Society has changed.
It has been brought to my attention that a small history lesson must be taught before presenting some of my memories. The reason for this is that modern standards of society are being used to react to what I have written. In order to fully appreciate and understand what life was like, one must understand what society of that time perceived as normal. And since I was there, it seems reasonable that I should be expected to provide this information.
First of all my memories take place in Europe. European attitudes differ greatly from that of Americans, and it seems that most of the confusion that people have come from countries that have their origin from English speaking nations, especially the United States, so I will address the need from that point of view first. In order to understand the American way of perceiving social issues, one must first realize that the U.S. was partially founded by Puritans. Puritans were a group of radical religious folk that felt persecuted in England and desired to leave England so that they could practice their own version of the Christian faith.
This leads us back to the time of the Reformation during the Renaissance in Europe, which basically happened around the time period of 1450 to 1604. It started with Martin Luther. He was unhappy with the corruption in the church. There was only one church at that time, which was good and bad all at the same time. The good part was that people were unified in their beliefs in the church that had it's origins in the original church that was founded by Jesus Christ and his disciples. The bad part was that corruption occurred, and it was difficult to weed out since mankind sought wealth and power with a voracious appetite and this new religion pushed aside the true beliefs of the indigenous people of Northwestern Europe. This corruption is very old now, and was quite old during Martin Luther's time. Martin Luther wanted to do something about the problems. Unfortunately, his attempts at bringing about reform created a split in the church. This was not what he wanted. He wanted to fix the problem, not create a bigger one.
A another new church was formed and we know it today as the Lutheran Church. Well, as human nature would have it, one splinter created another and another until branches of Christian ideology formed far away from the original concept. This is where the Puritans come in. While I can admire them for their conviction and courage to stand up for what they believe in, I don't agree with much of their attitudes about life and society. They are the predominant reason why most Americans have a love hate relationship with sexuality. Have you ever noticed that Europeans can go to the spa take off their clothes and sit in the hot water and relax without people screaming perversion? They don't see the human body as being something nasty. It is a beautiful and fascinating construction of living form. Currently, we are at a great point in our evolution, and it is up to us to aspire to be more like our extraterrestrial siblings and heavenly/universal creator and mature. If we don't mature, then Humanity may be looking at another Dark Age or worse.
So how have social ideas and values changed so much in a mere 90 years or so of time? I asked this question of an older gentleman that I was working with while being a security guard of all things. He told me of his life during the 30's and 40's and how people were much more open minded and how things changed when the invention of the television became so popular. Now I have always been on the side of defending TV since it provided the chance to learn about so many new things like far away places or plays being performed that would never be produced in a small rural town. But as I listened, I learned that this man had a very valid point of view. He was right, and I didn't even realize what had been going on so subtly.
He explained to me how a few harmless shows like Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, The Dick van Dyke Show, and many others like them had set a standard of what was socially accepted in the United States. These shows had perfect families in perfect homes with perfect husbands, wives, and children and always resolved their problems. Now thousands of women for example, had the perfect women to model themselves after. These ladies always looked nice and had their homes in perfect order. They always sacrificed what they wanted in life for what their husbands and children wanted or needed. This is a very difficult standard for just regular normal people to live up to. The pressure must have been enormous on the women of the 50's and 60's not to mention that the young men now had to be the perfect husbands and fathers.
The result was the drug infested over sexed 1960's and 70's. It was as if society snapped. They just couldn't take it anymore, and now we are flying in the opposite direction again where a little boy cannot kiss a little girl without being put up on charges of sexual harassment. If you are seen naked or exposed in some manner or form, then you could get a criminal record of being a sex offender. That means that one cannot work as a teacher and many other occupations. It means that if you are of Scottish heritage, and you wish to wear your kilt in a traditional manner of your heritage and the wind blows or you fall down, that you run the risk of being labeled as a sex offender. This is the kind of society that Americans are now living in. The whole Politically Correct Movement much like the National Socialist Movement in Germany tries to tell us what is acceptable to say or think. Sure racism, bigotry, hate are all undesirable aspects of Human existence, but when truth and basic honest emotions are denied, trouble will follow. The US has gone from fighting for freedom in WWII to allowing itself to be blinded and forced into thinking and acting in certain manners, which are contrary to current Human nature.
