World War II: Yugoslav--German Photographic Albums

German World war II photographs Balkans
Figure 1.--This Balkan boy (presunably Yugoslavia) seems to have learned that he could earn a few coins or food by playing for German soldiers. What we do understand is why there were so many ragged children and in this case notice the valuable violin.

Many German soldiers took their cameras to war with them. They were not suposed to do this at the front, but this order was widely ignored and there was no restriction on real areas. Most of the photographs they took were of their friends, equipment, and vehicles. But they took pgotographs at what ever caught their eye and this varied from soldier to soldier. As a result there are many war time photographic records. More so than is the case for any country. Many German soldiers were very proud of what Germany was doing and their role in it and thus were keen to compile a photographic record. This was especially the case in te early years when Germany achieved impressive victories with very little casualties. We see quite a few photographs from the Balkans where Germany eventually had to deploy more than a million men. One of the subjects that were popular were the children the German soldiers encounteted. The same occurred in the east after the invadion of the Soviet Union. As a result we have a record of children in the Balkans. We do not fully understand these photographs. Taking photographs of children seems understandable. There is the universal appeal of children. Although we do not see as many such photographs taken in the West (France, the Low Countries, Denmark, and Norway). Any may of the photographs show very ragged children. Now that might be understandable at the end if the war, but many of these photographs were taken early in the War, meaning 1941-42 in Yugoslavia. That probably attracted the interest of the German soldiers as it was so different than Germany. What somewhat surprises us was that there were so many ragged children.


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Created: 12:44 AM 4/26/2009
Last updated: 12:44 AM 4/26/2009