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AliceF

Cemetery postcards

96 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Hi,

Here I open up a new thread about postcards with a show a cemetery, which have a text on the backside and have been sent to somebody. This thread is thought to comprise different nationalities and different countries (where cemeteries are located). I have been puzzled by the fact to send a postcard home with a cemetery motive form a war place. Any cards + text you want share?

I start off with a card from the German cemetery of Ayette (France) from the 9th of March 1916.

“Best regards from France sends you your […] son and brother Paul – […] healthy and cheerful.”

“Die schönsten Grüße aus Frankreich sendet Euch Euer […] Sohn und Bruder Paul […] gesund und munter.“

Christine

P.S. Unfortunately the handwriting makes me difficulties, but I’ll hope it will get better over time…

Source of the card: http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,363959681,var,AYETTE-MONUMENT-ET-CIMETIERE-ALLEMAND--CARTE-ALLEMANDE,language,E.html

Ayette_front.jpg

Ayette_back.jpg

Edited by AliceF
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Sorry Alice, but the word in the title that reads' Motive', should in fact read 'Motif.

'Motive' means a reason for doing something..

'Motif' means a decorative image or design.

Apologies but.......

Regards

Martin

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Well, thanks, managed to change it....

Christine

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

Here another one - if anyone reads it differently, please let me know!

Christine

"Dear Sofia, a view from a [established?] cemetery in the Grolman camp. Unfortunately I only have this one card. Keep it well for me, for Miss Angnes are the [two ? ...]. Please pass on. Regards and kisses yours […]"

"Liebe Sofia, Eine
Ansicht von einem
angelegten [?] Friedhof im
Grolmanlager. Habe leider
nur diese eine Karte. Die
bewahre mir schön auf, für
Frl. Agnes sind die [beiden ?
….]. Bitte abgeben!
Gruss und Kuss Dein
[….]"

Source: http://www.delcampe.net/item.php?id=293366149&var=-alte-Fotokarte-Photo-Friedhof-Grolmanlager-im-Priesterwald-cimentiere-1-Weltkrieg-guerre-1914-18-Militaria&language=G&sessionToken=sslLogin_eacef82eeca001933ca4fe2e3ea47560

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Edited by AliceF

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ID: 5   Posted (edited)

This card from my collection shows the Cimetière du Wettstein in the Vosges. It was posted in August 1923 and the writer says:

"Cemetery of 2000 Chasseurs Alpins, [There is] Another cemetery of 1200 Chasseurs at Calvaire between the Col [du Calvaire] and Lac Blanc."

 

Wettstein compressed.jpg

 

By the reference to Calvaire, I think the writer may mean Cimetière Duchesne which is behind the French lines on la Tête des Faux. Wettstein now contains 3538 burials including 1337 in an ossuary.

 

Wettstein today (my photo 2009):

 

p897598933-3.jpg

 

 

Cim. Duchesne today (my photo from 2006):

 

p742750657-3.jpg

 

 

Gwyn

Edited by Dragon
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ID: 6   Posted (edited)

This card depicts the early cemetery at Col de la Chipotte. The writer says:

"As you can see, there are many dead. I fear there are 15000 men, French and German, who have fallen to take the Col."

 

Col de la Chipote mixed graves soldiers compressed.jpg

 

My card.

 

Gwyn

Edited by Dragon
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Thank you for your contribution, Gwyn!

Impressive cards.

Christine

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Here a "new" postcard - as you will see the content of the text is not so much related to the motif (???) of the card.
Christine

“11th Sept. 1915
My dear sister,
I have received the parcel with the butter and thank you very much for that. Have you not received my large parcel with the star [?]? I am still in good health right now.
Cordial greetings your brother Karl”

„Feld, den 11. Sept. 1915
M.[ein] l.[iebes] Schwesterchen!
Das Paketchen mit Butter
erhielt ich & danke Dir von
Herzen dafür. Brauchen kann
man ihn [?] gut. Hast Du mein
großes Paket mit dem Stern [?] nicht
erhalten? Gesund bin ich bis zur
Stunde.
Herzl.[ich] grüßt Dich
D.[ein] Br.[uder]
Karl“

Source: http://www.akpool.de/ansichtskarten/25517163-ansichtskarte-postkarte-cte-lorraine-deutscher-kriegsfriedhof-soldatengraeber-i-wk

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ID: 9   Posted (edited)

This card also depicts Col de la Chipotte.

