German family at the table
What it is:
Photo measuring approx. 4.25 x 5.25 inches.
What I know about it:
This photo is undated and unidentified. But individuals in this photo also appear in this photo and this photo. (I called them German because one of these photos was taken in Hamburg, but after all, it’s possible they are from elsewhere.)
I thought, “Oh, another picture of our happy Hamburg family, that will be nice!”. (I believe the two people seated at the far left are the father and daughter from the fake boat picture. It doesn’t seem that the mother from the boat is one of the people here at the table.) Then I enlarged the photo, saw the little black doll, and thought, “Uh, oh.” I decided to share it anyway, with the understanding that posting it doesn’t constitute my endorsement of any insensitivity on display here. Of course, it’s not a particularly caricatured doll, and it could be said that automatically assuming any German of that era was racist is its own form of stereotyping. (Consider also, I once knew an old, albeit non-German, lady of this generation who said she gave her children little black dolls precisely to teach them that racism is wrong.) Yet why is the doll present on this occasion, and being held up for the portrait, almost as a joke? For that matter, what is this occasion? I’ll refrain for now from judging whether the doll is benign or sinister. Meanwhile, there is much else to enjoy looking at, the furnishings, the clothing, the body language, and, as always, the faces.