These humorous illustrations are of someone introduced as Gottlieb Schulze, a friendly, ordinary man. His first name means loves God, and Schulze is a common surname in Germany. He is a citizen soldier in the Landsturm, a third-class militia of non-professional fighters who were usually called to protect a territory. The Landsturm comprised educated young conscripts not yet in national service plus other men, who did not serve in the army due to age or bad health.
Nearly all men aged between 17 and 45 years old were automatically signed up to the Landsturm. Many were seriously injured or killed in service. Books such as these were made to encourage these men with positive stories about service, and to draw attention away from the risks. By doing this, many of the risks of war were downplayed and, as such, this is a haunting example of the belittlement of a soldier’s life. Ironically, sales from the book were given to Princess Sophie Charlotte’s relief fund for Landsturm soldiers, particularly for the ‘war-disabled’.
From his quarters, proud and free from concern soon, in field-grey, he will return