Monday, February 4, 2019
A Look at Two German Photo Albums
I am constantly on the hunt for artifacts relating to WWII German civilians so when these two photo albums came up I had to have them to add to my ever growing collection. These photo albums are especially unique because they are German civilians! Two albums depicting two different families and two very different perspectives. When they arrived I was enthralled by the details and the clothes (naturally). One of the things that really caught my eye was in the small album - stockings! I was so surprised to see girls wearing stockings in the pictures and to have some dated to 1943 of all years. These photographs from both albums, over 100, showed a variety of people wearing dresses, separates, hats, leg wear, and so much more at different occasions from weddings, to picnics, to mountain climbing, and just hanging out with friends. These images offered insight into what appeared to be normal people in normal situations wearing normal clothing. I was clearly excited. In my hands were primary examples of real clothing instead of those found in pattern books and magazines.
The photographs between the two albums dated between the late 20s to the 40s in one book and in the other all 40s based on the silhouette of the clothing and the stray dates scribbled on some of the photos. It is unknown where the images were taken in Germany or the names of the people inside. It is also unknown their occupations, histories and social economic status. Based on the clothing and the content of the images I think the individuals in the albums lived comfortably and appeared to spend a great deal of time in the country. There are almost no urban settings, the most stone I see in one looks to be in front of a castle possibly. On vacation?? Living in a beautiful home? I suppose anything is possible . . . .
I am guessing that the smaller photo albums based on the images inside was owned by a young female in her teens or 20s. Inside are many images of other young women who I imagine were friends and family. This is a small album so I am thinking its a personal one. Based on the clothes and dates, I think the bulk of the images inside are from the 40s as a whole with most from the early 40s but cannot be entirely certain as not all are dated.
The second one, a larger one, is a family album filled with images of weddings, picnics, and more. The people range from young infants to possibly aunts, uncles and grand parents. A wide range of ages are represented. Based on the clothing, it looks like some of the photographs are from the late 20s, 30s and early 40s. There are many images of farm animals so I think this family may have a farming background or live in the countryside.
Both albums offer a different perspective I think. The smaller one from a young woman and the other of that of a large family. For my own interests I looked closely at the clothing and was so excited at what I saw and I hope you are excited too as I plan on showing off the contents of the albums on here over time along with some analysis. If you are interested in building a German civilian impression, then I think you will find the content of these images of great use.