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Der Krieg, 1914-1916

The War, 1914-1916

Der Sturm (the attack)

Issued by: Hugo Bermühler Verlag, Berlin-Lichterfelde
Date of issue: 1915
No. in set: 12

The title already indicates that the album is somewhat unusual since the first world war lasted until 1918 (or 1919 depending on your point of view). A glance inside explains the title. The album was issued in 1915 at a time when things were looking good for the German army, and the author, Prof. Dr. Graf du Moulin-Eckart confidently expected the war to be over by 1916. The album was intended as an encouragement to the German army to finish the war quickly, and also to help the red cross who received one Mark from the five Mark selling price of each album. Yet curiously, rather than rousing patriotic pictures, the illustrations are decidedly anti-war. The album contains twelve large-sized (247mm x 170mm) pictures by Hans Baluschek showing the negative side of war. This includes pictures of frozen bodies on a snow-covered battle field, bodies lying around a destroyed church, a dead family lying outside its burning house, and red cross men collecting dead and wounded after a battle, as well as a picture of Christmas 1914 with a Christmas tree in the trenches and bodies hanging on barbed wire. The idea was apparently that the army would be encouraged to get the war over with as quickly as possible once it was aware of the negative side of it.

There are twelve pictures in the album. Pictures 6 and 7 have the titles stuck on them with small labels rather than printed on like the rest of the pictures, indicating that they were probably issued with the wrong titles originally and that these were subsequently corrected. Both show snow scenes, so this would have been quite possible. The album cover shows a picture of a bird sitting on a rock with the sun behind it. I can't make up my mind whether it's supposed to be an eagle or a vulture.

The cover of the special album for the series.

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