German Postcards 3

Post Card 4: for more information about the Austrian soldier Major Josef Troyer


civilian postcard, Austrian postage stamp, may have been pre-printed; postmark 25. VI. - year could be 15 but not clear, no place name visible

addressed to



Josef Socher




Lieber Herr Inspektor!

Hab die letzten Wochen sehr viel zu lernen gehabt, habe leider aus [illegible word starting with M] wieder eine kleine Sozial [??] beschäftigung erhalten.  Bin sonst gut durchgekommen.

Herzlichen Gruß

Ihr dankschuldiger



Dear Mr Inspector!

I’ve had to learn a lot in the last few weeks, unfortunately I have again received a little social occupation.  Otherwise I’ve got by well.

Warm greetings

Your Kurt, who owes you thanks


[This one is unusual, in that the writer clearly feels several social steps down from the person he’s addressing: you wouldn’t have used Wohlgeboren within the family or among friends even then.  He adds to the recipient’s name not only his job, but his rank within that profession: regional school inspector, and his ending “dankschuldiger” is not a standard expression.  My guess is that the recipient was either the writer’s teacher (before he reached more exalted heights) or the writer was at the very outset of his own career as a teacher when called up, and the recipient had been helpful to him in those first few steps.]

Post Card 5: for more information about General Ludendorff


civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand, civilian postmark Dudenhofen Pfalz, VI 6 7 16

addressed to


Cristof [sic?] Beck [???]

Landstm. Bat. Neustadt

Komp. 2. B. 4.

Feldpoststation 125

this is totally puzzling: pre-printed “Generalleutnant von Ludendorff”, so one would assume that only this gentleman would use this stationery; could be his wife writing


Dudenhofen d. 6. 4. 16

Lieber Mann!

Deinen Brief v. 30. habe ich gestern auf Deinem Geburtstag erhalten.  Die schöne lb. Karte v. 31. heute erhalten.  Es freut mich daß Dir die Tante ein Paketchen u. einen Brief geschickt hat.  Du wirst Ihr [sic] auch danken.  Ich schicke Dir auch gleich ein Paketchen Eier [???] Es grüßt Dich Deine Batsche [nickname?]


Dear Husband!

Your letter of the 30th arrived yesterday on your birthday.  The beautiful loving card of the 31st received today.  I’m glad to know that Aunt sent you a little parcel a. a letter.  I’m sure you will thank her for it.  I’m also about to send you a little parcel with eggs [!!!! - but I’ve also transcribed letter about Germans in English internment camps in WWII being sent eggs in the post!]  Greetings to you from your Batsche [?] 

Post Card 6: for more information about General von Bulow


pre-printed charity card; postmarked Berlin-Wilmersdorf 24. 12. 15 7-8 N [can’t believe that the post office was still open at 7 pm on Christmas Eve!]; postage stamp seems to have been removed

addressed to

Herrn u. Frau

Julius Borchert


Lindenstr 13 a



Zum Weihnachtsfeste u. zum bevorstehenden Jahreswechsel senden wir Euch unsere besten Grüsse und herzlichsten Wünsche, dass alle Eure Hoffnungen sich erfüllen mögen u. der Junge gesund in Eure Arme zurückkehrt.  In treuer alter Freundschaft Familie Bayer [???] Bln-Wilmersdorf

91 Prinz Regentenstr.


On occasion of Christmas a. the impending change-over of the years we are sending our best greetings and warmest wishes, that all your hopes may come true a. the boy returns safely into your arms.  In old friendship the Bayer Family [followed by address]

Post Card 7: for information about General von Besser


Feldpostkarte, military postmark 20. 6. 15 6-7 N

addressed to


Emilie Schobten [? water damage]

Barop b/Dortmund

Landwehr 16

sender: Ersatzreserv. [? if that’s correct, it’s a fine example of tautology] Schulte - rest abbreviations


Galizien d. 18. 6. 15

Liebe Schwester!

Hiermit sende ich Dir eine schöne Ansichtskarte von unserem Divisions Kommandeur.  Wir liegen noch auf derselben Stelle.  Vorerst nichts Neues es geht mir noch ganz gut.  Herzl. Gruß und frohes Wiedersehen Dein Bruder Hugo


Galicia 18 June 15 [there’s Galicia in Spain, but it’s also the name of a vague historical region in the border area between what’s now Poland, Bylorus and Russia]

Dear Sister

Herewith I’m sending you a beautiful picture postcard by our divisional commander.  We are still serving in the same place.  For the time being there’s no news, I’m still quite well.  Warm greetings and here’s to a happy reunion your brother Hugo.

Post Card 8: 5th Sept. 1915: Warrior-greetings to the homeland (from the trenches)

Translation: Far from our dear parents, wife and children, we stand here in the thick of battle, surrounded by enemies, we are fighting for our home.

Not it is gold, not lust for power which drove us to take up arms, for the freedom of German soil, we lift up sword to strike.

German homeland, power imprinted, rejoice a thousand times, be glad in this song, safe and victorious everywhere !

Homeland, fatherland, we protect you with a strong hand, homeland, fatherland, Greetings! Greetings from us!


seriously battered military postcard, large blob missing (water?); two military postmarks, one legible as 5 Sep 15 [unusual, month not expressed as a number]

addressed to 

An Herrn 

[missing letters]sturm Kuß Franz

[gap]in Mitzingen o/a Hermannburg [there’s a Mitzingen near Böblingen, where Mercedes is based, but I couldn’t find a map of its surroundings to trace that place with H: there’s a Hermannsburg, but that’s in northern Germany]; no road

sender: Landsturmmann Wilh. Merlek [???], details of unit

text: 4 Sept. [year obliterated]

[very difficult to decipher because of missing context through damage, and the writer may not have been highly educated - e g Mülhausn instead of Mülhausen]


soweit ich bin Tage in Mülhausn [sic]  bei Nachts fort müssen zwei Uhr vom Schützen[rest illegible] weg.  Ich wünsche Dir viele Grüße.  Es grüßt Dich herzlich 


as far as I am Days in Mülhausen we have to leave during the night have to leave at 2.00 from the shooters’ [illegible bits].  I wish you many greetings [highly unidiomatic].  Warm greetings from 

Post Card 9: 12th June 1918: 'Give us silver bullets.' A propaganda poster for the 8th War Loan in Austria.


Feldpostkarte, the first document in all these clearly originating from the Austrian-Hungarian empire

military postmark, dated 12. VI. 18; very difficult writing, really just cornery zig-zags - see last word before final salutation: inspiration and context told me that’s “Namensfest”, though till the first s that looks like a curtain hook (and the hook should end upwards, not downwards as here) it all looks the same.  Where inspiration doesn’t strike, groups of words remain impossible to me.

addressed to

Herrn Objgr S. [J? T ?] Gruner [? postmark in the way]

[illegible abbreviation] b/ Kaufm. Gessner [?]



sender [illegible abbr] Gessner [?] Feldp. 481


Lb. [name ending in g or p] Ich glaube mich nicht zu irren, Dich an deinem Namenstag in B. zu finden.

Also dorthin: meinen herzlichsten Wunsch für ein angenehmes und befriedigendes Namensfest.

Dein Ernst


Dear [illlegible]

I don’t think I’m wrong [in expecting] to find you in B. on your name day.  

So to there: my warmest wish that you’ll have an enjoyable and satisfying name* day.

Your Ernst


translator’s note: *name day: in German-speaking RC areas, individuals get cards/presents twice a year: on their birthday, but also on the day dedicated to the saint after whom they are named, i e somebody called George may be born on 15 September, but his name day is 23 April.  

