Second Christmas at the front - 1915

St Nicholas carries presents through the snow, assisted by angels to a front line German trench. Surprised soldiers awake from their dugouts under a shower of fruit and other delicacies.

Christian Stauß contributed this fascinating Christmas postcard to the archive at the Munich public participation day, 6 April 2011. It is just one item in a collection of postal material that includes Red Cross fund-raising cards, cartoons and front-line scenes, such as a postcard with soldiers sitting under their Christmas tree and their presents in the Vosges Mountains 1915.

The first card was sent back to Munich on 26 December 1915 by an officer of the flying unit of the 6th Army. The card was designed by Hermann Vogel, and dedicated by the 'Bavarian field press' to the 'Comrades of the 6th Army'. The 6th army was under command of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and consisted to a large part of Bavarian troops. A peculiarly Bavarian feature is the heraldic lion in the shield to the bottom left of the image, which has also been modified by the artist to wear a pickelhaube and carry a trench knife.

(Text by Dr Stephen Bull)

You can find other Christmas greetings by searching the archive for "Weihnacht".

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