Familienaufnahmen Taufe Enkel

Revision as of 13:29, 8 April 2021 by Kay Hoffmann (talk | contribs)



Shots of the family with grandchildren, baptism, Christmas, Easter in the last year of WW II and beyond


Young woman with baby; Title: Pentecost 1944 / Baby on changing table, family in garden, couple with stroller, parents with child, elderly man on ladder; Title: Kati 24 Years 14.9.44 / young woman with camera, mother and grandparents with baby, baby in stroller; Title: August 5, 1944 / Family with small child in the house and in the garden, small child in a stroller, stroll with a stroller; Cyclists on country road, in the background Oberglottertal; young woman welcomes man in Wehrmacht uniform, toddler in a stroller, panning over house and surroundings; Title: 12/10/44 Kati and Peter in Glottertal evacuated from Freiburg / Pan over Oberglottertal, bike with luggage, pan over house and surroundings; Family with small child in front of the house, stroll with a stroller, sign 'Gemeinde Oberglottertal'; Title: 6th War Christmas 1944/45 / War destruction on the market place in Freiburg; Grandparents with a small Christmas tree in a pot, grandfather with a mason jar, grandparents with buckets in front of the house, Christmas tree in the living room, older man with a bicycle, women come out of the house, snowy garden; View from the window of war-torn houses; Title: Peter 1 year / Oberglottertal, man in Wehrmacht uniform and with raincoat in front of a stream, toddler in a pram, parents (father in Wehrmacht uniform) with toddler on the balcony of a Black Forest house, saying goodbye in front of the house; Family with small child in front of the house; Title: Peter's baptism on October 28, 1945 after a lost war and great need in the fatherland / Boy with toys, mother with child, walk on the street; Baptism with pastor in the church; Grandfather with toddler in sports car; Walk on the street, family with children in the garden, child playing in the garden, men sawing logs in front of the house; Title: Easter April 21, 1946 / Boy with toys, family with children in the garden, boy with walking stick, walk. //


Reference / film number :  LFS 9320
Date :  Between 1944 and 1946
Coloration :  BW and color
Sound :  Mute
Timecode :  00:09:53
Running time :  00:00:00
Film-maker :  Balke, Curt
Reel format :  16 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Religious feasts and events, Easter
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The almost ten-minute, silent private film by the Freiburg architect Curt Balke summarizes the most important events in the family between Pentecost 1944 and Easter 1946. The focus of the recordings is now on the grandson Peter, born in 1944, who can be seen in many different shots. Since Curt Balke can also be seen regularly, other family members must also have operated the camera. So it's a family movie in the best sense of the word.

The film begins with a sign "Pentecost 1944" and shows the grandson on the changing table, which is taken care of by his mother. She picks him up and puts him in a stroller. Curt Balke comes from his house in Freiburg with a full tray and has the leather camera bag on. He wants to be ready when a nice shooting situation arises with his grandson. The coffee table is set in a shady place in the garden. His son-in-law in lederhosen holds his grandson in his arms. Several times it is shown how the child is swaddled in the summer and lifted by its mother or sleeps in the stroller. For the family, the offspring is a moment of happiness in times of war and accordingly they are often recognized on film. The date 5/8/1944 is placed on a stone in the garden, and now a color sequence begins. From the mid-1930s, color photographs were possible in 16 mm format, but the film material was even more expensive than black and white film. The photos are a bit faded and have a greenish cast, but you still get an impression of the colourfulness of the time. The focus continues to be on the young family and the blooming garden at the family seat in Freiburg. The grandson is wearing knitted children's clothes. The family's dachshund can also be seen briefly. The son-in-law in uniform comes to visit.

On November 27, 1944, Freiburg is bombed by Allied air force units and the center is almost completely destroyed. The neighboring house of Balkes is also hit, her own house is spared. Nevertheless, the daughter and the grandson were evacuated to Oberglottertal a little north of Freiburg on December 10th. Curt Balke visits her regularly by bike, has the camera with him and is shooting in black and white again. Together with his daughter in a fur coat, he goes for a stroll through the snowy landscape in a stroller.

The next board informs: “6. War Christmas 1944/45 ”and Balke continues the tradition of taking pictures at Christmas. But first of all his pictures show the destroyed center of Freiburg. Such recordings were officially forbidden and therefore quite risky for him. In the next shot, his wife bends over a small Christmas tree in a pot in front of the house. He then carries it into the house. His daughter and grandson can be seen briefly in Glottertal. Curt Balke in a white coat and with a cigar in his mouth sets the table and has a bottle of milk in his hand. The next sequence shows him carrying two buckets to the house. There they are taken over by his wife. The water supply probably collapsed after the bombing and the water has to be fetched in buckets. It's an arduous Christmas with restrictions. Nevertheless, a Christmas tree is decorated with balls and at least a few gifts such as a picture, books, a bottle of scented water and a bottle of wine lie under the small tree. One sticks to traditions. His wife puts a rucksack on the bike with which he rides towards Glottertal. There is also a Christmas tree there, but it is far too dark and can only be made out vaguely. His daughter and another woman come out of the house and go back inside. The next shot shows the architect's house in Freiburg. There is some snow on the wall. Then the completely destroyed neighboring house can be clearly seen through the window. On the first birthday of his grandson, in rainy weather, he sets out on foot in the direction of Glottertal, where his son-in-law is visiting in the uniform of a paratrooper. The time of the film jumps to the baptism of the grandson on October 28th, 1945 and the tablet informs “after a lost war and great hardship in the fatherland”. The pan shows a festive table. The grandson is baptized in a church, after which there is a celebration at home with guests. The grandson can now walk, as can be seen in the next photos, which were probably taken in spring 1946. There are no recordings of Christmas 1945, which breaks a long tradition. In the garden, logs are cut into short billets with a circular saw. The conclusion is formed by recordings from Easter on April 21, 1946 with an Easter egg hunt in the garden. The grandson in lederhosen, traditional shirt and cap is given a rocking horse.

Kay Hoffmann

Places and monuments

Freiburg i.B.; Glottertal

  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.