Post Card 12:

Translation: God shall wipe away all tears. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. They who goes out weeping, and bearing precious seed, shall come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves.

Post Card 13: 3rd April 1917


German girls do not weep if your heart is broken. What good is that because these days all will be misery, all sighing. Our battle is for the kingdom, for honour, and for you. That's why girls do not weep and also break your hearts.

German girls do not weep if your heart is broken. Think ! The beloved is fighting in the distance for you too, and he does it gladly. Be that as it may, always think of him, and remain faithful to him.

German girls do not weep, renunciation comes upon us, a bright glimmer of peace is soon approaching and then you have us forever. Therefore cheer up ! Our fresh courage is doubly good for you. But girls do not weep if your heart is broken.

Dear girls do not cry if your heart is broken. When the bells of peace resound and your beloved appears as if in a dream before you then think this prayer . Know, it was God's will. Then, my my girl, weep silently .

Any reprinting prohibited.

The Author.


civilian postcard, “Feldpostkarte” added by hand; military postmark 3. or 8. 4. 17 6-7 N

addressed to


Adam Zintel


Stafheim b.Worms [failed to find this village under various spellings - 3/18 clarifies it as Hofheim]

Peterstr. Nro. 1

another stamp identifying [when legible … ] the military unit - seems to include “Kurhessisches”, so we’re back in Germany


Geschrieben den. 6. 4. 17

Lieber Bruder u. Schwägerin!

Die herzlichsten Glückwünsche zu einem fröhlichen Osterfest, sendet euch Joseph [?].  Bin sonst noch gesund u. munter, was ich auch bei Euch hoffe.

Es grüßt euch nun recht herzlich Joseph.

Viele Grüße an Mutter, Liesl [?] und alle [illegible word]


Written 6 April 17

Dear Brother a. Sister-in-Law!

The warmest congratulations for a cheerful celebration of Easter, sent to you by Joseph.  Am otherwise still hale a. hearty, something I hope for with you, too.

For now really warm greetings Joseph

Many greetings to Mother, Liesl and all [illegible word] 

Post Card 14: 3rd March 1903

Paraphrase: Reservist, drink today a lot of beer out of sheer joy and who can still drink, cheers ! [Sets Stetz] a new. Desire the drum, brave cavalrymen and drink happy and free, the time will soon be here!

The Reservist tears 200 [days] from the calendar. Everyone is astonished, all surprised. "Just as if in the grave." It seems like an eternity but soon comes the end of the ordeal.


front of civilian postcard, postmarked Diedenhofen 3. 3. 03.9-10 N - so well before WW1!

addressed to


Minna Lilienthal

in Oldesloe

Ratzeburgerstraße 14

seems Oldesloe stamped receipt of this on 4. 3. 03 8-9 N



coloured postcard, main drawing shows knights in armour that were very historical even in WWI, lower drawing and rhyme show this was produced for reservists in training who’ve just passed the day from which it’s less than 200 days (out of how many?) to the end of their spell of service.  Small space for personal additions:


Liebe Cosima!

Sende Dir die besten Grüße von der 200 Schwennzung [??? no such word].  Mit gehts [sic] gut, hoffe selbiges [sic] von Euch allen.



No reference whatsoever to any war


Dear Cosima!

Sending you the best greetings from the 200 [illegible - must be some festivity connected with that milestone in service time].  I’m fine, hope the same for all of you.


Post Card 15: 6th May 1900

Prisengericht [?]

Greetings from the front-line

Great English victory

The canons built on the Herzog are dragged into the Prisengericht with great pride.


Herzog: name of the boat (see picture of the boat on the postcard). [Possibly  a reference to a specific event]


Note: The English are always portrayed as tall, thin and wearing the red uniform that was used during the Napoleonic wars but was no longer in use during  WW1. They are generally pictured as eccentric and incompetent : smoking the pipe whilst carrying what looks like junk and is described in the text as “canons”. The red uniforms and the hats look especially comic as they make the soldiers look like hotel porters carrying bits and pieces rather than serious fighters.


Preprinted postcard which to me verges on the inexplicable.  It clearly is a German pre-printed card and seems to refer to an incident where the English managed to capture a German boat called Herzog (Duke).  The card seems to want to downplay this.  It shows the Herzog as a simple rowing boat.  Five men, nearly stick-men, are clambering out/have just clambered out.  Several of them are smoking pipes - maybe that identified them as British at the time.  They are all clutching “booty” which consists of an oldfashioned stove and the connecting pipes - an attempt to downplay the value of what the British obtained?  There’s a signpost on the quay-side: “To the robbers’ den”, there’s a building with a huge open entrance, on the side of which there’s another notice, “Mr Takeit”, sic, in English, underneath are two words, the first partly obliterated by a stove pipe, the second meaning “judge”.  Above the big entrance is the word “PRISENGERICHT”.  For that one, this native speaker had to ask a couple of German friends who are both retired judges.  It’s the court of law that decides who gets what in cases of stranded or captured boats.  


There’s a printed caption:  Greetings from the Theatre of War

Great English victory!  The “canons” seized from the “Herzog” are dragged, with great jubilation, to the Prisengericht (speechmarks in the original).

There’s a handwritten addition which I can’t all decipher with certainty:

????nächster Turnerball.  Auch sowie Kanonen hier.  Es grüßt Otto.

The main word “Turnerball”, which is reasonably clear, would translate as the ball (as in ball gown and tuxedo!) given by the gymnastics club.  That’s a constellation that’s perfectly possible: such sports clubs would also enjoy social sessions together.  But I can’t put it together with the rest.  A PhD waiting to be written here, with the author first researching what happened to that boat the “Herzog”.


civilian postcard, postmarked Pulsnitz (Sachsen), can’t decipher date on the postage stamp; there is, however, a second postmark: Grossröhrsdorf, 6. 5. 06 10-11 N, so well before WWI;

addressed to

Herrn Max Schmitt [?]

Großrohrsdorf [definitely no Umlaut] / illegible further detail

Süd[?]straß [sic] 329


Post Card 16: 18th March 1901


Drill. Greetings from the garrison.

Slow steps to practice there in the court of Kafernen [?],

Quick step towards nuts,

nobody needs to learn only

the fastest run step one assumes

if you can come to loved ones !


preprinted coloured photo making fun of yard drill, “poem” on similar lines.

Handwritten addition:

Lÿk [???] den 17. 3. 01 [09?  whatever: long before WWI]


Geehrtes Fräulein!

Ihre werte Karte habe ich erhalten und habe mich sehr gefreut daß auch Sie an mich noch gedacht habe [sic], vielleicht komme ich Ostern auf Urlaub, aber da ist sehr wenig Hoffnung vorhanden.  Entschudigen Sie bitte, daß ich mich so/zu [??] Zeit xxxxsiert habe.  Mit Bestem Gruß verbleibe ich Ihr Freund

Jos. Anlauff


Esteemed young lady!

I feel honoured to have received your postcard and was very pleased that you are still thinking of me maybe I’ll be coming on leave at Easter, but there’s not much hope of that.  Please forgive, that I have [illegible, partly due to crossings-out/corrections]  With best greeting I remain your friend

Jos. Anlauff


civilian postcard, place name starting LY and two further letters, but it can’t be LYON because it’s a German postage stamp.  Y is rare in German.  Date of postmark 13. [can’t read month] 01 13-1 N [would make sense only if it were 12-1 N, and it does look like 13]; this one, too, has another postmark: RIXDORF 19. 3. 01, so this is clearly another pre-war card

addressed to

Fräulein Martha Beese

in Ringdorf b. Berlin

Reutherstr. No 67 3. St.

b. Pfotograf [very strange spelling: at the time it would have been Photograph; now it’s Fotograf]


Post Card 17: 15th Nov 1915

Translation: Taking a French village


civilian postcard, “Feld” added by sender; military postmark dated 15. 11. 15

addressed to


Horst Meyer

Berlin N/8

Kniprodestr., 114 II

sender’s surname also Meyer, rest military abbreviations


den 15. 11. 15

Lieber Junge!

