WWII Living History Re-enactment - Center Hill, FL - May 13, 2017
May 07, 2017

May 13, 2017 – Center Hill, Florida – 10:30 am – FREE PARKING

Attention All Allied and Axis Living History Re-enactors!
It is 1941 and the Axis have converged on this small village occupying the buildings. Civilians are gathered and discussing the eminent surrender of their village. An assault is launched when the Allies arrive in their convey traversing in from the back roads to the main square. An extraordinary young patrol leader launches his band of 16 men and put on a daring raid and tries to crumple the enemy’s immediate defenses. Combat fighting ensues and many are wounded by gunfire. Medics race to their brothers aid only to be caught in the cross fire. The next moments will justify their very existence. Their mission is to knock out enemy soldiers and their emplacements among the buildings and take back the village.

Spectators will witness men, women, and their machines perform a living tribute to the veterans of WWII through dress, mock battles, and living history displays.

Public Schedule of Events:
Re-enactors set up 8:00 – 9:30 am – if you wish to set up the night before, please contact Paul Remis.
Vehicle Displays
Military Display
Weapons Demonstration
Battle Re-enactment – 11:00 am

Opportunity to have photos taken with vehicles, re-enactors and veterans after the battle.   

Military Vehicles will gather in downtown Webster on Central Ave and will travel to downtown Center Hill.  You will be met by a representative of the event. 

This event will also be filmed for media.

Corner building will be opened and used for all re-enactors.

This is the VERY LAST TIME we will be able to use these 1930’s abandoned buildings in Center Hill Florida for our WWII re-enactment events. We were given such short notice that Sumter County will be demolishing these historical buildings and our last day to utilize these buildings will be on May 13, 2017.

All re-enactors are encouraged to RSVP for complimentary food for their participation in this event.

Public Parking on all side roads and FREE parking will be available. More details to follow.

Center Hill WWII Re-enactment Oct. 12, 2014 – Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCTM0H_YjNU

History on Center Hill: 

Center Hill is rich with American History dating back to 1800. The town's layout was influenced by slave quarters, Seminole villages, and African villages. The residents lived in buildings constructed from daub, thatch, and lumber. The government noticed the area’s fertility and discovered that the black Seminoles grew rice, peanuts, and corn.

By the 20th Century, Center Hill was known for its string bean, green peas and lima bean production which was shipped to New England, Chicago, and Detroit.  By the 1930’s, soil fertility declined and by 1975 the bean farmers have all but left. Since 1988, farmers are still growing bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and watermelons.

In 1998, archaeologists from the University of Florida started their first excavation of a black Seminole village in a pasture about two miles from Center Hill. The researchers hoped to determine the town's social structure and the former residents' lifestyle. The investigators found dozens of artifacts, including iron pieces, stoneware, glass beads, nails, and pottery.  Historians believe that over 100 black Seminoles lived in in this area known as Peliklakaha, one of the largest known black Seminole village.
All Living History Re-enactors are encouraged to register at:
Center Hill WWII Living History Video - click on photo below



May 03, 2017

D-DAY plus 73
presented by Rolling Thunder and USS LST393
Muskegon, Michigan

Living History Displays
June 2-3, 2017
Schedule subject to change
 Friday, June 2
2:00 pm   Setup camps
7:00 pm   Swing Dance on Deck featuring Reeths Puffer Jazz Band
Saturday,  June 3   
8:00 am     Breakfast
Free public admission to USS LST 393
Reenactor manned ship stations
Mock air raid with the Hooligan Flight Team
Movie on desk
The USS LST 393 is one of the last surviving Landing Ship Tanks out of the 1,051 built during World War II. D-Day plus 73 will commemorate the ship’s participation in the Normandy invasion.  
All Allied and Axis units are invited to setup camp on the museum lawn or display inside the ship. There are several interactive opportunities for re-enactors; the Bridge, Battery Room, Machine Shop, Damage Control Room, Engine Room, Stern Rudder Room (good size area for presentation), Galley, Galley Stores, Ward Room, Radio Room, Chart Room, Tank Deck and Medical.
Onboard crew quarters sleeping berths are very limited. Reservations taken on a first come basis. Plan on camping on museum lawn.  Shower (original working equipment). Bring your own towel.
Saturday breakfast and dinner provided. Downtown Muskegon, across the main street from the LST, has plenty of restaurants, pubs and shops. The bar on the Port City Princess cruise boat, docked next to the LST, may be open Saturday.
 Vendor space is still available. Contact organizers for more information.  
 Click the "Register Now" link above to register. Registration ends June 1.
LST website  http://www.lst393.org/ 
Muskegon D-Day facebook  https://www.facebook.com/MuskegonDDay/ 
Visitor’s Bureau  http://www.visitmuskegon.org/ 
USS Silversides website   http://silversidesmuseum.org 
We hope you can make it!

