This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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Auf Urlaub — On Leave

11 September 2020

"Auf Urlaub"

"Der Heimat entgegen"

Landsturmmann Feldwebel Krause
Fährt auf Urlaub heut' nach Hause;

Leichten Sinns mit frohem Blicke

Winkt noch einmal er zurüche

Nach den Gräben zu den biedern,

Braven, treuen Kamfesbrüdern.

Ja, der Heimat geht's entgegen,

Schönster Weg von allen Wegen!

Rascher nie das Herz ihm schlug ....

Krause, flink, schon pfeift der Zug.

"On Leave"
"Towards Home"

Landsturmmann Sergeant Krause
Goes home on vacation today;

A light mind with a happy look

He waves back again

At the trenches to the honest,

Good, loyal brothers of the war.

Yes, he goes toward the homeland

Most beautiful pathway of all journeys!

His heart never beat faster ...

Krause, quick, the train is already whistling.

"Erzählung von Kriegserlebnisse"

Alles lauscht den Kriegsgeschichten,
Die Held  Krause kann berichten,
Lauscht voll Spannung und verwundert,
Wie mit wen'gen Mann fast hundert
Timmies er 'mal überraschte,
Als die Band' grad' Pudding naschte.
Ja,der Pudding war vorzüglich!
Krause schnalzt und lacht vergnüglich;
Alle lachen mit ergötzt, -
Nur das Fräulein ist entsetzt..

"Tales of war experiences"

Everyone listens to the war stories
That the hero Krause can tell,
Listening full of suspense and wonder,
As with only a few men, almost a hundred
Tommies he once surprised
While the soldiers were nibbling on their pudding.
Yes, the pudding was excellent!
Krause clucks and laughs happily;
Everyone  laughs with delight,
Only the young lady is appalled.

"Stürmische Begrüßung"

Horch der Zug! - Mit Donnerschalle
Fährt er brausend in die Halle,
Wo des Vaters der Familie
Harrt schon sehnend Frau Ottile.
Krause nacht im Sturmesschritte,
Packt gleich Muttern um die Mitte
Herzlich, wie noch nie im Leben;
Bang die Kleinen zetern, beben.
Fritze nur, der kouragiert,
Stolz die Fahne präsentiert.

Stormy greeting

Listen to the train! - With a thunderclap
It drives roaring into the hall,
Where Frau Ottile waits longingly
for the father of the family.
Krause like a storm with hurrying steps,
Embraces Mother around the middle
Heartily, like never before in life;
Fearfully the little ones moan, and tremble.
Only Fritze has the courage to
Proudly present the flag.

"Gesegnete Mahlzeit".

Welche Lust, wieder bei Muttern
Richtig, tüchtig 'mal zu futtern!
Doch bei solchen lecker'n Sachen
Muß man recht bequem sich's machen.
Krause läßt es wohl sich schmecken,
Gretchen sieht's mit wahrem Schrecken,
Nein, was solch Soldatenmagen
Alles, alles kann vertragen! -
"Papi, Dabel!" Lieschen sprcht,
Krausen stört das weiter nicht.

"Blessed meal"

What pleasure, properly back to mother
again, so good to eat well!
But with such delicious things
One must make yourself comfortable.
Krause enjoys it,
Gretchen sees it with real horror,
No,  soldiers' stomachs
Can take Anything! -
"Papi, Horse!" Lieschen speaks
Which doesn't bother Krausen.

"Endlich ein Bett"

Wohlig reckt und streckt die Glieder
Krause in 'nem Better wieder.
"Bett", du Wort voll Zauberklange,
"Bett", das man entbehrt so lange!
Aber wie im Unterstande,
Steht auch schon die Piep' im Brande.
Auf dem Boden liegen lose
Kunterbunt Schuh', Strumpf und Hose.
"Ordnung, segensreiche, du ..."
Krause schmaucht in Seelenruh'.

"Finally a bed"

Gently stretching and straightening his limbs
Krause is in a bed again.
"Bed", a word full of magic sounds,
"Bed", the thing one has been deprived for so long!
But as in the dugout
His pipe is already on fire.
Lying loose on the floor are
Motley shoes, stockings and pants.
"All right, blessed one, you ..."
Krause puffs away in peace.

"Im trauten Heim"

Heimaturlaubs erster Morgen!
Bei den Seinen wohlgeborgen,
Glückerfüllt genießet Krause
Ganz die Wonne des "zu Hause",
Doch die schönste Augenweide,
Vaters Stolz und Mutters Freude
Ist der Kriegsjung' in der Wiegen;
Schmunzelnd sieht ihn Krause liegen.
Ja, ein rechter Landsturmmann
Zeigt schon, was er leisten kann!