Vielen Dank für Deinen Brief freue mich, daß Du und Mutti gesund seid.  Die Post von Euch hierher geht etwas sehr langsam.  Habe [illegible word] die letzten Spielkarten noch nicht.  Brief auch nicht.  Herzlichst grüßt Euch




15 November 15

Dear Boy!

Many thanks for your letter pleased that you and Mum are in good health.  Your mail here goes unusually slowly.  I’ve not yet received the last playing cards.  Nor the letter.  Warmest greetings to you [plural[



Post Card 18: 24th July 1915

Translation: The King's Grenadiers

The drum rattles, death rides over the battlefield. the many brave stain the earth red. The heart breaks but never the will. Yet the faithful brethren stand alone and enemy guns shatter the ranks.


civilian postcard, “Feldpostkarte” added by hand, civilian postmark (exactly as it would be now!) Darmstadt, 24. 7. 15 3-4 N

addressed to: 

Familie Adam Zintel

Hofheim b/ Worms 

Peterstr. 1


Darmstadt 23. 7. 15.

Lieber Onkel & Tante!

Habe soeben Eure zweite Karte erhalten und freute mich sehr.  Habe Euch schon geschrieben daß ich Sonntag nicht kommen kann erst vom Heimaturlaub zurück.  Komme aber bestimmt am Sonntag in 8 Tagen genaue Zeit teile ich noch mit.

Herzlichen Gruß & baldiges Wiedersehen

Euer Neffe Oskar


Darmstadt, 23 July 15

Dear Uncle & Aunt!

Have just received your second postcard and was really pleased.  Have already written to you that I can’t come on Sunday [because] I’ve only just got back from home leave.  But will certainly come Sunday week will let you know the exact time.

Warm greetings & here’s to seeing each other again soon

Your nephew Oskar


Post Card 19: October 1914

The battlefield in the Vosges


civilian postcard, no postal stamp, one other totally illegible stamp; upside down at top, handwritten: G. den 4. 10. 1914

addressed to


Pfarrer Döring




[I’ve typed as best I can but much must be wrong because much makes no sense whatsoever, so I’ve not indicated many queries within the letter; rather nice that this clearly poorly educated chap felt he wanted to write to the local vicar]


Sehr geehrte Familie Döring

Sontag [sic] Morgen ist auch auch heute doch in die Kirche ists für für uns heut zu weit wir sitzen auf den Bergen und halten Wach doch ein wenig Schlimm ist der Franzmann schneitens nach, doch wir deutsche Helden gut mach das Rühmt und das [der?] Franzose uns nach.  Lieber Herr Pfarrer meinen besten Dank für Brief und ausgunft es hat mich sehr gefreut wie [wir?] erfahren nicht viel Gruß Ludwig Gruß an meine l. Emma [Familie?] Ludwig


Dear Döring Family [he uses a form of address showing he’s not on first-name terms with them]

It’s Sunday morning here, too, but it’s too far to the church for us we sit on the mountains keeping watch but a little the Frenchman is grim but it doesn’t [longer illegible chunk] the Frenchman after us.  Dear Mr Vicar my sincerest thanks for letter and information I was very pleased about those we [illegible] not much Greetings Ludwig Greetins to my dear Emma [family?]

Post Card 20: September 1917

The Wurttemburg Infantry Regiment 479 was part of the 247th Infantry Brigade which itself was part of the 243rd Infantry Division.


civilian postcard, postmark show it’s military and from 1917, rest not legible; another stamp identifies the military unit as from Württemberg

addressed to

An Fräulein

Pauline Manz [?]

beim Schulhaus

in Locherhof [?] o/a Rottweil

Post Dünsingen



Geschrieben, den 28. 9. 17

Liebe Schwägerin!

Will Dir auch wieder mal ein Kärtchen senden u. Dir mitteilen daß es mir noch ordentlich geht u. gesund bin was ich auch von Dir hoffe.  Bei [? obliterated by stamp] uns geht’s immer lebhaft zu.  Wir haben wirklich immer schönes [illegible word] Wetter.

Sei nun herzlich gegrüßt von Deinem Schwager Gottlieb [?]


Written 28 September 17

Dear Sister-in-Law

Want to send you, too, a little card again z. let you know that I’m still doing well a. am in good health, something I hope of you, too.  Things [illegible bit] here are always lively.  We really always have lovely [illegible further adjective] weather.

Now accept warm greetings from your brother-in-law Gottlieb.

Post Card 21

Suitable for artillery.

In position.

Disengaging for sharp-shooting.

Post Card 22

Greeting the meeting.


civilian postcard marked by hand “Soldaten-Karte”, with all military address details underneath

addressed to

S. H. [?]


Hanna Kopsch

Berlin S 59

Dürffenbachstr. [?] 51


Liebe Hanna, damit Du einen kleinen Einblick bekommst, diese Karte.  Ganz so gemütlich geht es allerdings nicht zu; ein rauher aber herzlicher Ton!! -

Herzlichen Gruß

von Deinem [illegible, starts with H, could be a name, could be a noun]

Haus 5arthelt [sic] Julius


Dear Hanna, so that you get a little insight, here’s this card.  However, things aren’t quite as cosy; the tone is rough but warm-hearted!! - 

Warm greetings

from your [illegible]

House 5arthelt Julius


This weird “5arthelt” may have been added by another hand, e g the postal deliverer.

Postcard 23:

civilian postcard from Austria - sending postmark virtually invisible; second postmark HANNOVER 1. 20. 8 - can’t make head of tail of those numbers; 

addressed in a very childlike hand to: 

An Wohlgeb Herrn Kirch u Valerie Kirch

Oberingenir [sic, should be Oberingeneur]

in Hanover [sic, in German it should be Hannover]

K. Preussen [sic, no road, and Hanover was a big town even then]

scrawled in bottom left corner, totally different sort of writing, unlikely to be the same hand:

absender [sic, lower case] Josef Tharl [?]

in Mähr. Ostrau

Deutsches haus [sic, no cap for haus; with a cap it might be some hotel name]

Stettmer [?]

another postmark from Hanover in that corner; that one adds the part of town: Linden, which is also scrawled underneath in large blue crayon, possibly by a desperate postman. 


preprinted drawing of a size 22 victorious maiden brandishing an olive wreath in one hand and a sword in the other; still preprinted “Gruß” - handwritten from there on.  This is another case of a writer with quite decent handwriting but an appalling lack of grammar and spelling.  Did teachers place such a huge emphasis on prettiness of writing?  Our writer started in the space intended for it but then continued literally all over the place: it’s quite tricky to work out where he continues.  Uncanny, all those “Heil” in presumably 1900 …


aus Märk. Ostrau 19. 3. 00 [so prewar]


