Scratcher’s vocabulary: Kasperlgwand and robber civilian – Bavaria

Irmgard and Wilhelm Ostermeier from Landshut-Achdorf celebrated the rare wedding of grace. That means they have been married for 70 years. The Landshut newspaper honored the happy couple with a large article, which showed that the bride and groom wanted to get married in traditional costume. However, the priest disapproved of this request. “I won’t marry you in a Punch and Judy outfit like that,” he said, according to the newspaper report. In their distress, the couple moved to another parish where the clergy were more tolerant. The young people were still allowed to appear in front of the altar in traditional costume.

The word Kasperlgwand reflects the narrow-minded zeitgeist of 1953. “Grea and blue is the best time for Kasperl to be a woman!” was a common saying. But soon the costume also became socially acceptable at weddings. The term Kasperlgwand still exists today. He names fashionable aberrations in taste, such as those of men who go about their daily business in baggy tracksuits. But not everyone who wears a Punch and Judy mask is a Punch and Judy, as people who are not to be taken seriously are called.

Robber civilian

The writer Eugen Roth (1895-1976) stood in front of the Munich Bürgerbräukeller on the evening of November 8, 1923. However, because of the police barriers, he was unable to get into the hall in which General State Commissioner Gustav von Kahr was giving a speech until Adolf Hitler violently broke up the event and initiated a state coup. Roth noticed numerous armed people in the area. As he later wrote, units of the Kampfbund organizations dominated by the NSDAP were stationed on the driveway to the hall, dressed “in robber civilian clothes.”

The term robber civilian, which Roth calls, today usually means that someone is poorly or carelessly dressed. Officially, civilian robbers are understood to be a mix of uniform parts and civilian clothing, as was probably worn by a number of putschists in 1923. This robber civilian, which is forbidden by uniform regulations, can often be seen in war and crisis areas.

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