When I looked at this photo, I shook my head. What a combination of things were going on here.
To explain, it was not unusual for people to keep one or two animals in the back courtyard of the apartment blocks, hence the pile of manure. Usually that pile was at the far back of the courtyard, near a back alley, but in this case it seems to be right on the main street. Well, it’s a small town, and it was long ago.
It was also the custom to air out the bedding by hanging it out the window. Instead of blankets, people used huge feather beds, kind of like what we call duvets now, but probably a lot fluffier. Think giant feather pillow. You can’t just throw it in the wash (only the cover) so you hang it outside to air out.
But here’s the rub. How fresh is that feather bed going to be after hanging over the manure pile for a few hours?
In defense of the German Hausfrau, it isn’t typical to air out the bedding over the manure pile; it just happened to be the case in this photo.
As for the chimney sweep, tell me what you see. Anything in the picture that jumps out at you? Let’s hear it.
I’m not even sure they still use chimney sweeps in Germany. This was in 1977. If anyone knows what they do today, please enlighten us.
I thought this guy was kind of cute, but I hope he washes his feet before crawling into his bed. I’m sure he does!