A young cosplayer who wears a Nazi SS uniform online has hit back at criticism, saying he dons it to educate people.
For the past five years, 21-year-old Rosihan Haqqiy, otherwise know as Vinnie, has been dressing up in various costumes, one of which is the controversial Allgemeine SS uniform.
He claims that he wears it to "teach people about its history", with it being historically worn by members of Adolf Hitler's infamous paramilitary force. Vinnie produces short videos while in the uniform, demonstrating what an officer would have done, with the aim to "tell stories and educate".
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He even wears his £400 SS uniform to public cosplaying events, where he says attendees are "curious" about his choice of costume. But Vinnie's passion for World War II, which he admits to being "fascinated" by, has not been without its share of criticism.
His online videos have been met with "hate and controversy", which he admits can be "hurtful". Vinnie, a photographer from Kuala Lumpur, said: "I wear it with a sense of pride and joy – not because I'm displaying hate – but to let the public know about the history.
"If you just show history on paper or TV it might get boring. But if you're immersed in it and you show it, it provides more curiosity and interest. A common comment is people say 'do you know what the Germans did?' and they list all the heinous things the Germans did."
"I'm very aware of what they did, so I'm cautious of the outfit as well, but if you want to explain something you need to show it. Even though the comments can be hurtful, I just accept that they don't know.
"If they actually have a curiosity they would have asked me first without judging me straight away. It allows me to express myself."
After being introduced to cosplay by his older brother, Vinnie combined it with his interest for World War Two. He said: "Ever since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated by World War Two and especially the German side.
"The more I read about it, it provided with me insight and I do think that Germany history provided a lot. But you have to admit their uniforms strike you as imposing and in Malaysia we are not very educated in World War Two history on the European side."
Vinnie says people are politer in person – but things can get vile online. He said: "Online, there's more hate and controversy and I don't mind.
"But in terms of wearing it to events, I do get people coming up to me but it's mostly with curiosity and I explain my story and why I do it. I do get some looks from Western people, but there are some that are still open about it.
"When you're at an event, you're safer and people understand it more. But I don't recommend to go out actually in public and not to events wearing it, I try to avoid that."
Vinnie believes his passion has been the subject of "misconception" simply by him wearing the outfit. He continued: "In Malaysia it's not something you see often.
"If you walk down the streets of London and you saw someone wearing a British World War Two uniform it would peak your interest. So it's the same here, it would grab your interest."
Vinnie said his family are "accepting" of his hobby and he has plans to expand his collection. He stated: "Currently I just have the one Allgemeine SS uniform but I would like to get a Wehrmacht Uniform from 1940-1945. I plan to get it in the future to properly address and tell the story there as well."
* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.
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