I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

German Publication Die Woche From December 5, 1914 With World War I Content

The World War I Centennial continues with a copy of a German publication titled Die Woche (The Week) from December 5, 1914.  It is filled with articles and photographs pertaining to the conflict.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Camp Holly Military Document From December 1814

The War Of 1812 Bicentennial continues with a document that turned 200 years of age this month.  The military document featured in this blog entry is from Camp Holly (also known as Camp Holly Springs).  It pertains to the Virginia Militia, and specifically mentions horses and the presence or absence of members of various ranks in Captain Andrew Stevenson Company Artillery 2nd (Second) Regiment.  The administrative details run from December 11 to December 20, 1814.  The name of Lieutenant Commander Ralph Allen can be seen on both sides of the document.

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UPDATE (December 31, 2014): I uploaded some close-up photographs and a video of the document ...

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The url for the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li7wplPorRU

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The 100th Anniversary Of The Christmas Truce During World War I

Merry Christmas to you!  It is Christmas Day, December 25, 2014 and this video concludes the Second Season of the Historic Soldiers Christmas Series.  The Christmas Truce during the First World War took place on this day one century ago and this episode of the Historic Soldiers Christmas Series focuses on the Truce from the perspective of the  British Army.  100 years ago, the British Troops and the German Troops put down their weapons and celebrated the Holiday in No Man's Land.  In honor of this Centennial, I have with me two pages from a British publication titled The Illustrated War News that report on this very, very special moment in human history.

The url for the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP6NnvTcneI

I pronounced estaminet incorrectly.  It is a French word and, unfortunately, I have forgotten statistically 100% of what I learned in the two years that I took French in the 1980s.  I looked up the pronunciation of the word during the editing of this video.

Here you see pages 42 and 43 of The Illustrated War News from its January 20, 1915 (Part 24) edition.  Similar to what we have today with post dating, this issue may have been on the shelves in December of 1914.

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The only part of the text that may be too blurry to read is "(Continued opposite)" in the bottom right corner:
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I am very glad to bring this to you.  I consider the Christmas Truce during World War I to be one of the most extraordinary and one of the most incredible events in human history.  I thank all of you for watching/reading and observing the Centennial of World War I.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

World War I German Feldpostkarte And Tannenbaum Artwork Made On Christmas Eve In 1914

It is December 24, 2014 and the Second Season of the Historic Soldiers Christmas Series continues.  Today the spotlight is on World War I and the German Army.  As many of you know, there was a Truce between the German Troops and the British Troops.  That Truce took place 100 years ago.  This is the Centennial of the Truce and this is the Centennial of the postcard featured in today's blog entry.  It was filled out by a German Soldier.  The front was blank so the sender could draw a picture and, as you can see, the sender did draw a picture.  The front features a Christmas Tree or, in German/Deutsch, Tannenbaum.

The url for the video above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWuf4R3vxJg

You can see the tree with the base, some ornaments and, at the top, a cross.

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There is a phrase surrounding the tree.  It is as follows ...

"Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf Erden"

That translates into "Glory to God in the Highest and Peace on Earth".

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The bottom is very difficult to translate.  I am going to do my best with it.

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I am really stumped at the formation of the words.  For example, the first letter in the first word appears to be a G.  Given what the word should be as it relates to the entire sentence, that capital letter should be an H.  What I think the first sentence is is "Herzlichen gruß und fröhliche wünsche".  What that means is "Heartfelt greetings and happy wishes".  The second word, gruß, has the double s at the end that looks like a capital B.  The third word looks like sind.  It would make no sense if it is sind though.

The next sentence I believe is Sendet und wünsche euch allen Reinhart.  What that means is "Sending and wishing all of you Reinhart".  Again, it is difficult because what I think is euch looks nothing like euch.  It looks like gung which is supply.  That makes no sense.  Plus, the h in Reinhart looks like a g.  Very puzzling indeed ...

Also, making the matter more difficult is what appears to be the letter s looking like an f (ſ).  This type was in use for centuries and had fallen out of use decades prior to the 1910s.  The next sentence is "Geschrieben am 24.12.1914" ... or Geſchrieben instead of Geschrieben.  That translates into "Written on the 24th of December 1914".  I cannot figure out that last word on the bottom left.