My perceived differences between the early 1900's and present day social ideas
The biggest complaint that I hear about my memories are the fact that I was a bisexual male. It wasn't a big deal back then. It wasn't something that you shared with everyone. The attitude was so different from now that I find it difficult to explain. I will try my best. Please, if you are homosexual now, you may be offended by some of my attitudes, and I apologize, but I don't relate or understand the present way of thinking about sex.
Strictly homosexual men were not the norm. Strictly heterosexual men were not the norm either though there were more of them than the homosexuals. Most men upon becoming married stopped playing with the guys unless their sexual appetite was too much for their ladies to deal with. It was a way of getting sexual release without compromising ones marriage by being with another lady. One runs the risk of getting a woman pregnant and that causes a great deal of problems for everyone involved. The bisexual orientation is often noted amongst warriors or those with military experience. It is not easily explained to those who have never experienced combat. A bond that is created between warriors is unlike any other. It's not a romantic love but one of a deep and abiding friendship. Most warrior personalities do not relate to the modern homosexual attitude.
The idea of going to a bar and picking up some strange man and having sex with him is absolutely disgusting to me. Sex with other men was strictly amongst men that you trusted. They earned that trust. It goes back to the old days of ancient warriors and commanders. One would never expose his back to an enemy. That is one reason while male to male sex happens so often within a tight military unit. Men need the sexual release due to the lack of females present and the bond of trust that is created by this close contact. This all sounds very primitive, and well, yes it is. Most US males that saw combat know about what I am referring to, but will not discuss it with family or friends, who are none combat experienced. They don't want to be judged.
Also the idea of being in love with another man like romantically is extremely foreign to me also, but I was bisexual and not homosexual. We loved each other with a bond that was like being brothers and friends. I rarely see men express this today. They are often afraid to hug each other and express any kind of strong emotion. You will see many photos of myself with my arm linked to another man's. We were friends. Women used to do the same thing. Little girls used to hold hands. I don't see that anymore. All I hear are the cruel words and accusations of being lesbians to these children from other children and they don't even know what the word really means. All they know is that society has deemed this a bad thing. Now I am not personally all that found of lesbians because I simply can't understand how a woman couldn't want a man, but if they are happy, then I guess let them be.
Sex with the animals, sheep. Yuk. It happened. We were drunk. It was gross. I am not exactly proud of that, but there isn't much I can say about that. People have been doing this for a long long time, and it is still being done by modern people, here today in the U.S. Don't believe me? Well, just start looking into what those college fraternities do in their initiation ceremonies or on the Internet. Yuk. No thank you.
Sex with so many women and some of them very young. Young women were more mature back then. It was a strange combination of innocence and maturity that one rarely sees today. It seems to be the opposite today. The girls are immature and lack innocence or at least try to appear that they lack innocence. A young lady of 15 years was actually at the point where she would seriously start to consider marriage and think about what kind of man she would like to marry. She would have had a hope chest already started. A hope chest was generally a wooden trunk that was filled with bed linens, table clothes, blankets, napkins, maybe even baby clothes that had been handed down. Sometimes she made these items or perhaps family members bought these items for her to put in her hope chest.
The German girls that I knew back in that life time, generally knew what they wanted and were not afraid to go after it. They probably didn't fit the feminist ideal, but they certainly had more self image than many women do today. Sure, they worried about their figure and clothes, but they didn't try and starve themselves to death or have nasty plastic surgery to enhance themselves. Women didn't need to have big boobs to be sexually attractive. I actually preferred women with balanced or smaller breasts. I don't understand the American or modern obsession of women needing to have oversized mammary glands. My personal perception was that men and women are separate but equal and what I mean by that, is that women are different from men, but they have equal value as a human beings. There are just things that women tend to do better than men and vice versa. It is not always that way, but often.
I have probably insulted or upset every little social click that exits in modern society today, but that was not my intention. I just wanted to explain how perceptions have changed so much from then to now. Please keep that in mind when reading the memories. The time that I lived as Manfred or any of the other life times, the social perceptions about sex and behavior was very different. We enjoyed spending time with each other walking, talking, drinking, and our focus was on our companions and not on the television. We also had a greater pride in our work and craftsmanship and didn't follow the modern business ideals of 'what's in it for me'. We had personal honor and our given word was important to us.
I sincerely hope this will help to make the memories on this website more understandable.