Updated: Nov 6, 2020
The photograph shows a Heer Oberlueutnant in a Cavalry unit at a Christmas party possibly December 5th or 6th 1941, and has been reflected on in 1942. The revserse attached reads "Weinachten 1941, Obrltn Hugenberg (Oberleutnant), Uffz Bittner (Unteroffizier), Hergst ( Hergestellt) Januar 1942. This telling us the names of the Soldaten seen in the photograph but also a confirmed date of 1941. A nice touch is the later date of 1942 which shows that the photograph was reflected on at a later date.
The Oberleutnant is seen here wearing a M36 tunic with a EK2 ribbon ( Iron Cross Second Class) as well as a Das Deutsche Ritterabzeichen, this being a German Horseman’s badge. This badge was a sports decoration awarded to the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. The award came in three classes, Bronze , silver and Gold. Seen here the Oberleutant awarded a Bronze class. The badge seen here has an oval oak-leaf wreath and within the wreath is a mounted horseman in a prancing stride, there is a Roman R in a circle at the base of the wreath. Each classes awarding criteria was having a basis in special achievements, basis of tournament events and also a basis of racing events. Two notable recipients of this award being the Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich and also Hermann Fegelein.
The man seen standing next to him with a beard is a part of the pre Christian belief of Krampus. Krampus belief is said to be part of a European Folklore said to be an origin in many Austrian and Bavarian states. The event is possible to be in the celebration of Krampuslauf (Krampus Run) which was a parade and celebration in which men dress up to resemble Krampus. Krampus being a “Half Goat Half Demon” being. This being a polar opposite to Saint Nicholas. As St Nicholas rewards behaved children, Krampus Punishes naughty or misbehaving children. Parents would threaten Krampus upon misbehaving children as a way to get them to behave. Such practises such as dressing up to resemble Krampus was often performed in Alpine towns. Krampus was said to be described as a hairy brown or black being that has cloven hooves like that of a goat. His long pointed tongue is said to of often been seen hanging out with Fangs on display. He is also said and as seen here with a more Pagan belief of Birch branches in a tight bunch which he was to swat children with as punishment.
This is a crisp example of Traditional Christmas celebrations from pagan tradition as seen being celebrated which this Heer Calvary-man and his fellow Soldaten and friends are seen celebrating.