I live by:

Weather...it happens!

Everything Monika

adopt your own virtual pet!

Monika's Reads


My Button!

Monika Said...


Sunday, January 29, 2006

My Own Little Button!

This is so great. Look to my sidebar. There is a little pic of three little East-German kids holding up a flag.

I was one of those. Most of you know I grew up in East-Germany and I loved my childhood. School was fun, well organized and I didn´t mind that we had to wear uniforms. If you don´t know anything else, you kinda don´t mind the things you have to do. It was uncomfortable to play soccer in those skirts though:) I had no idea of the politics behind East-Germany and just enjoyed a very peaceful childhood with little worries. People just cared. After school I had so many extra-curicular activities that ensured fresh air and purpose to society. You had adresses of old people you had to visit and help them with their daily chores, you collected papers and brought them to the recycling area and you babysitted small children-not because you got payed for it, but because it was a good deed. You kept the classroom tidy, watered the flowers and picked up rubish lying around. Sounds like a lot of work, but it beats children smoking forbiddenly in toilets or ganging up on other kids any day.

This was a kinda ID all kids from the age of 6 to 10 were carrying around. It basically stated that you went to school, that you were a member of the "Jungpioniere" and it had 10 -wonder how they came up with that number:)- Guidelines for our lives.


lieben unsere Deutsche Demokratische Republik.

lieben unsere Eltern.

lieben den Frieden.

halten Freundschaft mit den Kindern
der Sowjetunion und allen Ländern.

lernen fleißig, sind ordentlich
und diszipliniert.

achten alle arbeitenden Menschen
und helfen überall tüchtig mit.

sind gute Freunde und helfen einander.

singen und tanzen, spielen und basteln gern.

treiben Sport und halten unsere Körper
sauber und gesund.

tragen mit Stolz unser blaues Halstuch.

Wir bereiten uns darauf vor, gute Thälmann-
pioniere zu werden

Any teacher could stop you in the hallway of the school and drill you on one of those Rules. I was stopped once and asked to recite Rule number 9. I was so stressed that I could not remember it and the teacher just glared down at me. 20 years later, I know none of the rules, except number 9. I bet most of you are glad I wasn´t asked to recite number two;)
You could also be stopped and asked to demonstrate how to fold the neck-scarf properly. In case you have a habit of time travelling and you would be so inclined as to re-visit the DDR...you better know how to do this properly!

I would like to take this opportuniy and thank Miz Bohemia for helping me to make this button. She devided her precious time between her kids and my childish demands. You´re a darling and I love it!

Posted by Minka :: 10:43 pm :: 36 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 23:48, Blogger Minka said...

For those of you that do not know German:
1) We love East-Germany
2) We love our parents
3) We love peace
4) we have friendships with children from Russia and all over teh world.
5) we study hard, are organzied and show discipline.
6) we honour working people and help as much as we can
7) we are friends and help each other
8) we like to sing and dance, to play and be creative
9) we exercise and keep our bodoes clean and healthy
10) we wear our blue neck-tie with pride (until we get the red one!)

At 00:34, Blogger Tryggvi said...

Those are some rules. It sometimes strikes me just how amazingly different ur childhood was from ur life in the western world today. God bless communism, and its demise. And by the way, if there was anyone who would have followed those rules it would have been u. I have seen u follow some of them myself, especially nr.5!

At 04:10, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

I love hearing the story behind that picture and how it relates to the history of you, sweet Monika!

You are welcome now! You are making me blush dear friend! Hopefully I can set up Photoshop soon (I just never get around to it) and make you something more professional looking someday!

Glad you like it! I am gonna run and put it up on my site now!

At 06:29, Anonymous logo said...

I remember, in grade school, being told the ideas behind communism and saying,
"But isn't that the way it SHOULD be??"
This was not considered the correct response.
But it sounds like you turned out quite alright!

At 11:45, Blogger Minka said...

And those are just the rules for the first three years in school. I have followed number 5 very well...until my BA that is ;)
Miz B. you did a wonderful job and I am so pleased with it. I look at it and nostalgia sets in.
Logo, I guess I was long enough a child of the DDR to pick up the good of it, learn values the hard way and always do the best I can. However, I was also short enough, to have a hand in my own future. There were good and bad things there. But my experiences are those through the eyes of a child and for me it was a happy time. It is a big part of me, yet I am glad I have the options I have now :)

At 12:30, Blogger Biene said...

This probably shows the dangers of the child´s "brainwashing", be it in politics, religion or other values. Everything has its nice sides like the "hitlerjungend" when they went camping and singing and making sports, where that ended we know. A valued multy coloured society where a child has lots of opinions and values to deal with could be a solution.

At 12:51, Blogger Minka said...

I so agree... I was such a devoted little child, did what I was told to do. I get frightened when I think about the things I would have done if I would have been asked to do them. If you don´t know anything else and you trust your superiors...you have no way of comparision and can only act as you know best.

