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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.

  photo ChristmasEve191401_zps1b7a66c5.jpg

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".

 photo ChristmasEve191402_zps5bbb61d4.jpg

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

  photo ChristmasEve191403_zpsf68807d3.jpg

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.

 photo ChristmasEve191404_zps9f496674.jpg

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).

 photo ChristmasEve191405_zps8a4dc54c.jpg

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

 photo ChristmasEve191406_zps6799e204.jpg

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.

 photo ChristmasEve191407_zps319f5e68.jpg

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