Saturday 29 November 2014

The Blackout

In our story, Renate does not see a stone in the road. It would not have been all that dark in July 194, but it would have been difficult to see and it is likely that she would not have had a battery for her cycle lamp. Notice that the local Policeman was more worried about the family having a door open letting light out than that an “enemy alien” had been out after curfew.        
The Blackout started on 1 September 1939, though was quickly revised in November 1939 because of the many accidents that happened. Accidents included people falling into rivers or being hit by cars.   
As well as streetlights being turned off, road signs and railway signs were removed. People had to put dark black curtains up to their windows. This cost a lot or money and didn’t always work. Sometimes windows were painted black or covered in card. This shut out daylight as well and caused low morale. Firms that had glass roofs had to paint them black. This was very costly.   

Sunday 9 November 2014


Literally the Reich’s Work Service. It was also known as the RAD. If young women had been to one of the schools where they learnt how to do housekeeping they only had to do half a year. The girls would go to camps and live in barracks. They were then taught a variety of skills including household management and childcare.  This was in line with the Nazi ideal of producing efficient mothers. After six months, the girls might have an outside placement, perhaps helping on a farm, helping a family that had over five children or helping at a hospital. They might have also been kept at the camp to help teach other girls. They would then go on to their Kriegshilfsdienst  
It was created in 1934 to help to reduce unemployment. However, as the war progressed there was plenty of employment especially for the men. At the time of our story it was mainly a training programme for women and got them ready for the later Kriegshilfsdienst though men involved still were used on major projects such as the construction of motorways.