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
Von der Kammer, stolz, voll Glück kommt er feldgrau bald zurück
The picture book of the
Dedicated to the war-disabled Prussian
reservist by Princess Sophie Charlotte
and Prince Eitel Friedrich v. Preußen
Distributed by Hermann Hilliger publishing house, Berlin W9 and Leipzig
Das Bilderbuch vom
Dem kriegsbeschädigten Landsturm-
man gewidmet von Sophie Charlotte
Prinzessin Eitel Friedrich v. Preußen
Auslieferung durch Hermann Hilliger Verlag, Berlin W9 und Leipzig
He will sleep and of faraway mothers dream at leisure
Rise early and wash with pleasure.
Schläft und träumt von Muttern fern,
Steht früh aus und wäscht sich gern.
In the picture: Pearl barley today
Oh, how delicious the soup tastes!
Everything else on me is wasted
Im Bild: Heute Graupen
Oh, wie köstlich schmeckt die Suppe!
Alles andre ist nun schnuppe