In 1940 the enrolment for new pupils had been at Easter-time. I had not been allowed to go to school then because I was not six years old yet. (I turned six in September 1940). That means, when I was finally allowed to go to school, I was nearly seven., because in 1941 enrolments did not take place till September. In our school we had four first year classes: two boys’ classes and two girls’ classes. In each class were fifty children!
School lessons lasted for twice fifty minutes. There was a ten minute break (Pause) in between the two lessons. For me it was very important to be eating my buttered bread roll (Butterbrötchen) during that ‘Pause’. And when during the following year we sometimes had three lessons in one day, gee, that made me feel really grown up! I could not wait to have more and more lessons. I liked school that much!
On enrolment day my mother took me to school. I was given a large cone shaped bag that day. This cone shaped bag – Zuckertüte – was filled with sweets and fruit to sweeten the day. It is still the custom in Germany, that a child who starts school, be given such a bag. Of course, there are always pictures taken to commemorate the occasion!
My class was called 1 A and my teacher was a lovely elderly lady called Fräulein Anders. Rosemarie, a girl who lived a few blocks away from me, was in 1 B and her teacher’s name was Fräulein Bröde. We children would quite naughtily talk about her as ‘Fräulein Blöde’, which means ‘Miss Stupid”.
Rosemarie and I would walk to school together. We would have been shocked, if somebody had seen us being taken to school by an adult. No adult ever would have thought to accompany us on our fifteen minute walk to school. It was unheard of, that children could not walk to school on their own! Even when our school was evacuated to another school-building further away, we always walked to school on our own.
Here is the picture of me with my ‘Zuckertüte’ in front of the school!