Geehrter Herr u Frau Kirchner

Meine Freude könen sie sich gar nicht denken was ich gehabt habe wie ich ihre Karte erhalten habe ich habe geklaubt sie sind schon weg von dort weil ich so lange keine antwort bekommen habe in Otto Weirt [?] geschriebe ob er nicht weis wo sie sind aber noch keine antwort bekomen also ich freue mich [this is the end of the bit with clear continuity] das sie sich noch auf mich Erinnernd haben meine Freude [illegible word in corner; I continue with bottom left] bite recht bald wieder zu Schreiben es wird mich sehr freuen von Ihnen [right for once! - can’t find continuation of that phrase; on side at right:] [illegible word “Eichgenander???] ich doch auch?  Hannover [????] sie auch zu [illegible] Heil!  [upside down at top of sheet:] Wie alt ist jetzt die kleine louise ich [illegible] es ist ein [illegible] würde [?] von etwas anders schon [along left side] Heil all Deutschland über alles Heil [left corner could be signature: B. xxmark??] [squashed in the middle:] Einen Gruß an Die kleine [illegible] Eine Hand Kuß an ihre liebe Frau Gemahlin Heil mit Treu Deutscher Gruß verbleibe ich ihr Josef


Dear Mr a Mrs Kirchner

You can’t imagine my joy when I received your postcard I had thought you’d already gone away from there because I hadn’t received a reply for so long wrote to Otto Weirt whether he might not know where you are but not had a reply yet well I’m so happy that you still remember me please write to me again I’ll be very happy [did the writer lose continuity while deciding where on the paper to carry on? major gap] me too!  Hannover you, too, in order to … Hail!  How old is little Louise by now it is [gap] Hail all Germany above all  A greeting to the little [illegible]  A hand-kiss to your dear spouse Hail together with faithfulness German greetings I remain your Josef

Post Card 24

A pre-dreadnought class battleship completed in 1901.

Post Card 25: 20 Sep 1918

1918 - Save!

In bed we save,

Butter and fat,

In serious need,

The daily bread,

Coal for heating,

Clothing and soles for shoes,

We also save gas,

This gives us a lot of fun.

We resolutely wait for peace in bed.


This post card depicts the reality of everyday life for many civilians in Germany in 1918. Although the food situation improved over 1917, because the harvest was better, serious shortages continued, with high prices, and a complete lack of condiments and fresh fruit. Many migrants had flocked into the cities to work in industry, which made for overcrowded housing. Reduced coal supplies left everyone in the cold. Daily life involved long working hours, poor health, and little or no recreation.


civilian postcard, handwritten “Feldpost”, civilian postmark Potsdam 20. 9. 18 8-9 N; leaves long unmotivated gaps within words like “Urlau   b komme”, and seems to have his own version of capital letters, so very difficult to read]

addressed to 



Gertrud Leber [Leben?]


Lange Str. 65


Potsdam, d. 20. 9. 18

Liebes Fädchen [? first letter definitely not M]

Bin glücklich in meiner Heimat angelangt.  Werde diesen Sonntag wohl nicht auf Urlaub kommen.  Wäre gern am Sonntag zu Euch wieder [two impossible lines] Sonntag.  Sei nun recht herzlich gegrüßt [bottom line: only legible words “Mutter” and Karl] 

von Walter Schröder


Potsdam, 20 September 18

Dear Little Thread [if I’ve read “Fädchen” correctly]

Have happily returned back to my home country.  Probably won’t come on leave this Sunday.  I would have liked to [illegible bits] on sunday.  Now warm greetings from [more illegible - only clear words “Mother” and “Karl”]

Post Card 26: 9th June 1916 (Austria)

The elderly crowd in on youth.

Come on, you Italians.

God shall reign! 


civilian postcard, Austrian stamp, definitely civilian postmark “Schwarzach 29. VI. 16”; a second stamp from the censor in Feldkirch - censor is a first in all this correspondence!  Pointless considering it’s an open postcard - maybe because it’s addressed to somebody abroad, i e Switzerland

addressed to

Fräulein Paula Ihler [?]

Bei Herrn Raranoy [???]

Str [St?] Margreten



Schwarzach am 28./6. 1916

Liebe Paula

Ich Wünsche [sic] Dir Glück und Segen Gesundheit und ein langes Leben zu deinem [sic] hohen Namensfeste.  Wir sind alle gesund und hoffe das doch [Euch] diese Karte in bester gesundheit [sic] antrifft Ich hoffe auf ein baldiges Wiedersehn.  Mit Gruß Franz


Schwarzach, 28 June 1916

Dear Paula

I wish you happiness and blessings health and a long life to the high festival of your name [saint’s day - see above 3/9].  We are all in good health and hope that this card reaches you in best health [sic] I’m hoping we’ll be seeing each other again soon.  With greetings Franz

Post Card 27:

Front: With deep gratitude "the Fatherland commemorates today and forever its soldiers."

Back: The Emperor of the German people . From Rundgebung of the Ratsers on 1 Aug. 1915. With deep gratitude today, the Fatherland commemorates today and forever its soldiers, those who returned wounded or sick, and more especially, those who because of this war rest in foreign soil or at the bottom of the sea.

Post Card 28: (from Liestal, a German speaking canton of Switzerland near Basel)

You've got one health. (French) I'm off home! (German).


civilian postcard, so postage stamp, but miitary postmark: Liestal Militärschulen [illegible number] Division.  Liestal is in Switzerland.

addressed to


Henri Gamann [???]


Müller u. Blanc


An d’ Ouches [???]

no place or date of writing


Werter Freund

Endlich wieder ein Zeichen von mir.  Bin froh, bald mit den Wild[illegible rest] vollendet zu haben.  Nach Beendigung komme ich sehr wahrscheinlich für 2-3 Tage nach Lausanne.  Wäre folgedessen, den 29.ten an [??].

Empfange weiter Grüsse Dein Freund

Oscar Hillebrand [???]


Esteemed Friend

At last a sign [of life] from me.  Glad that I’ll soon have completed [my work with the] [illegible word].  When I’ve finished I’m very likely to come to Lausanne for 2-3 days.  [That would be] therefore, [arrival] on the 29th.  

Accept more greetings your friend

Oscar Hillebrand

Post Card 29: 25 Sept 1916

Halt or I'll shoot!


civilian postcard, “Militär” added by hand; stamp “Feld-Batterie No. 67, no date here, no postage stamp

addressed to

Max Luterbacher [?]


Pension Roth

Gesellschaftsstr. 12



Cornol, 26 Sept 16.

Endlich ein kleines Zeichen von mir.  Sind seit ca. 4 Tagen hier ca 2 Sd. v. Premtrut [????] stationirt, wo es mir ziemlich gut gefällt.  Wie geits gänz?

Tausend Wehrmannsgrüße


F. Oechslig [?]

Kan. Gefr. Batt. 67

Feld. Arb. Abt 12

[along side]

Freundl. Grüsse auch an Hr. Huber, Kienger, Baltenspager überhaupt an Alle die nach mir fragen


Cornol 26 September 16 [Cornol is a place in western Switzerland]

At last a little sign [of life] from me.  Have been posted for about the last 4 days here, about 2 hours from Premtrut [?], where I quite like it.  How are you? [deliberate slide into Swiss dialect for those three words]

A thousand army-man’s greetings

Your [grammatical form indicates that the writer is not on first-name terms with the addressee]

F. Oechslig [?]

Kind regards also to Messrs Huber, Kienger, Baltenspager - really to all who ask about me

Post Card 30: Dec 1907

Long live the army!

Cheers New Year.