 

Col de la Chipotte Tombes d'Officiers.jpg

 

The writer says:

"My dear Henriette

 

I’m still in good health. Yesterday I received the card made by **** [?]

 

Put this card in your album and save it because at la Col de la Chipotte 19000 men, French and German, fell and they are buried in the same graves.

 

If you don’t find me, let neither fire nor customs close the shop.

 

My dear wife, receive many huge kisses.

 

Yoreth"

 

My card.

 

Gwyn

 

Edited by Dragon
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Gwyn, to burry French and Germans in the same grave seemed strange first, but then I thought about the case with Vizefeldwebel Pogoda, who was buried together with British in the same grave.
I wonder if the writer of the card survived.
Christine

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

The conflict at the Col de la Chipotte was horrifying and chaotic. Both sides were inexperienced and unused to mountain territory. One French unit leader reported losses of 79%, another 60%. My blog post describes it. I have included in the blog post the postcard which corroborates the burials all mixed up together, saying, "La Tranchée de la Mort où gisant, péle-mêle, Français et Allemands."

 

I don't know whether the writer survived. He wrote across the back of the entire card and there is no space for a recipient. But as I can't find a Yoreth on Mémoire des Hommes, I think it's hopeful.

 

Gwyn

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Thanks very much for the link, truly a very beautiful and informative site, Gwyn (and so many cards!!!).
Christine

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ID: 13   Posted (edited)

Today a card from Hammerstein (former West Preussen – today Polen) which I struggled very much in transcribing. I could put a question mark almost behind every word.

“Dear child. I send you and all others best regards with this card [.] it is the Russian cemetery […] in which many rest who died in cholera [.] today I have received the newspaper and your letter from the […] and in this way I got to know that you are sending me […] [.] it was not necessary to send an express parcel, because there is still time [.] best regards and we will [hopefully] happily meet again
Your father.”

Hammerstein 27.9.1915
Liebes Kind.
Viele Grüße sende ich dir
u. Euch alle mit dieser Karte es ist
der russische Friedhof [...?]
wo lauter Choleratote liegen
habe heute die Zeitung u. dein Briefchen
vom [?] erhalten und daraus erfahren, dass
Ihr mir [...?] schicken tut das Eilpaket war nicht nötig,
denn es hat noch Zeit gehabt liebe Grüße
auf ein frohes Wiedersehen
Dein Vater"

Source: http://www.akpool.de/ansichtskarten/24058729-foto-ak-hammerstein-pommernsoldaten-auf-einem-friedhof

In Hammerstein there was a POW camp and I found a webpage that mentions that as many as 12.000 POWs died there in WW1, but could not get this confirmed with a more reliable source. As I had great difficulties in reading the word cholera, I would have wanted to have this confirmed as well, but did not manage besides general mentioning of the disease at the Eastern front. I also did not find any trace of a picture of this cemetery today or a memorial.

It has to be mentioned that Hammerstein had a Nazi concentration camp between 1933-1945. 60.000 died here, 45.000 in typhoid fever (source Wikipedia).
Christine

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Edited by AliceF

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I I tried to find a card form a British WW1 cemetery from France with text written during WW1, but have not succeeded so far (checked about 30 cards by now). I find cards, but mostly on pages, where the backside is not shown. Where I can see the other side it is mostly empty or in few cases the card was sent in the 1920ies. So I have to look further.

Today a card from Bazancourt from the 5th of August 1918, place: does it say Boult?!

"Dear Anna,
how are you, hopefully you are well. I am all right and I hope it will continue to be so. Here I send you best regards from France. Hope to see you soon.

Your brother Bruno."

"Liebe Anna,
Wie geht es dir, hoffentlich gut,

mir geht es auch so und wollen

dasselbe auch weiter hoffen.

