Tuesday 22 October 2019

The Influence of the BDM


The BDM had a lovely uniform:
A calf-length navy blue skirt, a white shirt, a neutral shade  flying jacket and a black neckerchief held together with a small leather ring.    
Some girls couldn’t afford smart black shoes, the flying jacket or the great coat for winter.  
Look for some pictures of BDM uniforms. Just how “uniform” were they?        
Germans were quite poor at this time, so the uniform was a real bonus.
Imagine a conversation between one of the girls and her leader or her parents.

BDM activities

 The BDM – started off looking like our guiding / scouting movements. There were campfires, hikes through the woods and sports activities.  Gradually, however, the girls were encouraged to become home-makers.
They had their own magazine, Das Deutsche Mädel. Try an internet search. Even if you can’t read German look at some of the pictures.
Imagine you are BDM girl and you write a letter to a friend about some of the things you have been doing.           


 Der Giftpilz

The girls were encouraged to distrust and dislike Jews. They were also asked to report their parents if they had any dealing with Jews.
Der Giftpilz – the poisonous mushroom – was written for young people and often read and discussed at BDM meetings.  You can read it here.   
What do you think of this material? One of the Nazi leaders even didn’t think much of it. Why not, do you think?
Discuss this with other students in your group. Ask your teacher to join in.   

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Hani - A German Childhood 1925-1938

(Picture by  Hans Braxmeier via Pixabay)

Hani is a completely made up character.  Below are some of the ideas that helped to shape her.  
Can you imagine what it must have been like for money to keep changing value? How much shopping you would have to do in one go?
Can you produce a spread sheet to show money changing in value rapidly? And how would that affect the way you spent it?
What would be the most sensible things to buy?

Stuttgart, a town surrounded by woods and countryside  

Stuttgart is one of the towns built on seven hills. There are areas of woodland. In Bad Canstatt there was an open air swimming pool which got its water from the Mombach spring nearby. Stuttgart can be very warm in summer and gets plenty of snow in the winter. Hani and her friends would live though all four seasons.   
 How does this compare with where you lived when you were a young child?  


The school in Stuttgart

In the stories, Hani is not getting on well in her school. Her mother meets Clara Lehrs and decides to send Hani to the original Waldorf School in Stuttgart.  
Steiner education:
  • Works for all children irrespective of academic ability, class, ethnicity or religion;
  • Takes account of the needs of the whole child – academic, physical, emotional and spiritual;
  • Is based on an understanding of the relevance of the different phases of child development;
  • Develops a love of learning and an enthusiasm for school;
  • Sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning;
Does your school do this?  How well does it do this? Give examples.