The mounted foraging dragoon of the kitchen.


civilian Swiss postcard; I guess somebody wanted to retrieve the postage stamp and only succeeded in damaging both that and the postmark.  I could read Reigol (or Beigol) and Google told me there’s a Reigoldswil indeed in Baselland, the canton surrounding the city of Basle.  No date visible.


addressed to

Herrn Alfred Probst, Bezirkschüler, Reigoldswil (no street).  Bezirkschüler makes no sense: Bezirk = district, Schüler = school pupil.  If it were “Bezirkslehrer” [teacher] it would make sense to me.  But then some words mean different things in Swiss German.  I’ll never forget, in a mountain hut at 10 000 feet, offering to mend somebody’s sock and getting the reply, “But that won’t taste very nice”, when I’d not planned to eat the sock.  I learnt that they use the verb “schmecken” for “to smell”, when in standard German it definitely refers to tasting food.  

Post Card 31: 17th March 1916

May you receive happiness and peace


civilivan postcar, civilian German stamp, postmarked Nienburg (Weser) 17. 3. 16 1-2 N

addressed to 



Sophie Meyer

bei Kanstein [???]

Artenberg [?]


a/d Au [???]


Liebe Freundin für Deine Karte beim Da hin Scheiden [sic] unsseres [sic] lieben Bruders sage ich Dir meinen herzlichen Dank.

Schreib wieder.  Sophie Lammacher [Kammacher?]


Dear [female] Friend I thank you warmly for your card on occasion of the passing of our dear brother.

Write again.  Sophie Lammacher [Kammacher?]

Post Card 32: 27th December 1914

A German 'barbarian'

A German soldier shares his midday soup with a hungry Frenchman.

Taken on 22nd October 1914 in Romagne (France).


semi-civilian postcard - charity card, with the charity doing wartime welfare work - we’ve had such a card before, GP 3/6; no postage stamp; civilian postmark Charlottenburg [part of Berlin] 27. 12. 14 3-4 N

Durch [illegible word] fiel mir das von Ihnen gestiftete Geld mit zu.  Sage Ihnen hiermit meinen innigsten Dank, möge Gott es Ihnen vergelten.  Werde Ihrer immer gedenken.  


Res. Söntgen [?]

Reserve Lazarett [illegible]

Hochschule Charlottenburg

Via [illegible word] the money donated by you has been allocated to me.  Herewith my very warmest thanks, may God reward you.  I will always remember you.


Res[ervist?] Söntgen

Reservists’ Hospital

Charlottenburg College

[“you” is used in a way telling us the writer was not on first-name terms with the addressee - would be surprising, considering the message.  He’s clearly been injured, writing from a teaching hospital]

Post Card 33: 5th March 1904

Greetings from the 'screening' - sergeant - general - surgeon


The 'musterung' was the name for the physical examination that German soldiers were given. It was also the slang term used for the social meetings of reservists.


civilian postcard, postmarked Minden (Westfalen), 5. 3. 04 3-4 N, so again pre-WWI

addressed to

Herrn Carl Großheim


Post Zappendorf


pre-printed, supposedly jolly card “greetings from the military fitness test”; handwriting looks as if it were deliberately careless.  The only bits I could decipher were the last two lines:


Musterung zurück.

Mit bestem Gruß Michael


… back from being tested for military physical fitness.

Best greetings Michael

Post Card 34: 28th April 1918

Peace in the East


charity card we’ve not had yet: in favour of returning German military and civilian prisoners; no postage stamp; civilian postmark Meiningen 28. 4. 18 2-3 N

handwritten addition: Feldpost

addressed to


Werner Schuch


das Bombengeschwader III

Dt. Feldpost 4

pencilled underneath, different hand: 30-23-+54-[upside-down V]


M. [?] d. 28/ 4. 18

Lieber Werner!

d. l. Karte erhalten, habe mich sehr gefreut, das [sic] es Dir gut geht, paßt mir auf das [sic] Ihr nicht mal runterstürzt, sonst ist hier alles noch beim alten, [illegible one or two words] schicke Dir heute ein Paketchen ab.  Hoffentlich wird bald Frieden.  sei [sic] herzl. geg. v. d. M. Ottmann


[using full words for the many abbreviations]: received your welcome card, was very pleased [to learn] that you are fine, do [imperative plural!] make sure you don’t fall out of the sky, otherwise nothing has changed here, [one or two illegible words] sending off a little parcel to you today.  Let’s hope there’ll soon be peace.  Be warmly greeted by your M. Ottmann

Postcard 35:


indeed consists of two sheets but even thus is only a fragment: it’s marked IV so may be the fourth page, with the first three missing.  Though the second sheet with the eagle perched on a sword was a very patriotic postcard, both sheets were written across and used like note paper - the fold is visible, but no envelope, so no hint as to the recipient, date and geography.




[unclear word] wenn Du mit allem fertig wirst.  Ich glaube, daß Du doch vieles von Onkel Fritz weg hast.  Er sagte immer, mit einem freundlichen Wort lässt sich viel erreichen.  Es ist auch wirklich so.  Mache nur so weiter lieber Kurt, dann machst Du Deinen Weg schon.   Schreiben Schröders Dir auch wohl mal, oder habt Ihr zu Hause keinen Verkehr mehr mit ihnen?  Werner schreibt mir etwas von ihnen.  Es ist doch gut, daß die Eltern


when you have finished everything.  I believe that you do really have [much likeness?] from Uncle Fritz.  He always used to say that a lot can be achieved with a friendly word.  And that’s really true.  Just carry on like this, dear Kurt, and you’ll find your way.  Do Schröders occasionally write to you, or have you lost touch with them at home?  Werner writes a bit about them to me.  After all, it is good, that the parents 


[new sheet, that postcard with the eagle]

damals in die erste Etage gezogen sind.  Ich meine, es wäre dort doch wärmer.  Kannst [damaged paper obliterates 1 1/2 words] jetzt [guess] auch singen, oder singt Ihr nicht auf dem Marsch. [sic, no question mark]  Nur immer feste mitgesungen.  So mein lieber Kurt, jetzt habe ich alles geschrieben.  Ich will mir [sic - makes no sense] fragen wo Du das schöne Briefpapier her hast.  Hier ist es sehr knapp.  So nun bleib gesund u munter.  Mit nochmaligem Dank und vielen Grüßen Deine Oma  [in corner under the word “Dank” für d. Brief [?]]


did move to the first storey.  I think it would be warmer there.  Can you [missing words] now also sing, or don’t you sing when you’re marching.  Just keep joining in with the singing.  Right, my dear Kurt, now I’ve written everything.  I wonder where you got that beautiful note paper.  Here it’s very hard to come by.  So now stay hale a. hearty.  Thanking you yet again and with many greetings your Granny.  

Post Card 36: 1906

Still happy.


civilian postcard with again two postmarks: the one on the stamp could be Ludwigsburg, date probably 9 Aug 06 10-11 V; the second one is Mülheim/Ruhr, 9. 4. 06 10-11 N

addressed to Herrn Eugen von Ottolski [?]

Mülheim a/d. Ruhr

Dickswallstr. 77


[this is particularly poignant because the image shows an officer on horseback lighting a cigarette in the most leisurely way, when the writer does nothing but complain about overwork]


Mein lieber Eugen!

Leider habe ich keine Zeit, ausführlicher zu schreiben, denn wir haben jetzt von Morgens 1/2 6 bis Abends 1/2 8 Dienst und des Sonntags haben wir blos einige Stunden frei.  Osternsonntag [sic] um 1 Uhr ziehen alle Eing. [?] 10 Mann auf Wache bis Montag um 1 Uhr.  Wir bekommen keinen Urlaub auch nicht nach Stuttgart nicht.  Nachher kann ich nicht mehr auffuchen [???]. weil ich soviel Dienst habe.  

Wie geht es Hans?  Schreibe bitte bald wieder.  Grüße alle


Dein Georg


My dear Eugen!

