German Boys' Clothes: Birthday Party, 1941

Figure 1.--This portrait was taken at a birtday party in 1941 and shows many of the styes of clothing worn in the early 1940s. The birtday boy is the one in the middle. He was 8 years old.

This was the 8th birthday party of the boy in the middle. Apparently his mother believed in the birthday paty rule of one guest for every year of age. The photograph was taken in 1941 and from the looks of the trees it was Spring. This meant that the party was held a couple of months before Germany was to invade the Soviet Union (June 1941). They lived in asmall town that was not bombed, but by 1944 the sky at night was sometimes red from the fires of a nearby city that was bombed. The boys of course in 1941 had no idea how their world was about to chage. The birthday boy and his friends wore a wide range of outtfits. Some look a litle dated while others are suprisingly modern. Here is a discussion of the various outfits.

Left Boy

The boy on the left is dressed rather like the birthday boy, but without a bow. Perhaps they are brothers. He has a shirt that is neatly buttoned at the collar and matches his short pants. He has ankle socks and high-top shoes.

Striped Pullover

The boy with the striped pullover alwaysore knit dark green suits similar in style to the [?present] pants. This was an extrodinary style, but he belonged to an extraordinary nobel family. He wears kneesocks with high-top shoes.


The boy with the military-looking cap was always dressed in more old fashioned clothing than the other boys. He often wore, for example, long stockings which were not commonly worn by the other boys. He is the only boy here wearing long stockings.His cap was a school cap called a "Schülermüze" and in 1941 was already out of fashion. Years earlier the color pattern of the cap indicated the year of secondary school that a boy belonged. This boy, however, never attended secondary school. The cap was dark green, the band was orange and yellow, and the peak black. Like one of the other boys, he wrars a suit, but no tie. His suitvis a dark color. He wears his collar inside his jacket, unlike the other boy wearing a suit.

Birthday Boy

The birthday boy is at the center and seems rather pleased with himself. Perhaps he got some nice presents. He wears a shirt which matches his long short pants. I'm not sure about the color. I'm not sure what color theywere. He wears a destinctive bow-like neckwear, not very common in 1941. It looks like his kneesocks had fallen down.

Highest Boy

The higest boy in the tree wears a sleevless sweater as done another boy. He wears short pants with white that have unusual white tabs. He is the few with low-cut shoes. He looks a bit older than the other boys. Perhaps he is 10 all ready and has joined the Deutche Jugend, the jubior division of the Hitler Youth.

Figure 2.--Some of the outfits the boys are wearing can be seen better in this photograph. The boys mostly seem to have long short pants, perhaps because mutter has dressed them in some of their best clothes.


One boy wears a light-colored suit. He has his collar open and folded over the lapels of his jacket.


One boy wears lederhosen-like "Seppelhose" not made of leather short pants with a halter. He looks rather informal as he did not button his shirt. Actually this boy we have quite a bit of information on. His name was Stefan. He appears to have liked lederhosen.

Right Boy

The boy sitting on a branch at the right wears a checkered sleevless sweater with what look like wool shorts, kneesocks, and high-top shoes. Like most of the other boys, he has buttoned his collar.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: August 13, 2002
Last updated: August 13, 2002