Featured this week are century old, hand-painted postcards from World War I sent home in 1915 and 1916 by a 23-year old German soldier named Otto Schubert. The postcards are part of an exhibition entitled “Postcards from the Trenches: German and American Soldiers Visualize the Great War” that is on exhibit now in Washington, DC at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery through September 27. The postcards illustrate the personal tragedies and horrors of German and American soldiers on both sides of No Man’s Land.
Next, the exhibit travels to The Printing Museum in Houston, Texas, showing from October 23 — February 14, 2015. This exhibit is the collaboration of Dr. Irene Guenther of The Honors College at The University of Houston, and Dr. Marion Deshmukh of George Mason University in Washington, DC.
November 18, 1915
My dear Irma, 1000 greetings, your Otto. Many greetings to your family, most of all to your brother.
November 25, 1915
Dear Irma, for two days no news from you. Hopefully my greeting card will find you in perfect mood and health. How long will it take? This evening received your letter.
(Continued on front)
The wonderful Christmas celebration will soon be here. I hope it will bring much joy to all of you at home. Now the second Christmas at the front, I don’t want to think about it. When I remember how wonderful the winter semester was at the academy I could go crazy. May life be good to you, am sending 1000 heartfelt wishes, your Otto.
December 1, 1915
A thousand greetings, Otto
December 15, 1915
Small Village in France
Dear Irma, many thousands of greetings, your Otto. Please write me often. Have not had a letter from you in a long time. I also sent a card to your brother. I am quite tired of life [unclear]
December 23, 1915
The Best Time of the Day
Dear Irma, the mail has been delivered. Good cigars. A letter. But in the newspaper there is nothing about peace?! 1000 greetings, your Otto.
January 14, 1916
[ text is unclear ]
January 16, 1916
The Enemy Position at Dawn
Dear Irma, don’t yet have the package from Miss Hansen. Newspaper came today. Many greetings to your parents, sister. Brother too.
January 24, 1916
Evening Mood at the Front
Dear Irma, I hope [unclear] my card. I was so happy to hear from Hedwig. Thanks for your dear package which I received at Christmas. [Rest unclear] Otto
February 15, 1916
Small Town Railroad Station
Dear Irma, many greetings, your Otto.
February 22, 1916
Sunday Evening in a Village in the Ardennes
Dear Irma, many heartfelt thanks and greetings, your Otto. Have had no mail from you for days.
March 8, 1916
Building a Trench
Dear Irma, 1000 greetings, your Otto. [Unclear]
March 11, 1916
Horses Under Shrapnel Fire
Dear Irma, heartfelt greetings. Your Otto
March 14, 1916
Small Village at the Front
Dear Irma, [unclear] greetings
March 25, 1916
Wounded Men at Collection[?] Point
Greetings, your Otto
April 1, 1916
Argonne. Captured French
Dear Irma, a thousand heartfelt greetings from the hot West, your Otto. Better weather for operations.
April 2, 1916
Evening Sun in the Ardennes
Please a letter. Newspapers boring. All is going well, your Otto. Greet Hedwig.
Adam H. Levy
Nick Sowers +
Adam H. Levy
Nick Sowers +
Postcards from the Trenches
John Foster and his wife, Teenuh, have been longtime collectors of self-taught art and vernacular photography. Their collection of anonymous, found snapshots has toured the country for five years and has been featured in Harper’s, Newsweek Online and others.