German First Communion Chronology: The 1950s--Decade Trends

Figure 1.-- We retrieved these various shots of first communion procressions in Germany. This one ws taken in the early-1950s. The boys are all wearing dark short trousers suits with white shirts and ties, and most of them wear white knee socks and black shoes. One of the boys in the procession follows the slightly older style and has black long stockings instead of the white knee socks but is in all other respects dressed like his schoolmates. They presumably attend a Catholic confessional school which gave their parents guidelines for how to dress. The boys also wear caps--either visored school caps or dark flat caps that match their suits. They all carry candles as they march through the streets, led by acoyltes with ecclesiastical banners, and attended by clergy, into a church where the Mass will be held. Parents can be observed on the fringes of the procession. The boys look to be about 7-9 years old, which in Germany was thr common age for making one's first communion in Catholic churches. Click on the image to see an image from the samne school/church thst was precisely dated March 1, 1953. Photographer: Hans Lachmann. Bundesarchiv Bild 194-0196b-28

HBC has little information on German First Communion outfits during the 1950s. We know that the German Economic Miricle occurred in the 1950s. Germany rebuilt its devestated cities and Germany families experienced wide-spread prosperity. Families could afford luxuries, including First Communion outfits for the children. The major churches were significantly impacted by the NAZI era and the War. There was an ibreasing secularization of German society, but in the 1950s this was jist beginning. And most families wanted the children to do tradition religious commitments like First Communion and Confirmation. We have a few images that are dated and helpful in establishing decade trends. We note boys mostly wearing short pants suit. Some boys still wore long stockings with their suits at the beginning of the decade, but by mid-decade we see knee socks almost exclusively. Wealso mistly see caps in the early part of the decade.


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Created: 10:21 AM 4/9/2011
Last edited: 10:21 AM 4/9/2011