The Great War of the Postcards

Postcards and the Great War

  • Johann Strauss University of Strasbourg
Keywords: World War I, Ottoman Empire, Picture postcards, Orientalism, photography


This article examines the functions and the significance of picture postcards during World War I, with particular reference to the war in the Ottoman Lands and the Balkans, or involving the Turkish Army in Galicia. After the principal types of Kriegspostkarten – sentimental, humorous, propaganda, and artistic postcards (Künstlerpostkarten) – have been presented, the different theatres of war (Balkans, Galicia, Middle East) and their characteristic features as they are reflected on postcards are dealt with. The piece also includes aspects such as the influence of Orientalism, the problem of fake views, and the significance and the impact of photographic postcards, portraits, and photo cards. The role of postcards in book illustrations is demonstrated using a typical example (F. C. Endres, Die Türkei (1916)). The specific features of a collection of postcards left by a German soldier who served in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq during World War I will be presented at the end of this article.


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Author Biography

Johann Strauss, University of Strasbourg

Johann Strauss taught at the Turkish Department of the University of Strasbourg between 1997 and 2018, when he retired.

How to Cite
Strauss, J. (2021). The Great War of the Postcards: Postcards and the Great War. Archiv orientální, 88(3), 523–566.