"Trench Papers" (Feldzeitungen) from the 1st World War – online

Title"Trench Papers" (Feldzeitungen) from the 1st World War – online
Publication TypeWebsite
AuthorsHeidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek
Place PublishedHeidelberg

The first "trench papers" developed mostly on the initiative of soldiers without official control. They started as self-written poetry, jokes and satires, written on slips of paper which were simply hung up somewhere. A little later, duplicated papers appeared in small batches, which, at just a few pennies, found a ready market. The papers provided a diversion from the often monotonous everyday life at the front and were at the same time a forum for the worries and needs of the simple soldiers; longing for home, shortage of supplies and unfair treatment by superiors. With the introduction of the Feldpressestelle (Field Press Office) in the spring of 1916, the army command obtained complete access to the field papers. They heavily censored the publications and produced their own articles for printing. Because the ordinary soldiers had few sources to get a clear picture of the political circumstances and the situation at home, these army newspapers provided an ideal instrument for controlling opinion. The University Library Heidelberg, with the help of the regional archive administration of Baden-Württemberg, has digitalised and recorded on microfilm 19 trench papers from the First World War. To provide interested readers with online holdings that are as complete as possible, the existing gaps in the print stock were filled by digitalising copies from other libraries. 

Entry by GWC Assistants / Work by GWC Assistants : 

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