Gleichzeitig sende ich dir die besten

Grüße aus Frankreich auf baldiges

Wiedersehen
Dein Bruder Bruno"

Christine

Source of the card: http://www.delcampe.net/item.php?id=0291706539&language=E&sessionToken=sslLogin_8cc2c4f455e3d296511ccb55157561d5

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Today a card form the East, from Stallupönen near Kaliningrad (former Königsberg)

"Dear all!
I am well and healthy.
Live here like journeymen [?], hungry, sleeping on hay and working during the day instead of fighting [?]. Food is short. My beloved are still all right. I hope everything is all right with you. Income is just that you get along. But better to be hungry than in the field. Rich. [?] has also written again. Yours Emil"

"Stalupönen den 16.7.
Meine Lieben alle!
Bin noch wohl und gesund.
Leben hier wie die Handwerksburschen
Kohldampf, auf Heu schlafen und
tagsüber arbeiten anstatt fechten [?].
Lebensmittel wenig. Meine Lieben
sind noch alle wohl. Ich hoffe alles Gute
von Euch allen. Verdienst ist ebenso, dass
man eben damit langkommt.
Aber besser noch Kohldampf schieben
als im Felde. Rich. [?]……hat auch wieder
geschrieben. Euer Emil"

On the front: Mass graves in Stallupönen, 40 Germans and 200 Russians.

Christine
Source:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/1-Weltkrieg-Kriegsbilder-aus-Ostpreusen-Massengraber-in-Stalluponen-Friedhof-/231856613192?hash=item35fbbb2748:g:9y0AAOSwuAVWztTg

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Here a card with the German cemetery in Lens.

“Dear Mom ,
This is the memorial in front of section O. Left to the memorial under the first cross are 4 men. The house near them is the school and above the 4 in the background there is the mine tower of Sallaumines or Fosse No 13 where we passed by. Yours Emil”

"Liebe Mamma,
Dies ist das vordere Denk
mal vom Abschnitt O. Links
von dem Denkmal unter

dem 1 sten Kreuz stehen
4 Mann. Das Haus bei
denen ist die Schule und
über den 4 ganz im
Hintergrund ist der Zechen
turm von Sallaumines
oder Fosse No 13 an dem
wir vorbeigingen.
Dein Emil“

Section O of Lens cemetery can be seen here in post # 203: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=234186&page=9

Christine

Source of the card:
http://www.ebay.de/itm/Lens-1-Weltkrieg-1914-18-Deutscher-Militaer-Friedhof-Militaer-Militaria-Postkarte-/151861482390

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Front: Vouziers, mass grave of German heroes

“Rethel, 8.5.16

Dear Emma,
I am back here again and have settled again. Now I'm sending you a view of a mass grave in Vouziers, in this way the graves are arranged here, it is beautiful. But Heinrich’s grave is still not finished, it has been started [?], then I will send you this view as well. Otherwise I am well, hopefully you, too. Cordial greetings from your [ ... ?]
Otto

Regards to your father and brothers and sisters”

(“Rethel, den 8.5.16
Liebe Emma,
Ich bin nun wieder hier an-
gelangt u. mich wieder einge-
richtet. Ich schicke dir nun
eine Ansicht von einem
Massengrab in Vouziers so
werden die Gräber hier ge-
richtet ist doch schön. Aber
Heinrich sein Grab ist noch
nicht fertig, es ist ange-
fangen, dann werde ich
Dir auch diese Ansicht
schicken. Sonst geht es mir
gut, hoffentlich auch Dir.
Sei herzlich gegrüßt von Deinem […?]
Otto
Grüße an Deinen Vater
u. Geschw.“)

If you are interested to read something about the interpretation of this type of cards, I can recommend this link below. Rather: I can partly recommend that website. It has interesting thoughts about the discrepancy soldiers experienced and what type of graves are shown on postcards. On the other hand the photos were of that kind that I did now want to finish reading the page.

http://www.metropostcard.com/war7d-dead2.html

Christine

Source of the card: http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,0287418623,language,G.html

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Front: Mass graves in Priesterwald

“Dear cousin!
Many thanks for sending the newspapers. I am doing very well. Hope this is true for you and uncle [and ?!] aunt. Here it is calm. We are still at the same place. Write again soon.
Best regards
Your cousin Heinrich
Best regards to uncle [and] aunt."

