The Great War through Picture Postcards
During World War I, the picture postcard was the most important means of communication for the soldiers in the field and their loved ones at home, with an estimated 30 billion of them sent between 1914 and 1918. A postcard from home offered the soldier in the trenches a short escape from their daily hell, while receiving a postcard from a man on the frontline was literally a sign of life. These postcards create a vivid record of life at home and abroad during the Great War, both from the messages they carried and the pictures on the cards themselves.
The depiction of the war on the contemporary postcards is extremely diverse:
The ways in which the postcards depict the war differs greatly; from simple enthusiasm, patriotism and propaganda to humor, satire and bitter hatred. Others portray the wishes and dreams (nostalgia, homesickness and pin-ups) of the soldiers, the technological developments of the armies, not to mention the daily life and death on the battlefield, including the horrific reality of piles of bodies and mass-graves.
Altogether, this extraordinarily vivid contemporary record of the Great War offers a unique and detailed insight in the minds and mentality of the soldiers and their families who lived and died in the war to end all wars.