Black and white photograph depicting a group of German soldiers in front of the gates to a sports arena. The gate is labelled 'Sportplatz der A.A. Scheffer'. Armee-Abteilung Scheffer was a German temporary army group active from 1916 to 1917.
The photograph dates to World War I. Its provenance is unknown.
Description of Content
Soldiers in front of festooned archway to a sports arena (on the gate 'Sportplatz der A.A. Scheffer'). Many of the soldiers are wearing officers' uniforms, with peaked caps and swagger sticks. Some of the others visible wear white trousers and shorts, and white shoes - possible sportspeople.
Black and white photographic print - now sepia appearance. Photograph is printed off-centre on paper, with rough edges to printing. Corners of paper creased.
One of a group of photographs and postcards that document the experience of German soldiers during World War I. Although the group has no provenance (it was originally offered anonymously to the Australian War Memorial), the images show a human side to soldiers of the Central Powers. Pictures by or of World War I German soldiers are relatively rare in Australian museums. These are particularly significant as they were apparently taken by German soldiers, showing them engaged in everyday activities.
The images chronicle German soldiers’ wartime experience, from serving with Armeegruppe Schaffer in Romania up until the Romanian surrender in 1917. The group includes an image of a war-damaged French church/cathedral, probably taken after the Germans were moved from the Eastern to the Western front. Of particular interest is the image of celebrating German troops in Romania - documenting a victory that was to be short-lived for the Germans.
Further research - including translation of the German hand-written texts - will shed more light on the significance of these photographs and postcards.
Donation from Mr David Crotty - Museum Victoria, 30 Jun 2011
Other Association (See Comments)
Origin of soldiers depicted.
Photograph - Contact Print, 3½ in. x 4½ in.
Type of item
117 mm (Width), 87 mm (Height)