Guide to Photograph of young German girls playing recorders walking down hillside C0488
Published by George Mason University Libraries
The Nazi Party was a German far-right political party that existed from 1920-1945; it came to national power in 1933 and held that power until 1945. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis believed in a rigid racial hierarchy with the German so-called "master race" at the top. This belief led the Nazi state and its collaborators to commit the genocide of millions of Jews, as well as other marginalized groups it deemed "inferior", such as homosexual men and women, Romani people, the disabled, and people of non-German nationalities such as Slavic peoples. This genocide is known as the Holocaust, and is considered one of the greatest atrocities in human history.
The Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM), or the League of German Girls, was the female equivalent to the Hitler Youth. According to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum website: The BDM's "role was to indoctrinate girls into the beliefs and ideals of the Nazi regime. The BDM focused on developing girls into women who were dedicated to Nazism, dutiful housewives, and whose role within society was to become a mother. Girls were to grow up with an unquestioning understanding of the intended role of women in the Third Reich. BDM members were required to have German parents, be in good health, and conform to Nazi racial ideals." Music was a core focus of the BDM, in addition to domestic and agricultural activities.
Black and white photograph of eleven German girls and a presumably woman adult playing recorders while walking down a hillside by an unknown photographer. The young girls in the photograph are all outfitted in the same dress. The photograph was originally owned and lent out by Culver Pictures, Inc. of New York, New York. The verso features stamps and stickers from the company, as well as a handwritten note that says "Hitler Youth - 1933[.]"
This photograph was likely taken circa 1933 in Germany but there is no way to officially verify this. The group in this photograph could also be associated with the BDM. During the early 1930s, girls as young as ten were indoctrinated into the BDM with little to no choice in the matter, and considering the time period it is likely these girls would do the same. However, there are no visual clues in this photograph to completely support this theory, such as the distinctive black and white uniform worn by all BDM girls and women.
This is a single item collection.
There are no access restrictions.
There are no other restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Photograph of young German girls playing recorders walking down hillside must be obtained from Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
The Special Collections Research Center also holds other materials and rare books on the Nazi Party and World War II, including the Caricature drawing of Nazi officers and onlookers singing around a piano by Zora Simeunovic.
Bund Deutscher Madel
Recorder (Musical instrument)
Photograph of young German girls playing recorders walking down hillside, C0488, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by Steve Gerber from Schubertiade Music in March 2012.
Processing completed by Amanda Brent in July 2021. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in July 2021. This item was formerly part of the Performing Arts Manuscript Materials collection, C0215.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Third Reich." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc. https://www.britannica.com/place/Third-Reich.
"Female Hitler Youth." The National Holocaust Centre and Museum, accessed July 30, 2021. https://www.holocaust.org.uk/the-league-of-german-girls.
Gerber, Steven K. "Behind the Benign - Reading and Contextualizing a Photograph of Girls Playing Recorders." Presented at Association Repertoire International d'Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM) Conference, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2021. http://mars.gmu.edu/bitstream/handle/1920/10033/PDFbehindthebenignSLIDES.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
"The Nazi Party: Background & Overview." Background & Overview of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/background-and-overview-of-the-nazi-party-nsdap.