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February 21, 2021

Pictures of American Teenagers in Heidelberg, Germany, 1947

In the late 1940s American girls (and boys) spice up Heidelberg, Germany in an unruly mix of saddle shoes and lederhosen. The locals gawk and gasp as young girls parade down the streets decked in men’s flannels, trousers and loafers. Shocking the Germans as they reappropriate various Heidelberg traditions into trendy accessories—old university caps, miniature Heidelberg sabersons, and military patches. American invasion!
American teenagers drink toast in small inn.

Army patches and German coats of arms, worn by American teenagers.

Still life at the Hercules fountain.

Two American students sauntering along a Heidelberg street, cause staid German women to look at them in wonderment.

American students silhouetted against sky, Schloss in background.

Carving their names on huge wine vatin cellar of Heidelberg Schloss.

Margaret Raymond, 17, makes with a milkshake and models the fad of wearing miniature Heidelberg saberson sweater.

American students impromptu dance on terrace of castle.

Girl’s dormitory on the Schlossberg (the mountain what holds the castle).

Old university hats worn by American students.

Student in old student prison.

Combination costume of Germany leather “lederhosen” pants and American saddle shoes.

(Photos by Walter Sanders/ LIFE archives)


  1. Heidelberg High School was featured in the 21 July 1947 issue of Life magazine.
    Heidelberg American High School was a school operated by the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located on the premises of Mark Twain Village, a housing area for American military members and their families in Heidelberg, Germany. The school served 9–12 grade students (originally 7–12 until 1976 when Heidelberg Middle School, built for grades 6–8, was built on Patrick Henry Village) and offered a variety of high school courses.
    Heidelberg High School graduated its final class in 2013.

  2. The old woman is not staring in wonderment at the American girls
    she is thinking
    " Mein gott the fuhrer would never have permitted this"




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