Unfortunately I do not have the time to write in more detail, for we are now on duty from 5.30 in the morning till 7.30 in the evening and on Sundays we only have a few hours off.  On Easter Sunday at 1 all the [Eing. may be abbreviation for Eingezogenen = conscripts] ten conscripts go on watch duty till Monday at 1.  We don’t get any leave, not even for [going to] Stuttgart.  After that I can’t [illegible word] any more, because I’m on duty so much.

How is Hans?  Please write again soon.  Greetings to all


Your Georg

Post Card 37:

The English in flight at St Quentin on 28th August 1914

General von Kluck

Post Card 39: 6 March 1916 (Austria)

'Brazen Walls'


civilian postcard, Austrian postage stamp, postmarked Auscha, date invisible; Überprüft presumably means the censor has checked this.

addressed to

Fräulein Paula Loreck


Kaditzerstr. 9 p/


Nr. 38 [looks as if either writer or recipient are numbering the missives exchanged between them - as confirmed in text!]


Geliebtes Herz!  5. 3. 16

Heute Sonntag hatte ich die Freude, wieder einmal meine lieben Eltern besuchen zu dürfen.  Als ich nachhause [sic] kam, war auch noch mein Bruder von Leitmeritz [?] hier.  Habe Dir ja auch schon davon erzählt.  Da war natürlich die Freude gross.  Denn nach Jahrelanem [sic] Wiederseh’n, das kannst Du Dir liebe Maus schon vorstellen.  Ja liebe Paula wenn ich zu Dir so unverhofft kommen könnte.  Würdest Du Dich da sehr freuen?  Nun ich denke das wird wohl noch ein Weilchen dauern.  Hast Du die Karte mit Kuvert Nr 39 vom 4. 3. schon erhalten?  Hatte nähmlich [sic] die Nummer verschrieben.  Nun für heute gute Nacht liebe Maus schlafe wohl.  Es grüsst u. küsst Dich recht herzlich, Dein Dich treuliebender W. Schaffernicht

bei Herrn Joh. Salomon

Auscha, Schulstr. 14. Böhmen


Beloved Heart!  5 March 16

Today Sunday I had the joy of once again being allowed to visit my dear parents.  When I got home, my brother from Leitmeritz [?] was there, too.  I’ve already told yo about that.  Of course there was great joy.  For after seeing one another again after years, you can imagine that, dear mouse.  Yes, dear Paula, if only I could come to you so unexpectedly.  Would you be very happy about that?  Well, I think that will take a little while yet.  Have you already received the card dated 4 March with envelope No 39?  For I made a mistake with the number.  Now for today good night, dear mouse, sleep well.  Be greeted and kissed really warmly by your W. Schaffernicht who loves you faithfully

c/o Mr Joh. Salomon

Auscha, Schulstr. 14, Bohemia

Postcard 41: Und Ihr? Zeichnet Kreigsanleihe


civilian postcard, Bavarian stamp, postmarked MUENCHEN, date not visible, only the time V 9-10; addressed to 

Familie Andreas Schmidt



Sender: Ober[rest, alas, illegible] Alfellner, München

Text:  25. 1. 18.


Lieber Onkel u. lb. Tante!

Nachdem ich infolge der Urlaubssperre Urlaubsverlängerung erhalten habe, werde ich so frei sein Euch am Montag u. Dienstag zu besuchen.  Einstweilen beste Grüße von Euer [sic] Neffe Hans [?]


As, because of the bar on leave, I’ve had my leave extended, I will take the liberty of visiting you on Monday and Tuesday.  Meanwhile best wishes from your nephew Hans.

Postcard 42: Die fernen Graber

charity postcard for the support of former soldiers, sailors and police staff who’d served in the colonies, civilian postmark Elberfeld, dated 26. 9. 16 4-5 N

addressed to


Heinrich Gilger

Berlin W. 57

Yorckstr. 43


Liebe Eltern u. Erich

Eure Karte vom 25. erhalten.  Ich fahre am Mittwoch früh von hier fort und komme um 6 Uhr auf dem Potsdamer Bahnhof an.  Bis auf Wiedersehen seid herzlichst gegrüßt von Eurer Wally

Onkel u. Tante lassen herzl. grüßen


Dear Parents a. Erich

Received your postcard dated 25th.  I’m leaving here on Wednesday morning and will arrive at 6 o’clock at the Potsdam Station.  See you then, and warmest greetings vrom your Wally

Uncle a. Aunt send warm greetings


[Two comments: till about 2005 Berlin - like London to this day - did not have a central railway station but many stations serving certain directions of travel.  Potsdamer Bahnhof then was, thus, not the station of the small town of Potsdam just outside Berlin, but one of those Berlin stations.  Wally - I guess, is the pet version of Waltraud, a female name.]

Postcard 44:

civilian postcard, Feldpost added by hand; no postage stamp, military postmark date 30. 10. 14, no geographical indicators

addressed to 


Martina Obernhuber

in Pecheigen

Post Ulbering b. Simbach / Inn



Großkirchen, den 29. Oktober

Liebe Gattin u. Kinder

Schreibe wieder um Dir ein Lebenszeichen zu geben, neues weiß ich nichts, immer beim alten.  Einen schönen Gruß vom Gevatter, er ward vor einiger Zeit krank, ist aber wieder Gesund [sic[, ist jetzt ob kommen Zeit beim Briefnicht ab [this is wrong].  Herzlichen Gruß an Dich u. Kinder!


Dear Spouse a. Children

I’m writing again to give you a sign of life, I don’t have any news, everything is as it was before.  Greetings from Godfather, some time ago he was ill, but he’s now healthy again.  [What I can read is too gappy to translate] Warm greetings to you a. children!

Postcard 45:

charity postcard, seems to be from some umbrella organisation that would distribute income: no purpose divulged; font used would fit the Wigmore Hall - finest “Jugendstil”/fin de siècle.  Postmarked Eibenstock, dated 26. 6. 15 6-7 N

addressed to

Frau verw. Clauß

Bärenstein Bez. The [certainly wrong]



Zu Deinem morgenden [???] Geburtstag nimm von uns allen die herzlichsten Wünsche entgegen.  Möge das neue Lebensjahr nur Glück für Dich u. Deine l. Deinen bringen.

Mt herzlichen Grüßen an Euch Alle

Adolf, Frida u. Kinder


On occasion of your birthday tomorrow please accept the warmest wishes from all of us.  May the new year in your life bring nothing but happiness for your and your loved ones.

With warm greetings to you all

Adolf, Frida a. children

Postcard 46:

Kriegs-Postkarte [that’s a new one!] postmarked probably Chemnitz, date invisible beyond 8. 1.

addressed to


Alm. Lindner

Sohnsheim [?]

b./ Kohren


Die herzlichsten Grüße aus Chemnitz sendet Dir d. Cousin Otto.

Bin jetzt in Arbeit hier oben in nächster Zeit gehts [sic] nach Kiel.


The warmest greetings from Chemnitz are being sent to you by cousin Otto.

I’ve now got a job [expression used sounds very civilian] up here and soon I’ll be off to Kiel.  

Postcard 48:

civilian postcard, marked “Feld-Post” by hand; military postmark date 30. 7. 16 3-4 N, another stamp indicating the unit

addressed to

Gefrt. Herm. Stümpel [?]

M. G. K. Landw. Rgt. 349

Feldpost 198


another hand has added underneath: Katzen! 


