This pencil drawing is entitled ‘straszenkampf’, street fight. It is by a student probably named Villefort and depicts a village street scene. Two groups of soldiers are facing each other. On the left-hand side of the picture two people are in hiding. They are both directing their guns at others. Someone crouches in the foreground and appears to be wearing Montenegrin clothing, maybe even a skirt. In the middle two soldiers forcefully enter a house. The soldier in front of them has been shot. On the right-hand side, a soldier points his rifle at the people in hiding. In addition to the title, the name of the school and the student, there is a teacher’s stamp with the comment ‘Seen!’. The picture is possibly describing the attack of Austrian troops on the Kingdom of Montenegro in 1916.
In addition to posters, leaflets, postcards, newspapers and many other documents concerning the war, school essays and children’s drawings were also collected and sent to the Imperial Library in Vienna. The drawings reflect the influence of war propaganda on children, and pupils were probably told to draw their impressions of the war as part of a lesson. Because of the contemporary news coverage and narratives, the pictures are impressively imaginative. This drawing comes from the Franz Josef Secondary Vocational School in Graz, Styria.
- Article by:
- Stacy Gillis, Emma Short
Drs Stacy Gillis and Emma Short draw on surviving schoolwork and propaganda to explore how World War One affected all aspects of children’s lives.
- Article by:
- Ian Cooke
Curator Ian Cooke discusses the ways in which propaganda influenced children’s perceptions of World War One, encouraging them to develop particular values and to contribute to the war effort.