Last Friday a guest speaker with various items from World War 2 came to Laramie High School and gave a presentation. Attorney Baend Buus, showed a few of the things he had gotten from his grandfather to some of the classes at LHS.

The presentation was different than most regular presentations, it was hands-on for all the students present. Some of the different items Buus had were passed around.

“I am showing them all of the stuff, they get to touch it, it’s not a museum. They can hold it and smell it,” Buus said.  

After the passing of his grandfather, Buus and his family were able to obtain the items that he had kept that were from World War 2.

“This year I came in to talk to all of the freshman social studies classes,” Buus said.

Other classes were present as well.

Some of the items that were shown included rucksacks, canteens from the U.S military, bayonets, knives, Nazi hats, and Nazi belts. All students were encouraged to come up and touch and smell the Nazi flag that he had.

“My mom and my brother are both social studies teachers, I’m an attorney here in town, but we decided as a family that rather than donating this stuff to a museum or putting it in a box under a bed somewhere, we would share it with students,” Buus said.

Buus told some of the stories of his grandfather Max Pannetier, who illegally shipped his items from the war home.  

Buus has been coming to schools to show off his grandfather’s stuff and telling some stories about him for four or five years. He doesn’t do it to honor the things he has, but to give the students a different experience of studying World War 2.

Students were very engaged throughout the presentation.

“The class I had yesterday had a lot of questions, but a lot of times people just want to see the stuff, and so you don’t get a ton of questions out of it,” Buus said.

Students were intrigued by the different things that were being shown.

“My families opinion is that there’s enough museums and people should have hands-on experience with some of this stuff, and you wouldn’t normally get to touch a Nazi flag, you wouldn’t get to look up close at patches and SS patches that were on Nazi uniforms, and for my whole family that is our approach to it,” Buus said.

A lot of people wouldn’t get the opportunity to handle items such as those that were shown, because they are not easy to come by.  

“We could’ve taken all this stuff we found, and found a museum to donate it to, and do it in his name, and my grandfather’s name would be in the museum. But it is pretty clear to us that he didn’t want that, or he would’ve done that, and so we haven’t done that either,” Buus said.