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Uniform of the Schifferberufsschule "Karl Meseberg"


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Gentlemen,

Here is a seldom seen uniform of the students of the vocational school for officers of the Inland Waterways. Without this training it was no longer possible to operate a ship on the inland waterways. The school started operation in Sch?nebeck-Frohse. Traditionally, young men were trained in the operation and navigation of these ships by their parents as they grew up on the boats. In the middle 1950s the DDR decided that this type of training was no longer sufficient and established the BS Karl Meseberg. The training lasted for 2 1/2 years. One year was spent at the school and 1 1/2 years onboard a waterways craft. Each training class consisted of approximately 150 apprecntices who were dividied and trained in 5 classes. The class was divided into the "white fleet" (passenger boat operators) and the "black fleet" (frieght and cargo). Girls were also trained at the school for positions in agencies and administrative brnches of the profession. In 1970 the period of training was reduced to 2 years and only students from the poly-technical high schools who had completed successfully the 10th class were accepted. The training was now done with 12 weeks at the school and 12 weeks on a ship. At the beginning of the years of training it was necessary to train the existing boat operators and they came to the schoo for what was called "adult qualification which lasted a few weeks. The uniform worn at the school resembled that worn by the Volkesmarine but was of civilian manufacture in the style of shipping companies. While on board ship a blue work dress was worn. A blue civilain style hat was worn in the winter months and a white cloth cover was out on it for the summer months. The shirst were blue grey. (I've used a white shirt for the photos for contrast purposes.) The cuffband BS Kalr Meseberg was worn on the left sleeve with above that, in an oval DBR until 1977, when it was changed to BR. From 1955 until 1989 approximately 5100 young people were trained as sailors of the inland watercraft. This does not include those who attended for adult qualifiaction or other training.

Regards,

Gordon

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