Jan & Bill Sheets


April 24, 2017

Historical novelist Cynthia A. Sandor Completes True Family Story

After 24 years of research and writing, editing and rewriting, historical author, Cynthia A. Sandor, releases her first novel, "Through Innocent Eyes – The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth." Spanning fifty-eight years from 1931 to 1989 and set against the epic panorama of Austria during WWII. "Through Innocent Eyes” is a sweeping story of family values, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: through the eyes of an innocent child in the Hitler Youth.

"It's been an incredible, eye-opening, and emotional journey, sifting through my mother’s upbringing, talking with her family and friends about growing up in Austria during WWII, and deciphering hundreds of pages of German documents including my mother’s secret journal from the time she was in the League of German Girls,” says Sandor. "For an entire year, sometimes working in upwards of 90 hours a week, my mind was totally focused and committed to telling the true story of my mother and her comrades who participated in the unknown rural educational finishing school for German girls called 'Country Service Year Camp.'  I was stuck at one point but then God created a miracle. I had the blessed opportunity to visit Austria and Poland for one month and meet with the current owner of the manor home where my mother wrote her journal. I also meet with the last four remaining survivors of Camp Seidorf. We exchanged journals, stories and laughter. Meeting Ellie, Nelly, Steffi, and Marie, brought me closer to my mother than ever before. I returned home with a greater passion to complete my mother’s story.  After visiting all the places she wrote about in her journal, I was ready to finish her story.”

All during her upbringing, Cynthia and her mother Gertrude would travel to Austria where Gertrude would ever so innocently regale her daughter about fond childhood memories, where she was born, where she was raised, and where she met her father, PFC Robert Sandor, who with his infantry, liberated Flossenbürg Concentration Camp.   

The novel provides a complete authentic account of civilian life from the perspective of a war child in her youth.  It offers a richer understanding of what was expected of the girls in the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM). Despite numerous family struggles, “Through Innocent Eyes” is a story of a young girl’s adventure, of her love for her Fatherland, and hope for a greater future, ultimately triumphing with the downfall of Germany, rebuilding a country, and her new future in America.

"My mother was 10 years old when it was mandatory for her to join the League of German Girls.  My grandmother Josefa, despised Hitler. A year later, WWII began,” says Sandor.  “My mother died when she was 61 years old and I want her life to have meaning. Not everyone is aware of how the National Socialistic upbringing in the League of German Girls used paramilitary-like disciplinary measures to build their loyalty and character. Coupled with pagan rituals, songs, and folklore, I wanted to capture the self-actualization of my mother as she progressed from childhood and living in poverty to adolescence and becoming ‘one’ with her country. Germany prepared their children for adulthood,” says Sandor. She was in an elite rural educational camp called ‘Country Service Year Camp.’ This 8-month long camp was a finishing school for specially selected girls. It not only taught them home economics, farming, and working in the community, it taught them to build their self-esteem, become self-reliant, work together in camaraderie, and prepared themselves for adulthood.”

“When the Russian invaded my mother’s hometown Kleinzell, my mother and grandmother, Josefa, fled to the American Zone in Linz, Austria. Leaving her brother Franzel behind, he stood tall to fight in the Hitler Youth against the Russian Army.  After the war, the women became Debris Women, rebuilding their beloved country with their bare hands.”

“As life was slowly returning to normal the stores opened, the newspaper started to print, and Radio Linz started airing. At 17, mother secured a job in a local coffee shop in the Hauptplatz in Linz, and that’s where she met my father, PFC Robert Sandor. On May 8, 1948, they married in the bomb out cathedral known as The Dom. 

“I want to shed light on not only how the girls in the Hitler Youth were raised, but also the true history of League of German Girls by using declassified documents, original leadership pamphlets, and my mother’s authentic personal journal she wrote in 1941 when she was 13 years old. Many assume that the girls were raised to breed as many children as possible - this was not the case at all.  Nothing could be further from the truth.”

