A joyful moment in Frederiksberg, Denmark

The school year started this week in Vermont.  When I saw a yellow school bus on the road for the first time in months, it occurred to me that I haven’t posted a school photo on the blog in a while.  Class photos can be rather somber, but most of the kids in the photo above seem happy.  The photo was taken sometime after 1947.  As I explained in a recent post, I don’t normally post photos taken after 1940, but this one is too fun not to share.  I found it several years ago at Windham Antique Center in Bellows Falls, Vermont.  It was tucked into an album with some other unidentified photos from Denmark, which I didn’t buy.  The next time I went into the shop, the album was gone.

On the wall behind the kids is a memorial plaque dedicated to members of the Danish Resistance who were killed during the Second World War.  The plaque was dedicated in 1947 at Fuglevangsvejens School in Frederiksberg (one of four independent municipalities which make up the City of Copenhagen).  At some point Fuglevangsvejens Skole was renamed Skolen ved Bülowsvej.

According to the book Krigens monumenter 1940-1945 (2021) by Anders Bjørnvad, the plaque reads:

Faldne i Danmarks Frihedskamp / Ejnar Grif / 27.11.1919 – 30.1.1945 / Poul Nielsen / 4.1.1906 – 1.5.1941 / Leif Dines Pedersen / 3.12.1921 – 13.3.1945 / Peter Bogstad Mandel / 9.5.1924 – 25.2.1945 / Elever og lærere satte dette minde / 1947

[Fallen in Denmark’s Fight for Freedom … This memorial dedicated by students and teachers / 1947]


I’d guess that the photo was taken within a few years of the installation of the plaque.  I haven’t found any recent pictures of it.  It may be visible in this photo of a group of teachers outside the school around 1956.  Other historical photos of the school can be seen here and a few more here.

The kids have sweet expressions.  If they were born around 1940, they’d be in their early eighties now.

Skolen ved Bülowsvej 2

Skolen ved Bülowsvej 3


43 thoughts on “A joyful moment in Frederiksberg, Denmark

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    1. Yes, I wondered why there was a page for him but not the others. Interestingly, the book I quoted about war monuments questions whether all the memorials should be maintained in perpetuity. I suppose now, with the internet, there are other ways to memorialize those who were lost.

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  1. What a great photo! So much joy in the expressions! I love the linked hands and arms (girls), and the posturing of the boys (crossed arms, attempts at serious countenances); perfect for their ages. The photographer did an awesome job. I think my favorite child, though, is the boy on the left, front row; so stylish (those pants, those socks!), coyly hiding behind the curls of the pretty girl next to him. I think he had a crush on her.

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  2. I still have my class photo from first grade; that would have been 1951. It’s remarkable to see the similarities between this photo and mine. The clothing is different, of course, but our expressions were much the same, and I still remember the occasion as being quite a bit of fun. It’s interesting to see the personalities shining through, too. Some of these kids brought certain of my classmates to mind because of those expressions; I see the girl at the far left in the second row down and think, “Janet Miller.” And in the front row? The girl fifth from the right with her hands clasped in her lap? That’s Colleen, who had to be bribed to sit for the photo!

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    1. I bet your first-grade photo is really cute, Linda! The girl who looks like Janet Miller is particularly adorable. If you ever feel inclined to share your photo on your blog, I’d love to see it. I don’t remember my class photos being much fun. Maybe I was the Colleen of the class, haha!

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