"In the sweet home"

First morning on home leave!
Safely with his own kin,
Krause savors his happiness
Delighting at being "at home",
But the most beautiful feast for the eyes
the Father's pride and mother's joy
Is the war baby in the cradle;
Krause watches him with a grin.
Yes, the real Landsturm man
already shows what he can do!

"Unter alten Freunden".

"Hurra Krause!"  Ohne Ende
Geht der Jubel, hoch die Hände
Eilen freudig ihm entgegen
Siene Kegelklub-Kollegen.
Krause dankt nicht minder herzlich,
Mancher fühlt es etwas schmerzlich, 
Spürt in allen seinen Gliedern
Diesen Händedruck, den biedern,
Und im Stillen denkt er sich:
"Armer Feind, du dauerst mich!"

"Among old friends".

"Hurrah Krause!" Without end
The cheers go up, hands are high
Rushing to greet him joyfully
His bowling club colleagues.
Krause thanks them no less heartily,
Some feel it a little painful,
Some feel it in all their limbs
From his handshake, though an honest one,
And silently they think:
"Poor enemy, if you hurt me!"

"Der Sonntagsausflug."

Sonntags, welch' "Pläsiervergnügen",
Mit Familie auszuf;iegen!
Schon früh morgens wandert Krause
Mit den Seinen aus der Klause,
Zu genießen auch im Urlaub
Heimatlüfte und -Naturlaub.
Arm in Arm, mit frohem Singen,
Fröhlich mit die Herzen schwingen -
Geht's ins Frühlingsland hinein ...
"... Vaterland, magst ruhig sein!"

"The Sunday outing."

Sundays, what a "pleasure of pleasure"
To go out with family!
Early in the morning Krause walks 
With his family out from his hermitage,
They will enjoy a vacation too
with nature's air and woods.
Arm in arm, with happy singing,
Happy with our hearts swinging -
Let's go into the spring land ...
"... Fatherland, may you be peaceful!"

This set of eight postcards was the work of a German artist, Carl Robert Arthur Thiele (1860–1936). From the 1900s to the 1920s, Thiele produced hundreds of postcards with a distinctive lighthearted humorous style. This series which tells the story of Feldwebel Krause's return to his home on leave, was published in about 1916-17 during the Great War. A Landsturmmann was a soldier in the German Reserve Army which consisted of older men who had finished compulsory military training but did not serve in the regular army units. Because of the nature of Germany's battle lines in WW1 on the Western and Eastern fronts, it was fairly common for many soldiers to get leave and return home. Judging from the large number of Thiel's "Auf Urlaub" postcards available today on postcard dealers' websites, this series was very popular during the war. Of course the reality of this terrible war for both soldiers and civilians was very different from Thiele's whimsical portrayal of his sergeant's home leave. But at the time, the cheery sentiment of yearning for home would have a universal appeal for soldiers and families on all sides of the war.

On the back of each postcard is a lengthy poem that describes the events in each picture. The titles printed on the front differ slightly from ones printed on the back, but seemed more appropriate to tell the story so I used those. I don't think the artist Arthur Thiele is the author of the poems. The last one is marked only with (K.E.W.). The translations from the German are my adaption using Google's translation app, but I would gratefully welcome any corrections.

Several of the postcards have no postmark, but were addressed to the same person, Fraulein Klementine Hahn(?) of Oettingen in Bayern (Bavaria) with written dates from 1917. These cards, I believe, were probably included in a letter written by a soldier to his sweetheart.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where passengers are advised
that the No. 16 train
departs from platform 5 
at 07:48.


Barbara Rogers said...

Love that there was that sentiment expressed in these "folk art" least that's how I term them, since they appeal to the common man/woman. It reminds me that many people at home didn't get much of the real news of the horrors of war, for differing reasons...perhaps until the peace had been declared, and all the surviving soldiers returned with their injuries

Kathy said...

Some of these cards made me chuckle, as I suppose was the intent. Not the grim reality of war, but a humorous distraction. The art is whimsical, yet realistic - conveys the characters and emotions so well.

Susan said...

Great illustrated postcards and the ditties that accompanied them.

ScotSue said...

Love these German postcards- their humour and the colourful artistry in capturing the characters. Thank you too for the English translations and the information on the artist which always adds interest.

La Nightingail said...

A great set of postcards featuring humorous art accompanied by a story likely seen over and over by officers and servicemen & women through the ages.


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