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German History in Documents and Images
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"Young Rowdies" in Berlin-Kreuzberg (1956)
During the 1950s, the image of the Halbstarke ["rowdies"] dominated debates about the new generation, which was regarded as non-conformist and rebellious. The rowdy or even hooligan role was filled mostly by working-class young men who liked American rock ā€™nā€™ roll music and cultivated a casual, "cool" masculinity, complete with Levi's jeans and mopeds. They were in no way typical of their peers; rather, they represented an attempt to break out of the normal range of socially acceptable behavior for young people. This photo shows "rowdies" in an interior courtyard in the working class Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg. Photo by Will McBride.