Lieber Bruder!  Deine liebe Karte dankend erhalten, mir gehts [sic] noch gut hoffe dasselbe auch von Dir.  Du kannst mahl [sic[ sehen, ob Du Kuno [?] Rolff [?] da nicht triefst [?].  Er iß [sic] Viezh 3 Komp Res Inf Regt No 74.  grüße [sic] Ihn [sic] von mir und Hilmer.  Es grüßt [sic] Dich Dein Bruder Fritz.  Abs. Gefrt. Fritz Stümpel Pionier Regt. 25 2. Res Komp. 37ter [sic] Division


Dear Brother!  Received your welcome card with thanks, I’m still fine, hope for the same for you.  You might want to try whether you might not meet Kuno Rolff [???] there.  He is [followed by a string of hardly legible military unit details] give him my love, also from Hilmer.  Greetings from your brother Fritz.  Sender Private Fritz Stümpel [rest military details]

Postcard 49:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost!” added by hand; civilian postmark Burg Bz. Magdeburg, dated 10. 2. 16 2-3 N

addressed to 

F T [J?] Ob [rest obliterated by postmark]

Willi [surname obliterated by postmark]


[illegible road name] 9


Erwiedere [sic] heut [?] Ihre Kartengrüße, habe mich recht gefreut.  Hoffe auf baldige Antwort und verbleibe mit herzlichem Gruß Ihre [illegible name, must be female]


Hereby today returning the greetings of your postcard, was really pleased to get it.  Hope for a reply soon and remain with warm greetings your


Postcard 50:

preprinted Feldpostkarte, but the writing is so feint I can barely see that there was any.  There probably never was a postage stamp or a postmark.  

Postcard 54: 9th May 1915

Legend: War Welfare card of the Reich Association for the support of German veterans


Note: Otto von Weddigen was a German U-boat commander. He was responsible for the sinking of the three British cruisers in the North Sea on 22nd September 1914, HMS Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue. On the 18th March 1915 while commanding U-29 he was rammed by HMS Dreadnought; there were no survivors from the submarine.


War charity card supporting veterans; military postmark dated 9. 5. 15 8-9 V, no geographical indicators

addressed to


W. Höhne

Wandlitz (Mark)

bei Berlin



G. Höhne

6. Landw. = Korps

3. Landw. = Div.

7. Landw. = Rgt.

7. Komp.  Ostern


Lieber Vater!

Besten Dank für Dein Paketchen.  Mir geht es hier noch [?[ ganz gut.  Hoffentlich bleiben die Verhältnisse noch so. [no signature]



Dear Father!

Many thanks for your little parcel.  I’m still reasonably well here.  Let’s hope the conditions carry on being like that.  

Postcard 55


Legend: You hold the card about 50 cm away from the face away, looking straight at the white dot on the nose and count to 30. Then look at once at a white wall or ceiling, and Emperor Franz Josef of Austria will quickly appear.

Postcard 56: 21st July 1908 Lake Constanz


Legend: Count Zeppelin's dirigible airship at full speed.


Note: The LZ4 was first flown on on 20 June 1908. On 1 July it was flown over Switzerland to Zürich and then back to Lake Constance, covering 386 km (240 mi) and reaching an altitude of 795 m (2,600 ft). An attempt to complete the 24-hour trial flight demanded by the Germany military ended when LZ 4 had to make a landing at Echterdingen near Stuttgart because of mechanical problems. During the stop, a storm tore the airship away from its moorings on the afternoon of 5 August 1908. It crashed into a tree, caught fire, and quickly burnt out. No one was seriously injured.


civilian postcard, German stamp, civilian postmark probably Konstanz, 21. [rest illegible]; writer used a very iffy pen which unexpectedly broadens out - very hard to read

addressed to

[some hierglyphs] Herrn

Josef Kendser [???]

in Riedisheim

n. Mühlhausen i/ Elsass

Türmerstr. [?] No. 15


Lieber Vater!

Ich habe am letzten Freitag Prüfung gemacht, der Ingenieur [???] sagt, ich hätte eine schöne Schrift, gut abgelaufen meinen Aufsatz gemacht über Gas [after this there are so many illegible bits that it’s impossible to guess - not enough context; legible words include Zeppelin Pinot and Telegramm schicken; down the side he mentions bad weather, but even that contains illegible bits and endings that don’t make sense]


Dear Father

Last Friday I passed my exam, the engineer [?] said I had beautiful handwriting, went well, did my essay about gas [see comments in German text]

Postcard 57:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand with long military address details; postmark identifies the sender as a sailor (a first in all this correspondence): Marine Schiffspost, no legible date

addressed to

Fräulein Else Wacker


Pestalozzistraße No. 69


Am 31. 4. 16

Liebe Elsa!

Habe soeben Deine liebe Karte erhalten worüber ich mich sehr gefreut habe, daß [sic] neueste ist, daß ich nächsten Monat auf Urlaub komme, und zwar 8. Tage, dann ist aber was los, dann gehn wir nach Pichelsberg Kahnfahren und Segeln.  Nun viele Grüße an alle von Paul


31 April 16

Dear Elsa!

Have just received your dear postcard and was very pleased with it, the latest is that I’ll be coming on leave next month, for eight days, and then things are going to happen, we’ll go to Pichelsberg for boating and sailing.  Now many greetings to all from Paul

Postcard 58:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand, military details underneath, same handwriting, military postmark with enough legible to assume, again, “Marine”, no legible date

addressed to


Elsa Wacker


Pestalozzistraße 69


Den 21. 5. 18

Liebe Elsa!

Kann Dir die traurige Mitteilung machen, dass der Urlaub belegt [???] ist, aber deswegen [kann genau Ferber wachten ????] lassen, die Zeit kommt besser [?] wo wir auch recht wieder ausgehen werden.

Viele Grüße an alle nebst Eltern von Eurem Paul


21 May 18

Dear Elsa!

Can [really!] let you know the sad news that the leave has been cancelled, but because of that [too much illegible for translating] times will get better, when we’ll be able to go out properly again.

Many greetings to all as well as the parents from your [plural] Paul

Postcard 59:

civilian postcard, only censor’s stamp, Austrian postage stamp, nothing in the postmark legible to me

addressed to


Elsa Rothe

Eibau in/Sachsen

Mundgut No 625 [Deutschland added at top]


Meine liebe Elsa, Deine so liebe Karte habe ich erhalten, aber die Nachricht von Dein [sic] krank sein, hat mich sehr in [illegible word - wuste?] Stimmung gebracht, ich mache jetzt sehr schwer ins Feld, da ich Dich nicht nochmals sehen konnte Damit ich es wissen könnte was Dier [sic] fehlt, aber so will ich alle Abend für Dich beten, das [sic] Du bald wieder gesund wirst.  Liebe Elsa, wenn Du wirst diese Karte erhalten, werde ich mich auf der Fahrt befinden, wohin dieses mal geht, weiß ich nicht.  Ich schicke Dier meine Uhr und Ring zur Mili, sei so gut und nimm diese Sachen in Deine Verwahrung.  Liebe Elsa, so leb wohl und werde bald wieder Gesund [sic], vergieß [sic] aber mich nicht.  


My dear Elsa, I have received your so dear postcard, but the news of your serious illness has placed me in a very [illegible word, but meaning guessable!} mood, I now find it very difficult at the front because I could not see you again so that I might know what is wrong with you, but as it is I want to pray for you every evening, that you will soon be in good health again.  Dear Elsa, when you receive this postcard, I will be travelling, where we’re going this time I don’t know.  I’m sending you my watch and ring for Mili [no idea who, where or what that is], please be so good as to look after these things.  So, dear Elsa, fare well and regain your health quickly, but don’t forget me.


