforts, he was unable to vote for the Vilnius Municipal Council.
Despite an overload of work, he managed to get leave to do his civil duty, only to find that -after several hours waiting in a que- the doors of the polling station closed at 5pm sharp. 
As if he didn't know this already: another good reason to wear a Reality Shield

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Natzweiler-Struthof was a German-run concentration camp located in the Vosges Mountains close to the Alsatian village of Natzwiller (German Natzweiler) in France, and the town of Schirmeck, about 50 km (31 m) southwest of the city of Strasbourg. Natzweiler-Struthof was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on French territory.
A young member of the French resistance examines boots, shoes, and wooden clogs piled near a furnace in the crematorium 
Between 1941 and 1944, Alsace was administered by Germany as an integral part of the German Reich. The camp operated from 21 May 1941 and was evacuated early in September 1944. Only a small staff of Nazi SS personnel remained until the camp was liberated by the French First Army (members of the Resistance and the FFI) under the command of the U.S. Sixth Army Group on 23 November 1944.
Members of the French resistance inspect the crematorium furnace in Natzweiler-Struthof.
About 52,000 prisoners were estimated to be held there during its time of operation. The prisoners were mainly from the resistance movements in German-occupied territories. It was a labour camp, a transit camp and, as the war went on, a place of execution. Some died from the exertions of their labour and malnutrition. There were an estimated 22,000 deaths at the camp, including its network of subcamps.
A member of the French resistance examines urns used to bury prisoners' cremated remains in Natzweiler-Struthof
The camp is preserved as a museum in memory of those held or killed there. The European Centre of Deported Resistance Members is located at this museum, focusing on those held. The Monument to the Departed stands at the site. The present museum was restored in 1980 after damage by neo-Nazis in 1976. Among notable prisoners, the writer Boris Pahor was interned in Natzweiler-Struthof and wrote his novel Necropolis based on his experience.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A First Time Ever: Boinas de Argentina on SPECIAL!

Export restrictions and currency exchange regulations make importing from Argentina a difficult business; hence too little stock usually to do a SPECIAL on these fantastic berets.
So, for a first time ever, on SPECIAL this week at a 20+% discount, a variety of Boinas Espinosa, Tolosa Tupida and Plato Grande.
The boinas Espinosa and Tolosa Tupida are made of 100% Argentinian merino wool; soft to the touch, durable, light and extremely comfortable. What better recommendation than that the gauchos of the Argentinian pampas principally wear these berets? 
Available in a large range of diameters and colours, all in one-size models without headband - so no worries about sizing. 
The boinas Espinosa are unlined berets in 28cm diameter; the boinas Tolosa Tupida have satin lining fitted and are 30cm in diameter. 
The boina Tolosa Tupida Plato Grande is a generous 32cm diameter. 

Boinas from Compostela