What was life like in the 1930s
Born between 1930 and 1945 Dates that describe the generation of German war children
Work over everything
The war children are considered to be decisive for the reconstruction in destroyed Germany. They are performance-oriented, but also rigorous in their values: You have to earn your own money, anyone who doesn't work is quickly seen as lazy. None of the compared generations indicated with such a high approval rate that work always comes first in life and, if necessary, that leisure has to take a back seat. In this point, the generation of war children differs significantly from their grandchildren: the war children place less demands on the conditions for their work. Remuneration, vacation regulations and working hours are less important to them than to future generations. However, they, who have now been retired for years, are following the general change. Their attitudes change in the same dynamic as those of the other generations towards a more balanced work-life balance.
The seniors, however, hold on to other values. Almost everyone sees work as an "obligation to society". A constant two-thirds say that it is "humiliating" to receive money for which one has not worked. Three quarters of them also consistently say, "People who don't work get lazy". They define their value in life through the performance they can achieve.
Relaxed grandmas and grandpas
The focus on performance and material values manifested itself in particular in the choice of partner and career, often also with one's own children. After all, over half of the war children state that their own parents had problems getting along with their income. The emotional coolness that was later often criticized by one's own children has given way as they grow old. Both historians report of preoccupation with life and that the old now allow those feelings that they had to suppress as children. They see their grandchildren and think back to their own childhood. There is evidence that in old age they have achieved a new level of satisfaction with their life. This value has risen in the last 30 years, from less than half to currently around 70 percent. This makes them the happiest generation of the three compared.
Although they are relaxed with their grandchildren, they do not throw their old educational goals overboard. More than 90 percent of their generation think "good behavior" is to be conveyed in their parents' home. This is also met with high approval in the following generations, with values between 80 and 90 percent. Studying hard work and thrift at home is far more important to the elders than to the younger ones. Only when it comes to independence does the picture change: 80 percent of the generation of children and grandchildren find learning this at home important, but only 60 percent of those born between 1930 and 1945 find it important.
For the "children of war" democracy is a very important value, almost everyone classifies it as "absolutely important" or "important". Your children still see it similarly, but the approval ratings for their grandchildren are lower. As a result, the elderly go to the elections reliably - 84 percent always go to the local elections, 89 percent to the federal elections.
In line with this, they indicate a high level of interest in politics, with a quarter regularly discussing politics with friends. That is more than in the following generations. They are also the ones who are organized in parties with the highest percentage, but the grandchildren are just catching up.
Nevertheless, there is also a longing for a strong head of state who is independent of parliament and elections: 25 percent want such a figure.
When it comes to social goals, the material well-being of all for the war children is a permanent priority. High economic growth is important to them, individual participation less so. Maintaining peace and order in the country is also very important to them. Over 80 percent also say that income inequalities must be eliminated.
And: You are proud to be German. A feeling that has developed more strongly in the last few decades, to now 85 percent approval of the war children, while the next two generations are each 74 percent lower.
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