German World War II Photography

Figure 1.--There is no information associated with this German World War II photograph. It looks to us that it was taken very early in the War and it it is Summer. Thus we would guess 1940 or perhaps 1941. The children look German, thus it would have had to have been taken some where where German children were present.

We are collecting images of the War to illustrate the various pages. We are especially interested in images showing children during the War. More histories understandably focus on the military campaigns. World War II, however, was total war with the civiliuan population and economy playing a key part in the War. We want to show case how children were involved in the War. Some of these images are quite well known. Others have never before been published as far as we know. Our purpose here is to show how children were affected by the War, both as civilians and as actual participsnts in the fighting. Some of the images are identified and dated and can thus be placed on the appropriate page. Even when not identified We have also found images that are unidentified, we are often use them to illustrate pages in a general way. We have found some images, however, with no provinance an depicting scenes that we can not fully explain. Perhaps HBC readers can offer some insights on these images.

Image 1

There is no information associated with this German World War II photograph. While there is no provinance, an examination of the photograph does yiels considerable information. This is clearly a German military band. The men are Wehrmacht soldiers. Note the tent and the clothing, suggesting nice weather, thus we can assume ther photograph was taken in the Summer or larte Spring or early Fall. As to the date, the jovial nature of the soldiers suggest to us that it was early in the War. We would guess Summer 1940 after the great German victories in the West. THe Summer 1941 during the early era of Barbaropssa is also popssible. As to where it was taken there are several possbilities. The children here look German, thus it would have had to have been taken some where where German children were present. Perhaps it was taken in Germany and the children are the children of Wehrmacht soldiers. There are, however, other possibilities. Some of the areas of Czechoslovakia (1938), Poland (1939), Lithuania--Memel (1939), Belgium (1940), France (1940), and Yugoslavia-Slovenioa (1941). conquered with German populations were annexed to the Reich. Perhaps these children are German families living in these countries. There were other German families living elsewhere in Eastern Europe in areas overrun by the Germans or countries allied to Germany. This probably exclude the Baltics as Germans there largely returned to the Reich as part of the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Treaty.

Image 2

We do not know what is going on here. There is some writing on the back with the location, but it is very hard to read. The German officer here with the pistol is patting a peasant boy on the forehead, He has a World War I EK2 ribbin and a spange. Presumably that woyld mean the photograph was taken after the Polish campaign (September 1939). I don't think that the boy is French. So that mens the boy may be Soviet, although his hat does not look like one we have commonly noted there. Note how flat and treeless the horizon looks. The officer doe not look menancing nor the boy scared.

Image 3

Here we have a group photograph probably taken in the early 1940s. We have no information about the photograph. The group is men in a similar uniform. It does not look like a Wehrmacht uniform, but rather a police uniform. I am not ure of the precise branch. There were many different units of the German police. At the centerof the group is a boy and woman. We ssume that the woman mudst be the boy's mother. She wears a black dress. She night be in mourning. The boy and police, however, do not wear mouning bands. We hve no idea what the occassion could have been.

Image 4

Here we see a German boy in a photograph we believe was taken during the War, presumably early in the War. It seems to be a Christmas photograph. The boy appears to be dressed in a World War I uniform. The helmet looks to be real, too fancy for a play outfit. The rest of his cstume may be a play clostume his mother made for him. You rarely see boys in the NAZI era dressing up in World war I uniforms. The NAZIs were very critical of Germany's World war I leadership. In part they were concerned about a possible Hollezorian claim to power. Some of the Kaiser's children dallied with the NAZIs hoping they would be returned to power. The Kaiser himself wanted nothing gto do with him.

Image 5

Here we see two images of a German boy at a train station with German soldier. We assume it was taken somewhere in Germany, bit as it appear to be a small station it must have been a small town. There is a railroad hotel near the station, the Hotel zum Guten Hoffnung. There are also carts aboard rail cars. The soldiers look to be regular Whermacht soldiers and fficers. We have no idea if the boy has some relationship with the soldiers. Something seems to be happening that interested the boy.

Image 6

Here we see the Wehrmacht masrching through what we believe is an occupied city, perhps a Russian or Ukranian city. We photograph is undated and unidentified. The Wehrmacht column is led by drum corps followed by brass musicians. There is an elaborate standard and quite a long column of soldiers. While it is undated, we might guess Fall 1941. We are not sure where it was, but the children marching along the side do not look German to us. Poland is a possibility, but we think Russia is more likely. The group with the solduers is intereting. It is not a rag-tg bunch of children tagging slong. Instead the group seems to be marching with the soldiers, suggesting a degree of support or afinity. There are also a few German soldiers mixed in with the civilians. Hopefully HBC readers will have some insights.

Image 7: Food for Children in the East

These Belorussian/Ukranian boys have been given food by German soldiers, we think about September 1941. German policy was to seize food supplies, leaving little for the local population. All we can tell about the boys is that they are rural children. The children do not look malnourished, but their focus on the food suggests that they are hungary. Quite a number of German soldiers took photographs and compiled albums of their exploits to show their parents and children the great feats that they accomplished. There is no indication as to where this photograph was taken. We think it was either the Ukraine or Belorussia. The way the children are dressed suggest to us the early fall. There is no snow, but the boys are wearing jackets. Thus it does not look to us like June-August. Perhaps mid- or late-Sprtember or even ealy-October is likely, almost certainly 1941. Food became a major problem for the people in the occupied areas.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to German World War II photographybpage]
[Return to Main German World War II page]
[Return to Main World War II displaced children page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 7:51 PM 11/9/2004
Last updated: 5:36 AM 12/7/2011