About the Story
“Through Innocent Eyes – The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth” tells of the true life-struggles of Gertrude Kerschner and her family set in Kleinzell, Austria prior to and after Austria is annexed into Germany. Gertrude’s life embarks on a remarkable journey of camaraderie under the Swastika.  Gertrude’s mother, Josefa becomes financially stable as all of her children are inducted into the Hitler Youth.  As the war progresses, each embarks on their own path towards survival, freedom, loss, death, and ultimately reunite under Western Allies. Based upon the author’s mother’s original journal and anchored in historical fact, “Through Innocent Eyes” celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of a child at war.

Editorial Review

“Cynthia has presented in pedantic detail the daily experience of her mother during her mandatory service in the Hitler Youth in the most compelling and easy to ready way. From the time of her initiation until her completed training at Landjahr Lager Seidorf, the book brings to the reader new perspectives and an intimate first-hand accounting of the purpose, ideology, and daily routines of the Hitler Youth Movement as experienced by Gertrude Kerschner. These details will dispel many possible misconceptions or skewed perspective of the League of German Girls.”  ~ Paul E. Fischer – President – The German Cultural Society of Erie, PA

“…a five-star rating. Through Innocent Eyes” is the fascinating biography of Gertrude Kerschner and her time as a BDM girl in the elite rural educational program called Country Service Year Camp. I was captivated by the steady indoctrination of Gertrude as she progresses from her time in the Young Girls League to becoming a “Girl in Service” for her country. The reader is given a chronological account into the progress of what the BDM girls learned every step of the way. Every chapter builds upon the prior, giving an insightful look into Gertrude’s personal world.” ~ Jeanne Onuska – CEO European Military Historical Society, Conneaut, Ohio. 

About the Author
Cynthia A. Sandor is a historical novelist who weaves past events, people, and stories into a rich tapestry. When she isn't in front of her computer, she shares her knowledge by giving lectures at WWII Living History re-enactments and libraries. In her spare time, she gardens, and travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing WWII stories. Cynthia lives with her two Chihuahuas, in Tampa, Florida.
Every August, Ms. Sandor is attending the D-Day Conneaut, Ohio WWII Living History Event. 
Autograph copies are available by going to the AUTHORS WEBSITE - FREE SHIPPING!



FREE Autograph Book!
April 15, 2017

***WINNER - Elin T. Gottschalk **** 

FREE AUTOGRAPH BOOK! I will give a way a FREE autograph book anywhere in the world to the first person who places and nominates "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" on the following Goodread's Biography Book List - there are 17 - Ready? Set? Let's go!

Best History Books
Best Memoir/Biography/Autobiography...
Best Women Author Books
Biography and Memoirs That Are Better Than Fiction
Best Biography
Must Read Non-Fiction
Best Non-Fiction War Books
Best WWII Fiction & Biography
Book is Great With A Love Story on the Side
Life In A Foreign Country
Most Interesting Books About Real People, Real Places and Real Events
Biographies of Ordinary People
Best Books by Florida Writers
Best Non-Fiction Book
Who's That Girl
Inspirational Women

Remember to use the updated cover with all the girls standing on the stairs. Already #1 on Goodread's Best Book on National Socialism. Thank you!


March 01, 2017

March 4 - 5, 2017 - WW2 Commemorative Weekend -

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park 

7200 County Road 603
Bushnell, Florida 33513

The Dade Battlefield Society Inc. will be commemorating the most widespread armed conflict in history and celebrating both military and popular civilian culture during the war years.

Grounds Open 10 am ~~ Battle Engagement 2 pm

$3 per Person Entry fee at Gate
Age 6 and under and WWII Vets free

Allied and Axis Uniformed Re-enactors
Authentic Camps and Equipment
Weapons Demonstrations
Battle between Allied and German Forces
Military Vehicles...
WWII Vendors

Author, Cynthia Sandor, will be showcasing her mother's original journal written when she was 13 years old and participating in the elite rural educational camp called "Country Service Year Camp" (Landjahr Lager). Her display will include her mother's original JM, BDM pins and patches, German Mother's Crosses in Bronze, Silver, and Gold, the bread bags and Rucksacks the BDM girls use to carry over their shoulders.

Currently, "Through Innocent Eyes - The Chosen Girls of the Hitler Youth" is being review for the Eric Hoffer Award.

Independent film company Distant Star Pictures is currently in the pre-production phase of making Ms. Sandor's book into a movie. Only a limited number of books will be available for sale at a 20% discount of $20.00 each.

Autographed and signed by the author, together with a bookmarker and commemorative stamp.

RSVP Here to reserve your copy today!

Author's Web Site

Bdmhistory.com Web Site