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Cook, Alice Hanson / Workers' education in the U.S. Zone of Germany
(1947)

Labor education,   pp. 5-15 PDF (6.4 MB)


Page 7


Many 'older Germans maintain their self-:respect, and haLve, as one of the
few poiative'values left to them 'in the pqst-war pqriod- .the knowiledge
that
they aregood oraftsmen and disciplined (oonestt iridd.trious, thrifty7 con-
scientious) citizensa' This pride in cr.4ftsmanship. tends to become almost
an
end in itself when the ultimate values are hlurred, when all programs are
frustrated.
The result of thTib combination of unquestioned tradition and of the
general breikdown has 'been that both youth and older workers see as an
Sizzlediate need the restoration.cf -the means of ba..om'n'n skilled craftsmen,..
The need has heen raised to a national goal what G xemany *needs are skilled
and industrious workexts; we are willing to work; ,give us the opportunity
and
we WAll somehow pull Germany backo.:its feet.
There'i.s likewise a sizable proportion of serious.minded youth whlo see
that all Germany is poor, that terrific manual tasks need :to be accomplished,
who believe that at least the immediate solution lies in work and more worke
and that the lesson to be drawn from this analysis is to become a skilled
workers  This group of youth in the vocational schools asks for more hours
of
study, more advanced materials, evening courses7 available shops where they
,can get experience not offered wi~th one. iauster,
This is one emphasis the, Grman trade unions are giving to' education. right
now.. It is given a special direption by a number of temporary factors in
the
presez1t'economic situatioli  Veterans are coming back to work whose apprentice-
ship was interrupted or never really got under, ;zay'. W.hat is to be -done
with
and-for the 319 o  20 -year old worker who -wants to become a skilled worker?
'Veterans are back who have not had a ahanepa to practice their skills for
six
or m-re years.f How can they be given cepDortunities to catch up and refresh.
their training? Many women are now entering the labor market who have to
reckon .with the necessity of earning their cyan and their children's living
permanently0 Ahere can they be trained or re-trainad for available Joebs?
'   whole new area of jobs has opened up with.the occupation forces.  On
30 June 1947, 2887000 indigenaois persons were employed by the Military Govern-
ment and military- units in the U. S, Zone? or 6,i1 percent of the total
number
employed in the Zone. Abou.t 20 percent of those employed were in clerical
and professional occupations.   Where and howe can people study languages
so
as to make themselves eligible as emplcyees of the Americans, British, French
or Russians?
Vocational schools themselves were not always practical shools in Germany.
Some of them do not haeve shops. Moreover, many of them were bombed on~to
In the past; someq but not many of them, held evening courses for adults.
The pressure from union members and from workers, generally coining from
the sources and motivations indicated here, has put the unions actively into
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