„Lieber Vetter!
Für Zusendung der Zeitungen besten
Dank. Es geht mir sehr gut. Hoffe dies
auch von Dir sowie Onkel [und?!] Tante.
Hier herrscht Ruhe. Wir liegen
noch immer im selben Ort.
Schreib mal recht bald wieder.
Herzliche Grüße Dein Vetter Heinrich
An Onkel [und] Tante herz. liebe Grüsse“

Christine

Source of the card:
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,364930518,var,B41275-Massengraber-im-Priesterwald-Porte-a-Mousson-comun-cemetery-france,language,E.html

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I have tried to find cards with British cemeteries with text, but have not succeeded. Checked more than 100 cemetery cards now, either the text side was not shown or empty or post war or in French (and post-war) or in German (again). So either there were much fewer postcards with British cemeteries sent home or they are not for sale or I am searching at the wrong places.

So here another German one:

“xxx 28.3.16
Dear father
I was really happy that the fruit trees have a lot of buds. So far I am still all right, what I hope from all of you, too. Leave will be possible, but only when reasons are given. Many comrades rest in this military cemetery.
Cordial greetings
Your son Richard

See you [in the corner]
Here rests Vallentin Fritz [at one side]”

"Xxx 28.3.16
Lieber Vater
Es hat mich sehr gefreut,
das die Obstbäume sehr
viel Knospen haben.
Soweit geht es mir noch
ganz gut was ich von
Euch allen hoffe. Urlaub
gibt es wieder aber nur
wenn Gründe angegeben
werden. Auf diesem
Militärfriedhof liegen
sehr viel Kameraden.
Es grüßt herzlich
Euer Sohn Richard

Auf Wiedersehen
Hier liegt Vallentin Fritz“

Fritz Valentin: http://des.genealogy.net/search/show/2493102;IR 104, 10 komp., Bernsdorf, Chemnitz, died 15.1.1916; Quesnoy-sur-Deule Plot 2, grave 34 (http://www.volksbund.de/index.php?id=1775&tx_igverlustsuche_pi2[gid]=cdd41551327a2a46b13f734587584d22)

Christine

Source of the card http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,307688738,var,Quesnoy-sur-Deule--Quesnoy--Friedhof-Cimetiere--Soldatenfriedhof-1916,language,E.html
The front is only partlyshown here, since it was marked at delcampe (usually I do not use such cards, but I made an exception here).

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“Trench, 12.5.15

Dear Christine
The warmest greeting from the trench, where everything is still going quite well, sends
you your brother
Fritz”

„Im Schützengraben 12.5.15.
Liebe Christine
Die herzlichsten Grüße
Aus dem Schützengraben
Wo bis [?] noch alles
recht gut geht sendet
Dir dein Bruder
Fritz“

Friedrich Schwalm from Gersdorf (LIR 83, 12 Komp), was wounded the same year (1915) and died in a hospital in Germany (Speyer).

http://des.genealogy.net/search/show/55800

Christine

Source of the card
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,262703273,var,TERMES-CIMETIERE-ALLEMAND-CARTE-ALLEMANDE,language,E.html

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“26.4.17

Dear brother,
Tell you that I am still all right, what I also hope for you. This is a picture of our cemetery. It is in the same forest where I am accommodated. There is no other news. Marie Blaess [?] also writes almost every day. Best regards and kisses [???]
Your brother Alfons”

„26.4.17
Lieber Bruder,
Teile dir mit dass es bei mir
noch recht gut geht was ich von dir
auch noch hoffe. Das ist ein Bild von
unserem Friedhof. Im selben Wald bin
ich auch einlogiert [?]. Sonstige Neuig-
keiten gibt es hier keine. Marie
Blaess [?] schreibt auch bald jeden Tag.
Besten Gruß und Kuss [???] Dein
Bruder Alfons [?]“

Christine

Source of the card
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,360791786,var,CIMETIERE-ALLEMAND-A-LEST-EHRENHAIN-RJR-227--Avril-1917,language,E.html

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A „Christmas card“ from Kobryn (today in Belarus)
Unfortunately I cannot read it all, I hope I got most of the content right.
Any adds/corrections of content are welcome.

