U.S. people in the 1940s
Menschen in den U.S.A (1940er)

Here we collect some photos of people in the U.S. in the 1940s combined with informative descriptions.

Hier sammeln wir einige Bilder, die U.S. Bürger der 1940er zeigen, und dazu kurze informative Texte.

Boy 1943

Junge 1943

Group 1947
The photo below shows ---

Gruppe 1947
Das Photo unterhalb zeigt ---

Group 1947

Gruppe 1947

Couple 1947

Paar 1947

Soldiers and "German Fräuleins" 1947
The American soldiers in Germany during the occupation after the war were very lonely and longed for feminine companionship. They therefore enjoyed meeting unattached German girls in bars and also in some of the clubs where mixing between the two sexes was encouraged. The G.I.s were popular because they could supply things that were scarce for the Germans, such as cigarettes, chocolate bars, soap, and even silk sockings, which could be bought in the PX on the American bases but were hard to obtain in the German outlets. There was a big black market in such commodities at the time, and the American government began paying soldiers in "script" (a special currency that only the Americans could use). This was to cut down on the black market - soldiers selling cigarettes to Germans for huge sums of marks and then translating the profit into American dollars to be sent back home to the soldier's bank. But there was a lot of black market activity anyway on a sort of barter system - trading goods for goods and services, for instance, instead of actual money.
One of our readers, who was a soldier at the time, told us: "I used to have a huge load of laundry done by a German lady in Regensurg for only a bar of soap (she kept half of the soap as payment and used the other half to wash my clothes). It seems like terrible exploitation now, but that was the way things were in those days. There was also occasionally a bit of danger in dating German girls, especially if their brothers had been killed in the war. There were one or two nasty incidents near my base, I recall, and for a while we soldiers were never allowed to go out into German towns for social purposes without another soldier along for safety reasons. Most Germans were very friendly, but a few were quite resentful, especially if they had suffered a great deal because of the war and feeling helpless and discouraged afterwards."

US-Soldaten und "Deutsche Fräuleins" 1947

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