1940s, Culture, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Forbidden Fraternization

LIFE 3/19/45

During WWII, American soldiers were forbidden from fraternizing with German girls, no matter how comely or eager. Corporal Harold Goodden could hardly resist this mannequin, replete with German officer’s cap and lustrous locks. Surely she was not harboring Nazi tendencies.

But rulebooks be damned. By 1949 (four years later) over 20,000 German war brides had emigrated to the United States to join their charming US serviceman (and to get the H out of Europe).

Italy was also the enemy, but no matter to stationed soldiers. No less than 412 brides were all aboard the liner Algonquin in this shot. Clearly there was more than “fraternization” going on.


Women from many nations  soon found the US to be home. An estimated 100, 000 UK women, 1,500 hundred New Zealand women, and 15,000 Australian women married American soldiers and moved to the US as well.

Ireland was neutral during WWII, and evidently Irish lasses were not immune to the charms of American soldiers. Exactly one year after the above picture was printed, these Irish war brides set sail for a new life in New York, where their babies would be introduced to their American fathers.