** German young pioneers : Germany chronology post-World War II era

German Young Pioneers: Chronology--Post-World War II Era

Figure 1.--Here we see German Young Pioneers saluting at sonme kind of ceremony during the 1950s. Noyice the scarves. Uniforms had not yet been introduced.

Communist authorities organized the East German Pioneers after World War II in the Soviet occupation zone. The East German authorities introduced the Free German Youth and the Pioneer Youth (March 1946) less than a year after the War. Communist authorities subsequently renamed their youth movement the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation in honor of the the former German Communist Party leader killed by the NAZIs at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The movement consisted of the the Young Pioneers and the Thälmann Pioneers. We do not yet have much information about chronological trends associated with the Young Pioneers in Germany. As far as we know there was no attempt to orgnize a Communist youth movement in West Germany. The East German Pioneers were influenced by both Scouting and the Hitler Youth, but like the Pioneer movements in other countries, it was a school-based program. Membership and activities were organized around the schools. And unlike both other movements, the Pioneers were a mixed-gender prganization. It was similar to the HJ in that parents did not play a major role in the program. It was a nother arm of the state in molding young minds independent of parental influence. We do not see Pioneerb members wearing uniforms at first except for a few selected children for ceremonial events. Nor so we see uniforms in the 1950s, although the children did wear scarves. We are not sure when uniforms were introduced, perhaps in the 1960s. This may have been done at the same time school uniforms were introduced. The Young Pioneers were disolved with the fall of Communism in Germany (1990). There was no interest among East German children or their parents in continuing the program. We have been able to find only limited information on the Pioneer movement and some of it is contradictory. Hopefully our German readers will provide some information on the movement and their experiences.


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Created: 2:48 AM 2/22/2010
Last updated: 7:43 PM 9/18/2010