[Another one where you wonder what came of him - certainly severe case of premonitions, sending home his watch and ring!|

Postcard 60:

civilian postcard, postage stamp obliterated by fat postmark Delmenhorst, dated 10. 11. 16 10 11 V

addressed to


Paul Menning


Nordstrahse [sic!!!!] No 94

no date


Lieber Paul!

Deine liebe Karte mit Freuden erhalten, tausend herzlichen Dank dafür.  Es tut mir sehr leid, aber am Sonntag können Emma und ich nicht nach dort kommen, da wir nicht frei haben.  Du wirst aber genug Gesellschaft bekommen, denn Mutter, Schwester Ida und Tilly Eschinger die schon ein paar Tage bei uns weilt kommen Sonntag also wirst Du uns nicht endbehren [soc].  Es grüßt Dich herzlich deine Kusine Henny nebst Schwester Emma.  Auf Wiedersehen ein andermal.

[upside down at top edge] Herzlichen Gruß an Deine lieben Eltern und Willy


Dear Paul!

Delighted to receive your dear postcard, a thousand thanks for it.  I’m very sorry, but Emma and I will not be able to come on Sunday as we haven’t got any time off.  But you are bound to have enough company, for Mother, sister Ida and Tilly Eschinger, who’s already been staying with us for a few days, are coming on Sunday so you won’t miss us.  Warm greetings from your [female] cousin Henny alongside sister Emma.  See you on another occasion.

Warm greeting to your dear parents and Willy

Postcard 61:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand.  Civilian postmark dated 20. 2. 16 9-10 V (no postage stamp) but big stamp identifying the military unit

addressed to


Elsa Fried

Allenstein Ostpr.

Berlinerplatz [?] 4 I


17. 2. 16

Meine liebste Elsa u. Fritzchen!

Euren l. Brief Nr. 22 v. 12. 2. habe ich heute vielmals dankend erhalten.  Ich freue mich sehr, daß Ihr noch gesund seid.  Mir geht es noch immer recht gut.  Morgen schreibe ich auch [?] einen langen Brief. 

Viele herzl. Grüße u. Küsse

Euer Papa

Herzl. Grüße an alle!


17 February 16

My dearest Elsa a. little Fritz!

Today I have received your dear letter No 22 of 12 February, and I thank you for it.  I’m very pleased that you are still in good health.  I am still pretty well.  Tomorrow I will also [sic] writing a long letter.

Many warm greetings and kisses

Your Daddy

Warm greetings to all!

Postcard 62:

civilian postcard, military postmark dated 22. 6. 17 11-12 V, no geographical indication, another totally illegible military stamp partly obliterates text

addressed to


Anna Pottebaum

in Eken

Post. Melle



L. A. Habe Deinen Brief erhalten, wofür ich bestens danke, hatte [hätte?] schon den selben Dir beantwortet aber leider wenig Zeit wärde [???] Dir den selben noch näher [?] beantworten wenn es mir die Zeit erlaub [sic].  Sonst [rest runs too much word into word; signed off] Gruß von Fa H [???]


Dear Anna [assuming L. A. = Liebe Anna] Have received your letter, for which my best thanks, would have replied already but unfortunately little time will answer same in more detail when time allows me to.  Otherwise [illegible] greetings from Fa. H [???]

Postcard 63:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand, military postmark 10. 8. 17 2-3 N, and another military stamp

addressed to

An Frl.

Anna Pottebaum

Eiken, bei Bune [???]

Kreis Melle

b. Osnabrück

P. [? Provinz?] Hannover 


Geschrieben d. 9. 8. 17

Liebe Freundin!

Sende Dir die besten Grüße von hir [sic] ich kann Dir mit richten [?] das [sic] ich noch imer [sic] der alte [sic] bin und denke [???] dasselbe auch von Dir.

Leb wohl [?] bis rechts [???] wieder sehen [rest illegible and largely the military postal address]


Written 9 August 17

Dear [female] Friend!

Sending you the best greetings from here I can inform you that I’m still like I was before and think the same of you, too.

Fare well till [illegible] meet again [rest illegible]

Postcard 64:

civilian postcard, civilian postage stamp; two attempts at postmark, neither shows date, but one shows a place: Alsdorf

addressed to


Rudolf Schmitz

Alsdorf/ [illegible abbreviation for the region]


L. Mudder [Nuddel?]!  Herzl. Grüße sendet der Berliner Pflanze und der schönen Gestalt Ihre Schw. Martha.

Herzl. Gruß Deine fr. [sr?] Blutter

Herzl. Gruß Tante Pauline


Dear Mother [could be lots of other things, too] Warm greeting are being sent to the Berlin plant and the beautiful shape your [and this is the formal “your”: they are not on first-name terms] Sister Martha.

Warm greetings your [this is the informal version!] fr. Blutter [???]

Warm greetings Aunt Paulien 

Postcard 66:


civilian postcard, marked with huge, showy swing “Feldpostkarte”; apparently civilian postmark: Julich [I’d expect Jülich], 15. 9. 15 10-11 V; censor’s stamp obliterates half of the even showier address (several corrections after seeing the clear writing in GO3/67):


in Tagsdorf

Kreis Altkirch

Ober Elsaß


Liebe Freundin Nammler [?]!

Nun will ich Dir ein Küßchen senden, wo Dich freuen soll.  Es Grüßt [sic] und Küßt [?] Dich herzlich d. Freund [?] Camil [?]


Dear [female] Friend Nammler [?]

Now I will send you a little kiss which is supposed to please you.  Warm greetings and kisses from your [male] friend Camil [?]

Postcard 67:

civilian postcard, “Feldpost” added by hand; huge military stamp nearly obliterates postmark, place illegible, date probably 3. 7. 17 5-6 N

addressed to

An Fräulein

Jeanne Seÿller

in Tagsdorf

Kreis Altkirch



[text is wrong way round on card; writer actually uses Latin script, but his spelling, particularly caps, is so erratic that I’m not adding countless [sic]; the address and the text are most definitely not written by the same person - maybe Jeanne gave him a supply of pre-addressed cards!]


Greifswald, den 3. 7. 17

L. Jeanne!

Endlich bin ich wieder in dem alten elend angekommen kam am Sonntag Mittag hier an, Ludwig Meÿer ist mit mir bis Berlin gefahren, es wird jetzt wieder eine schöne Zeit vergehn bis wir uns wieder werden sehn, ich hoff das du und deine lieben noch Gesund seit wie es bei mir auch noch derfall ist, wen ihr nur Gesund in der Haimat bleiben könnt ich denke jede Stunde an die Tagen welche ich zu Hause verlebt habe, also bleibe Gesund bei deinen lieben und sei Herzlich gegrüsst

down central edge: Grüsse mir auch deine Eltern und Geschwistern.  Auf Wiedersehn!


Dear Jeanne!

At last I’ve landed back in the same old misery, arrived here on Sunday midday, Ludwig Meÿer travelled with me up to Berlin, a jolly long while will now pass till we see each other again, I hope that you and your loved ones are still in good health, as is still the case for me, if only you at home can stay healthy I think every hour of the days which I spent at home, so stay healthy with your dear ones and accept warm greetings

down central edge: Greetings also to your parents and siblings.  See you again.

Postcard 68:

civilian postcard, Dutch stamps, can’t decipher any postmark beyond the year 1922; I’ve probably made typing errors as, lacking Dutch (though actually by chance having been born in Amsterdam) I can’t guess words from the letters which are unambiguous, as I can in German)

addressed to


An den Jonge Heer

C. v. c. Wonde

[equivalent of] c/o den Heer Jb. v. d. Wonde

Sehelleralle /353



One word of text, probably a name: Scheltie?