Brainwashing is still going on today though. How much of the news do we see, what has been censored? You go to war because your country sends you there, not because you think it is the right action. Even with options, we are not really free to act as we like. There is always somebody above you that limits your freedom of choice. This is both good and bad. It stops insanity in its tracks, but it also stops progress in its ambitions. Everything has two sides, just as the DDR did.

At 13:33, Blogger birdwoman said...

I believe that too much freedom for children is a dangerous thing. A good amount of discipline (like many of the rules there espouse) are not necessarily a bad thing! Children need structure. They push at rules because they want to see how much you are watching. Enforcing good rules lets them know you care, it gives them structure, and it gives them a compass to follow the rest of their lives.

I'm afraid we Americans have gone, in many cases, too far on the other side of the spectrum. And we're starting to see the outcome in the high incidence of prescriptions needed just to calm our children.

Just My Opinion.


At 16:33, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Very interesting post! I had no idea that in recent times East Germany was like this.

At 16:51, Blogger Sar said...

I love your new button, and I really appreciated your walk down memory lane. I agree children need to have a certain amount of discipline to instill respect and the ability to work as a team. But they also need the space to excercise their imagination and creativity.

I live in the typical American suburbia you see in the movies. So many parents here have their elementary-aged kids in extra curricular activities every single day after school leaving no time for the kids to just play outside after school with the other kids or their siblings. It's just too competitive in my mind.

At 17:10, Blogger ariel said...

Monika, you must have been a perfect little young pioneer, a happy one all the old songs were about. I wasn't a happy young pioneer at all but I do remember some of the songs, I wonder if there are ones we both know or did different countires have different songs.

At 17:52, Blogger Biene said...

Yes, I totally agree: children must have rules and should have them.
But must they love their parents? You will surely agree that there are many parents who should be dispised, not loved because they treat their childen badly.
Why should they love their country? Their neighbour possibly, but their country? Isn´t that what makes war? How can a country that loves peace have a big army and use it to shoot its own citizens when they want to live in another country?
I think people don´t choose religion. They are born into it because they learn the ideas as children.
Oh, yes, this is an issue for me. Monika I think you are right: there is little freedom of choice.

At 19:44, Blogger Biene said...

I forgot to mention: Monika, your whishes are never childish. And if they were: love the child in yourself!

At 20:49, Blogger Doug said...

Monika, seems like you're still a good youth pioneer. You even get your Thursday brain teaser up early most weeks.

At 21:04, Blogger Fred said...

Nice to hear some memories of your childhood, Monika. So many of us (myself included) know so little about East Germany.

If I stopped a student and asked them to recite a rule, they'd probably laugh at me. Times have changed...

At 21:06, Blogger Manchego said...

In principle, #3 is good. #4 is pretty good, too. Although I'm not much for telling people, even little ones, how they should feel. I'm fine telling them what they should do.
This is all very interesting! Thanks, Monika!

At 22:14, Blogger Biene said...

Manchego: I feel like you have a very good point there, not telling others how they should feel!

At 23:47, Blogger actonbell said...

Your childhood does sound happy and pleasant--and stable. Your button is great:) This was an interesting post--I've heard so little about how others around the globe grew up, and that's a pity.

At 23:57, Blogger Minka said...

Birdwoman, well...I think it is a good opinion and I ma glad you uttered it;)

TLP, well it was like this until 1989. Very communism and all. I think it is a nice idea, communism, it juts doesn´t work with human nature :)

Sar, I agree...but I mean we had time to play as well. I spend a lot of time with my siblings roaming the woods nearby and build fortresses and stuff. It was just that I had responsibility as a child as well. I am not sure about the idea of my own kids growing up in East-Germany though, back then I mean!
And Sar...how about I get the code to your button *winkining my eyelashes big time*

Ariel, welcome here. I treid to access your blog, but I just see a profile. So I don´t know anything about your past or where you are actually from. I´d really like to know a little more about you though:)

Mom, very good thoughts. I hope this East/West conflict is not gonna split the love we have for one another :) And ours is purely based on choice. I never loved my mother. I had a guilty conscience for a very long time for not loving her. I have exchanged it with pitty now!

At 23:59, Blogger Minka said...

Doug, I don´t know why it is but it always appears on Wednesday. It bugs me too...I am just overzealous I guess, as some people are with commenting too early ;)

At 00:11, Blogger Minka said...

Fred, well when I come to the States for a visit you can ask me about number 9 and I won´t laugh. I will salute you and say:"we exercise hard and keep our bodies clean and healthy, sir!" that should make your day :)

Manchego, I am glad you like it and I am glad that people are interested in this. It is such a big part of me :)

Mom, you ALWAYS tell me what I should do! Although lately you have tried to hold back a litte, but dropping hints all over the place :) Bit that just shows you care. I am free to ignore you good-intentioned hints :)

Actonbell, there is plenty more where that came from ;) I love my button too. Maybe you can convince 3D to give me the code for hers;)

At 00:13, Blogger Keith said...

