German School First Day Portraits: Kindergarteners

Figure 1.--Here we see an unidentified German boy in a first day portrait. We think he mau be a Kindergartener because of the goodie cone and long hair. Most primary school boys in the 1920s had short hair, especially primary boys. Not as short as in the 1920s, but often quite short hair. He is dressed, hiwever, rather like a first year primary boy with his school cap and book satchel. The portrait was taken in Berlin. It our contributor dates it to 1929-29. Click on the image for a fuller discussion.

The standard first day of school portrait was taken when the child began the first yearr of primary school--Grundschule/Volkschule. This was a 4-year program after which the children were sepoarated by theoretically academic ability. Actually the selection was only in part ability. Most middle-class children attended secondary, but only a few working-class children did so. German children usually began primary school at age 6 years. Some German school began school earliee by attending Kiendergarten. Thus we have some first day portraits for Kindergateners. Unlike America, German Kindergartens were not limited to just 5-year olds. Emulating tge primary children, the Kindergarteners were often given small Zuckertute/Schultüten goodie cones.


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Created: 12:37 AM 9/30/2010
Last updated: 12:37 AM 9/30/2010