German Young Pioneers: Uniforms

Figure 1.--This photograph is unidentified, but we think it is a German Pioneer group engaged in some kind of cerempny around a magniicent oak tree. The boys wear white shirts and their Pioeer scarves. Only one boy wears a cap. The girls wear some sort of uniform dress. We have not noted that before. The photograph is undated, but was oproibablky taken in the ealy 1950s.

We do not have much information on Pioneer uniforms. As best we csan tell they were very basic. There were uniforms for both the Young Pioneers and Free German Youth. The basic garments included a garison cap, white shirt, and red scarfe worn with dark shirts and pants/skirts. We are not sure at this time to what extent the shirts ans skirts/pants were actual uniform pants are just any white shirt and pants/skirts. They may have also been school uniform items as the Pioneer movement was a school-based profram operated by the Communist Party.,

Thälmann Pioneers

East German Young or Thälmann Pioneers had a basic uniform. Children at first seem to have worn whatever pants they wanted. In the 1950s-60s, shorts were common, but in the 70s-80s boys mostly wore longs. Boys and girls wore white shirts and blue (Young pioneers) or red (Thaelmann pioneers) neckerchief. The shirts (long or short sleeved) had the logo of the pioneer-organization on it. The official shirts seem to have epaulettes. We also notice boys in early photographs wearing leather belts with shoulder straps. This seems to have been an influence from the Hitler Youth uniform. We have a number of questions about the uniform. Hopefully German readers will be able to provide some information here. We are not sure when these logo shirts were introduced. We are not sure if regulation pants/skirts were also introduced. We assume that the parents had to buy the uniforms. We do not know if they were more expensive than regular shirts. Not do we know to what extent the children wore these logo shirts as opposed to regular shirts. In some images we see boys wearing different styles of shirts. Group leaders had additional one to three small beams. Those uniforms in the 1980s weren’t worn on normal school days. (This may have been different in the 1950s-60s. By the 1980s, however, the Pioneer uniforms were only worn for celebration days (Labor-Day, foundation of the republic and others).

Free German Youth

There was a second youth-organization for older kids (approx. from 12-26), called "Freie Deutsche Jugend" (FDJ: Free German Youth). As uniform they had only dark-blue shirts with the organization-logo on it. The rules for when to wear it were the same as for the Pioneers. An HBC contributor suggests not to ignore the FDJ. HBU concurs. The problem is that we have been able to find information about German communist groups yet.


Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Chronology Pages:
[Return to the Main chronologies page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s] [The 2000s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Web Site:
[Return to the Main German Young Pioneer page]
[Activities] [Biographies] [Chronologies] [Countries] [Essays] [Garments] [Organizations] [Religion] [Other]
[Introduction] [Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Questions] [Unknown images]
[Boys' Uniform Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Web organizatiion pages:
[Boys' Brigade] [Camp Fire] [Hitler Youth] [National] [Pioneers] [Royal Rangers] [Scout]

Created: 4:12 AM 8/28/2009
Last updated: 6:18 AM 11/10/2009