My father worked in Germany between the years 1930 - 1938. He was an English contract worker. He became a leader in the Hitler Jungend teaching English until he realised what Hitler was up to. He returned to England in 1938. Only just in time it seemed, but he said he really enjoyed helping the youngsters to find adventure and learn respect for others.

At 00:13, Blogger Biene said...

Sweety, this is not a conflict at all, I know your feelings about your childhood and I am happy that you are happy remembering them, it is a speculation how we should raise the children of the future and I really like children to help old people usw. as you know

At 00:32, Blogger Minka said...

keith, really? That is interesting. I can not imagine what it was like though, seeing destruction happening right infront of your eyes and there is little you can do to counteract...I am glad I was born many years later, not having to make these decissions.

Mom, I know...

At 00:47, Blogger AP3 said...

Very interesting post. Who knew?

At 00:54, Blogger Minka said...

AP3, who knew what? Most of the time, I don´t even know :)

At 05:50, Blogger Brooklyn Blowhard said...

Did you ever wonder what was behind that wall while living in East Germany?

At 07:08, Blogger ariel said...

Monika, I used to have a blog, nothing just photos, then I deleted it. I am from Hungary and know quite a few pioneer and Soviet march songs, and I blame your entry for the most annoying pioneer song of pioneers being as happy as quirrels on trees have stuck in my mind last night! :)

At 07:11, Blogger ariel said...

and thank you for the welcome! not having a place to invite you over, maybe we can have a tea at yours? I'm bringing the cakes.

At 10:46, Blogger Minka said...

JAB...curiously:no. I think I never wondered. I had a starnge vision of the world as such. I knew that there was my beoved East-Germany, that there was the Soveit Union and that was about it. I also knew that people have different colours-and that that was great diversity and we loved them all. It has to be said that my family in East Germany was not very bright, very simple people that had not the slightest idea about politics or cared for that matter. So I was surrounded by ignorance in some sense. If I had politically interest parents at that time, my childhood might have turned out very differently.

Ariel, which song is that and do you wnat sugar in your tea? And I just bought Kleinur, an Icelandic speciality for your lovely visit. It is so nice to have you here.

At 10:50, Blogger Minka said...

The song I mostly associate with East-Germany is this:

"Kleine weisse Friedenstaube, fliege uebers Land,
bring allen Menschen Frieden,
gruess sie tausendmal"

"Und wir wuenschen fuer die Reise Freude und viel Glueck.
Kleine, weisse Friedenstaube,
Komm recht blad zurueck!"

At 19:18, Blogger ariel said...

two, please. Kleinur is wonderful, thank you! can I have more? do you like my fruitcake?

"Mint a mókus fenn a fán/At úttör? oly vidám/Ajkáról ki se fogy a nóta" that is "As a squirrel up the tree/As happy a pioneer is/His mouth does not stop singing" or something like that. please tell me what your song is about in English!

At 01:02, Blogger Minka said...

Ariel...it is about
"Little white peace bird,
fly over the world,
bring all people peace,
and send my regards"

"We wish you for the journey,
happiness and good fortune,
little, white peace bird,
return soon to us."

Or something like that!

I don´t know yours, but it sound slike one we could have sung:)

Why don´t you have another Kleinur and yor fruitcake is juts so nutty, I love it! Some more tea? And now let u continue on our trip down memory lane :)

At 18:26, Blogger ariel said...

white birds! we kept singing of lands and singing pioneers. and workers, of course! we didn't take it all that seriously, though, which was one aftermath of '56, I guess.

when a friend of mine was 10 or 12, there was a refuse project in school (you sure did it, too), kids were supposed to go around in town and get as much paper and metal refuse as they could, and take it all to the school. it was done yearly. my eager young pioneer friend and dudes collected a huge pile of both and took it right to a MÉH station (where they buy these things from you) instead of school. and what did they do with the money they were given? put it all in the pioneer patrol's till, innocent little things... however, the school had spies at the MÉH stations, and before too soon each kid of the action had to write in their mark-books, 'I am a thief and a liar' despite of not having sent one cent of that money but giving it all to the pioneer patrol.

At 18:30, Blogger ariel said...

I'm in trouble, I guess I ate too much Kleinur and cannot stand up now... :)

At 20:37, Blogger Minka said...

ariel, yes I remember that! Vaguely though!
Don´t worry about getting up, I put out the guest bedroom and already made the bed ready for you to lay down and rest. I´ll wake you in the morning with some freshly backed rolls and a nice cup-of whatever you like :)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Bow Before Your Queen and be Transported HOME!


Monika- Made in East Germany

Get awesome blog templates like this one from BlogSkins.com