On the reverse we see "Feldpostkarte".  Feldpost was the German Military Mail and karte is card.

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At the top, the word "Handgemalt" was most likely written by someone years later ... a collector perhaps.  "Handgemalt" is "Hand painted" in English.  There is a light or faint stamp that likely represents the 6th Company Infantry Regiment Number 56 (6. Komy Inf. Regt. Nr. 56) in the old type script.  The postmark features 14, 24, 12, Feldpost and Inf Div (Infantry Division).

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Reinhart's last name is Kessler.  What amazes me is the fact that he wrote his last name as Keſsler.

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The first s looks like an f or a long s.  This is the most recent example of that that I have ever seen.  The United States Of America ceased using that type in the 1800s.  I find it incredible that he did this in 1914.

Unfortunately I am not able to decipher the rest of the writing.

Note: My Mother provided most of the translation for this while I handled the history and the context.  Much thanks to her.

This Christmas card was written exactly one century ago ... December 24, 1914.  I am elated to have what is such an extraordinary artifact from the First World War.  This is a very historically-significant item.  I thank all of you for watching and reading and observing the Centennial of World War I and, of course, observing the era when the Christmas Truce took place 100 years ago.  Thank you and Merry Christmas ... Danke schön and Fröhliche Weihnachten.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Evening Star Christmas Eve 1969 Edition With Vietnam War And U.S. Military News December 24, 1969

The Historic Soldiers Christmas Series continues with a spotlight on the United States Army in the Vietnam War.  In this video, I will show you a copy of The Evening Star newspaper from December 24, 1969.  This was filmed on December 23, 2014 ... one day shy of the paper's 45th anniversary.  The newspaper features stories pertaining to Vietnam, pertaining to the then President Richard Nixon, advertisements and holiday cheer.  There are a lot of historically-significant reports in this newspaper.  It was certainly a chaotic time.

The url for the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjSe-BI_z0I

Here are close-up photographs of the newspaper ...

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Monday, December 22, 2014

A World War II V-Mail By PFC: Private First Class Joseph J. Dohner Postmarked December 21, 1943

The 2014 season of the Historic Soldiers Christmas Series begins!  Shortly after I recorded this video, I lost internet access.  I bought a new computer so I am back.  I uploaded this as quickly as I could.  This was my intended description ...

Happy Holidays!  Today is December 21, 2014 and this video begins the 2014 season of the Historic Soldiers Christmas Series. This episode inaugurates my second year in the series and features the United States Army in World War II. Right now I have for you an example of a letter that a Soldier sent home to his mother. It is in the form of a V-Mail or Victory Mail. V-Mail allowed for a reduction in the shipping volume as far as bulk and weight. It was part of a process involving microfilm. The letters were photographed into microfilm for more efficient shipping, and then enlarged when they reached their respective destinations. Here we see PFC: Private First Class Joseph J. Dohner writing to his mother Mary on December 1, 1943. The envelope was postmarked on December 21, 1943 so today is the 71st anniversary of that postmark. A fine specimen from the Second World War that bestows Christmas Blessings ...

The url for the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6VJeX8YtNc

Here are close-up photographs of the V-Mail and the envelope ...

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Fourth Annual Krampuslauf Krampus Parade Was Held In Philadelphia, PA On December 13, 2014

The Fourth Annual Krampuslauf was held at Liberty Lands Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania yesterday, December 13, 2014.  The event is getting more popular.  A large squad of students helped me carry the items for the display that I made to the grounds so a big thank you to them and a big thank you to Janet for the assistance that she provided before and after the event.

It is very difficult to get good video footage and pictures in the darkness.  I did my best, and captured what I could.

This video features an introduction, some Krampus and Nikolaus memorabilia, the gathering prior to the Parade, part of the Parade itself, a fire dancer and the fire pit:

The url for the above video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_qUKE02gus

Here are the photographs.  First, some shots of the display that I put together (I brought a lot more with me compared to previous years including some woodwork from Germany and figurines of Nikolaus and Christkind by Playmobil) ...

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The grounds before and after the Krampus Parade ...

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I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

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