We have found many boys wearing uniforms that we do not recognize. A reader has sent us one such image. Only two of the boys wear uniforms. Many youth groups did not give the same attention to the uniform as the Scouts. Our reader writes, "I am a photo editor trying to research the uniform in the attached photo. I am wondering if you can tell me if the boy on the right is wearing a Boy Scout uniform. The boys names are written on the back and they appear to be from one of the Scandanavian countries." HBU is not certain what country the boys are from. They could be Scandinavian, but they do not look quite right. We think that they may be Finnish or from one of the Baltic Republics. Of course the names should tell us. Hopefully a HBC reader will have some insight. As to Scouting, I see no indication they they are Scouts. The cap is not right and they are not wearing neckerchiefs. Just what uniform that is I am not sure. Here you can see a close up of the boy's uniform (figure 1). The raised fist on the full image strongly suggests a Socialist group. If I had not seen the names on the back I might have guessed that they were Russians or perhaps Poles, although, militant Socialism/Communism was not very important in Poland. The inscription on the back along with the name also tells us that snapshot was taken in 1936. We have since learned that names of the boys are are Estonian.
A reader tells us, "The language and the names are Estonian, although a name like Johannes Glück is really German. The boys look Estonian to me also." A German name is of course not surprising because until Hitler ordered ethnic Germans "Home to the Reich" (1939), large numbers of Germans lived in the cities of all three Baltic Republics. Our reader adds, "I do not know the meaning of the words on the back. I do know that Estonian is related to Finnish. Estonian and Finih names are similar, but there are differences. I believe that Finnish uses more umlauts than Estonian. Like the Dutch, Estonians often have names with double consonants like Jaar, Peer, Muut, etc. Latvian first names for boys always end with an "s", even if the name is not of Latvian origin like Gerhards, Alberts, Arturs, etc. Lithuanian names sometimes sound like Greek, ending in "is"."
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