"Kobryn, 17.12.16
Dear wife and children!
At the moment I am sitting in the soldiers’ rest centre [is that the right translation of Soldatenheim?], drinking a glass of punch = 15 Pfg. [Pfennig] and think of you my dears. Hope that you are still well what - thanks God - is still the case with me. Otherwise I actually have no news. Here it’s getting dark already at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
Sender: Uffz. Schmoll […]”

Front side:
“Here rest our heroes forever. That’s how it is [???]. How are you dear wife and Luise, Alfred and Fritz. Hope well. I feel also […]. See you. Enjoy the holidays and a good start into the New Year. Do not forget the prayers.
1000 greetings and kisses sends to you from very far away
Your father Christian"

„Kobryn, 17.12.16

Liebe Frau und Kinder!
Sitze gerade im Soldatenheim,
trinke ein Glas Punsch = 15 Pfg.
u. denke … an Euch
meine Lieben. Hoffe zugleich
dass es Euch gut geht was
gottlob bei mir noch der Fall
ist. Weiter weiß ich eigent-
lich nichts Neues. Um 3 Uhr mit-
tags wird es hier schon dunkel.
Abs.:
Uffz. Schmoll …..

Vorderseite:
Hier ruhen Sie unsere Helden auf ewig.
Wie es halt ist [???]. Wie geht es dir lieber
Frau und Luise, Alfred u. Fritz. Hoffe gut. Mir geht es
auch [???] . Auf Wiedersehen. Lasst es Euch
gut gehen über die Feiertage und singt … Neujahr
gut an. Das Beten nicht vergessen.
1000 Grüße und Küsse sendet
aus sehr weiter fern
Euer Vater Christian“

Christine

Source of the card: http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,360385614,var,KOBRYN--DEUTSCHER-SOLDATENFRIEDHOF-KOBRYN--Tampon-DEUTSCHES-SOLDATENHEIM-KOBRYN--Decembre-1916,language,E.html

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„7.1.16
Dear daughter,
I send you here a view of our cemetery, it has been created by comrades, and it is beautiful, isn’t it.
Best wishes to you and mother and … from your father. Farewell. See you again.”

„7.1.16
Liebe Tochter
sende dir hier die Ansicht von
unserem Friedhof ist von Ka-
meraden angelegt worden
und auch schön nicht wahr
… … die Mutter u. ?
… herzlichst gegrüßt von deinem
Vater Lebt wohl Auf Wiedersehen“

Christine

Source of the card:
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,349847965,var,CANNECTANCOURT--CIMETIERE-ALLEMAND--CARTE-ALLEMANDE-DESSINEE,language,E.html

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Very interesting scenes.

Kath.

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Thank you Kath!

I was interested in why one would send a view from a cemetery from a war zone back home. This is why I am struggling with the texts. It takes me often ages to read and still I do not succeed with all the words. However, I realise that a cemetery must have been a quite common postcard motif to send home for German soldiers during war times. I am really no expert in this, but propaganda (which is not really understandable for me – my context is so different) must have played a certain role in this (why provide these cards). But this and the glorification of a hero’s death is only one side, I think.

The texts imply that soldiers use these cards for many different reasons – and these are not always connected with the scene seen. These cards are used, sometimes because no other type of card was available, or it was such a usual scene one would not even comment about it. Nothing unusual to send a card with a cemetery just to say I am in France and I am still fine. Others try to send a picture form the place there are (and the cemetery is the only available one?). So the background is described or stated that the writer is in the same location. And then there are the cards, where the writer actually comments the cemetery, as being the cemetery of a unit or in rare cases naming a known, who is buried there. With some cards, I think, the writer wants indirectly express the danger of death, in others I cannot see it (but that does not mean it is not intended).

Anyway, my impression is that the popularity of these cards decrease over the years. More from 1915 &1916 less in 1918.

Christine

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