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23 Comments | Vintage
Ugh, Im glad the kids wasnt hurt but it’s still heartbreaking. The blissfull ignorance on the kids face of getting to ‘play soldier like daddy!’ compared to the saddness on the American of seeing the horror a child getting pressed into military service.
The final month or two of the 3rd reich is like a train wreck you just cant look away from. It’s just a non-stop line of horrors mixed in with the absurd. You had child soldiers like this – a horror. And then you had stuff like the German rail workers insisting on taking off for their regularly scheduled holiday in the final weeks, while massive enemy armies were invading every corner of the country – an absurdity.
I would love to know more about the individuals pictured. Especially the kid. I wonder how his life was after this photo was taken. Who did he become?
I think the thing that must have been hard was being a US soldier at this time. Imagine you’ve been fighting across Europe; your friends are dying. Then as you get closer to Germany you see kids fighting. Then you hear of (or see) the horrors of concentration camps. Entering German soil must have been surreal and absolutely gut wrenching at times.
And in the Pacific we faced a population who had been indoctrinated for centuries in the belief that they should die to protect the Home Islands and the Emperor. Teenage girls were ordered to stab the tall Americans in the genitals with wooden awls. If word of that got around the young ladies would have been an endangered species very quickly.
Yorki: "Yeah, I know, definitely not a good time to be a Nazi. "
Does anyone know if Military Police were also expected to do "hearts and minds" civil affairs stuff back then? I feel like there are a lot of these "MP and some little european kid goofing off together" photographs.
War sucks, especially during desperation.
Shit you know you’re in a tight spot when you got 10yr olds fighting
I feel like I learn more from history reddit than I did in actual hostory
Does amyone know what happened to the boy afterwards?
The use of children was also found in Japan, where schools were closed and all boys 11 years old and all girls 14 years old were expected (and actually did) to participate in any activity deemed necessary by military authorities be that building fortifications or carrying an explosive and diving under a tank tread.
How did the system work? Were the kids just to show up to their local army garrison and suit up or was there training first?
I wouldn’t take this staged photo too seriously. Mmmmm, tastes like propaganda.
Could have been my father. 10yo in 1945 and living near Kronach. They did build Panzersperren (tank obstacles). The troops came in time. A few days later he’d have to fight.
So the got chewing gum from them, and chocolate.
I thought that was Bill Murray from Stripes
I can imagine the American could have his own kids the same age as this kid and it just is impossible to picture his as soldiers
I notice how skinny the kid is too. It’s not like he was just living a completely sheltered life before being placed into a combat unit. The horrible things that kid must have endured, probably not even knowing that what he was going through was surreal and miserable by most human standards. This might be a staged photo, but the story behind the photo was probably very real.
Kids just happy the Russians didn’t get him!
If you want to see a movie that shows just how indoctrinated these kids were and how willingly the Nazi regime was to sending them to their deaths I suggest watching Downfall. A movie about the Battle of Berlin
I am reading he was 15 when captured.
" [he] possibly served as flakhelfer, [he] was part of a group of 28 young teenage soldiers, some as young as 13, who were captured by troops of the 11th Armored Division near Kulmbach, Bavaria, Germany. The youngsters had been awakened early in the morning of April 8th, 1945 and given their marching orders. They set off for the Czechoslovakian border after being told that approaching Americans would kill them if they were caught. Homesick, hungry and tired, they were picked up a week later on April 15th. After, the boys were taken to the Kronach town hall and their uniforms removed and burned, Major Ernest L Booth, personally delivered the youngsters, dressed in their civilian clothes that they had under their uniforms, to their homes in 6 different towns in the Kronach area."
Idk I still wouldn’t trust it, those kids were serious back then
Jojo Rabbit is that you?