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Germany | Kaiserreich
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The Worker Moritz Bromme Describes his Family's Living Conditions (c 1905)
With the youngest children she always had little sleep. The children always slept over day and at night they cried for hours, so that the mother got unwilling, upset and nervous, and she let herself get carried away and used foul language, cursed and confounded the children. Unfortunately she could breast-feed the children only for 6 to 8 weeks; then she had no more milk to give. How often did she then lamented that she was caused to have too many children. Every time when she read in the newspaper, that in one or another family with only a few children a baby had died, and then exclaimed : 'No, these people are lucky, they are fortunate, again one of their children has died, it would be the sixth, if they had all survived; they can join in many activities; we are burdened, the children are in the center of everything, we can afford absolutely nothing", it felt like a cut into my heart. "Not even an honest shabby dress can we purchase, the children cost too much, only last week I have paid two Mark to the cobbler, this week Heddel's shoes will be soled, Ernst's soles are worn down, they have to be done, and Walter does not even have shoes. Then all of them need indoor shoes, and we urgently need a bed. I would rather stop eating, but to sleep with three persons in one bed is no sleep at all." In-between imprecations, hard words directed at the children, curses, and in the end tears.


Moritz Th. W. Bromme: Lebensgeschichte eines modernen Fabrikarbeiters. (Life Story of a Modern Factory Worker) Reprint of the 1905 Edition. Frankfurt 1971, p. 240f.; quoted after : Gudrun Dormann und Alexander Decker, Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie (The German Social Democracy), in: Materialien zum historisch-politischen Unterricht 1 (Materials for Historical-Political Instruction), ed. by H. Hoffacker. Stuttgart 1975/79, p. 40; listed on psm-data geschichte by permission
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