HomeDocument of the Week“Hopefully the war will soon be over”

I remember well, when hundred thousands of protestors went onto the streets 25 years ago. The German involvement – if only financial – in the Gulf War was a monstrosity for many of us, who had been able to be raised in times of peace and prosperity. Wars, including German equipment, money or soldiers, have become almost normal since then, consequences of destruction and expulsion have become drastic worldwide. War news and war propaganda are difficult to distinguish today just as in the past. Therefore it is important to remember these mechanisms, to question official reports critically and to listen to the voices of involved individuals. Army postal service letters have found much attention by historical research within the last few years. Soldiers often speak a language very different from the one of the ones, for whose interests they have to fight. Like on this one hundred years old postcard from a Kurt Halbauer to his beloved Hilma Werner. While the card motif celebrates the loyal soldier’s love in the form of romantic chivalry, his words from out of the trench reflect his longing for peace:
“My dear Miss Hilma! … I can think about holidays even less now, because they are not supposed to be granted any longer, as the English seem to plan a breakthrough here. Well, hopefully the war will soon be over then and we can start out for our return to stay with our beloved. With kind regards and kisses I remain yours most faithfully Kurt Halbauer.”
Army Postal Service postcard from First World War (1916)


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