German woman and boy, someplace barren

By: usermattw

Jun 27 2013

Tags: , ,

Category: Children, Pairs


Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo measuring 2.25 x 3.25 inches.

What I know about it:

The old German handwriting on the back is a little hard to read, but I believe it says Ostern 1936 (which is German for Easter 1936).


My friend Christine (“harriedcostumer”) was on my mind because I saw her and her husband this evening, so I thought I would post another one of the photos she brought back for me from their trip to Hamburg last fall.  Perhaps there is something vibrant and exciting just out of the range of the camera, but this photo gives the impression they are standing in a very remote spot.  The strangeness of the location is enhanced, at least in my mind, by the realization that they are apparently celebrating Easter.  Of course, the woman looks like she’s holding a large crucifix in her right hand, which would be appropriate for the occasion.  But then, the boy appears to be holding a horse whip, which just confuses me.  Is he about to play one of Jesus’s tormentors in a Passion Play or something?  It’s all a little mysterious to me.

7 comments on “German woman and boy, someplace barren”

  1. Germany, 1936. Hitler in power and military being built and mobilized. The impending doom was lost in a flurry of nationalism. I fear for that boy who would have seen military service before it was all done.

    • Yes, I often look at my old photos and shudder at the knowledge of what these people would presumably have to face before long. Then again, I sometimes wonder if people will look back at old pictures of us and think the same thing.

  2. Matt, you always see things in these photos that I never noticed! I think the woman is holding gloves, but that does look like some kind of riding whip in the boy’s hand. At least he’s not wearing a Hitler Youth uniform, as far as I can tell. (But thanks, Mike, for making me freak out and double-check ; P ) The photo reminded me of “Emil and the Detectives.”

  3. Oh, my. Germany in 1936 was not the best of places to be… I feel sorry for these people.

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