494 images of Germany just before World War I - part 2

Friday, May 06, 2016

During the early 1900s a French journalist named Jules Huret spent a number of years in Germany, and published two books in 1912 and 1913 based on his reports sent back to Le Figaro. The way he described being in the country is so riveting that you almost feel as if you are there with him, seeing Germany as it was during the very last moments of Europe's long period of peace. As the book is in French I translated one third of Huret's books and published it on Lulu Press, and hope to do the remainder when I have the opportunity.

What also makes the books interesting however is the large number of photographs, very rare for a book this old. The two have some 500 photographs in total, and are all captioned. I have gathered them together here and translated the captions, sometimes haphazardly because it really is a *lot* of content.

If you can read French you can read the original books here, and here.

Part 3 continues here.

Krupp. -- In the central hall of the vast and beautiful plant of Rheinhausen, 480 metres long, mechanical workshops are installed.

Krupp. -- The steel plates of medium thickness are hacked and cut quickly thanks to these powerful hydraulic shears.

Krupp. -- The Martin workshop where trimming and removal of cast wheels are performed. Besides cannons, at Krupp are also made locomotive wheels, rail wheels, axles, boilers, and more.

Krupp. -- The Fritz drop-hammer. Shaping a block of steel with the hammer is a very delicate operation. It requires high precision, minute attention, and a real unity of movement.

The smile of the Kauser. -- As much as the Kaiser keeps a straight or severe face in the exercise of his sovereign function, he is just as friendly, affable and cheerful in privacy.

Left: Little Fritz on the knees of Wilhelm I. On the side is his uncle and great-uncle. Right: Little Fritz cradled by his mother, princess Victoria, sister of Edward VII.

Left: Little Fritz presents his first wooden horse. Right: Little Fritz at ten years, according to tradition, receiving the rank of lieutenant of the guard.

The marriage of Wilhelm II. - Prince Frederick Wilhelm married Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein on 27 February 1881. From this marriage of love were born seven children.

Left: Family of soldiers. - The sons of William II took the uniform early. Right: Private life. - The Emperor, the Empress and their three eldest sons.

The Kaiser in the fields. - Having dropped the imperial pomp, Guillaume II quickly loses his magnificent presence and martial bearing.

Left: The common look (Beijing) does not favour the Emperor. Right: Wilhelm II as the prophet Daniel over the gate of the cathedral of Metz.

In Nemrod visiting the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Hunting is a favorite distraction of Wilhelm II.

The yachtsman. - Wilhelm II an avid amateur yachtsman and almost every year his yacht Hohenzollern takes part in the regattas of Cowes and Kiel.

Left: Wilhelm II in Spanish general uniform. Middle: Wilhelm II in Russian infantry colonel uniform. Right: Wilhelm II in royal 1st English dragoon uniform.

Left: Wilhelm II in Danish admiral uniform. Middle: Wilhelm II in Austrian general uniform. Right: Wilhelm II in Hungarian Hussard Colonel uniform.

Left: Wilhelm II in bodyguard uniform. Right: Wilhelm II in white cuirassier uniform.

Left: Wilhelm II in Uhlan uniform. Right: Wilhelm II in regiment guard uniform.

Left: Wilhelm II en dragoon uniform. Middle: Wilhelm II as a general. Right: Wilhelm II dressed as a chasseur of the guard.

Left: Wilhelm II in field marshal uniform. Middle: Wilhelm II in admiral uniform. Right: Wilhelm II in uniform of the guard.

The Master and Pupil at the property of Bismarck in Varzin. The Prince Bismarck to whom the German Empire owes its restoration and the young Crown Prince Wilhelm, who perfected the structure.

At the Reichstag. - The parliamentary system in Germany is a fiction rather than a reality and the Reichstag must, willingly or unwillingly, carry out the will of the Kaiser.

The most recent photograph of the Kaiser and the Empress at the opening of the Great Exhibition in Berlin, during the homage given by the Minister of Public Instruction.

The Kaiserin (empress), more attached to her duty as a wife and mother than the court ceremonies, has won the favor of the German people by her kindness and simplicity.

Left: Prince Eitel, second son of the Kaiser. Middle: Princess Victoria, the Kaiser's only daughter. Right: Prince Oskar, the Kaiser's fifth son.

Left: Prince August, fourth son of the Kaiser. Middle: Prince Joachim, sixth son of the Kaiser. Right: Prince Adalbert, the Kaiser's third son.

The crown prince, born in 1882, married the princess Cecille of Mecklembourg. He seems to be the hope of the military and warrior party, and holds vast ambitions.

The marriage of Princess Victoria Louise with the Duke of Cumberland sealed the reconciliation of the House of Hanover with the Hohenzollern, who had stripped it of its estates.

Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen, elder sister of the Kaiser, is the enfant terrible of the family. Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of the Kaiser, is a universal sportsman.

The "Dom" of Cologne is wonderful, as said by our Victor Hugo, for the order of its plan, the boldness of its vaulted ceiling and the impetuous development of its towers, and its grandiose beauty.

The proportions of the "Dom" are magnificent: the nave is 144 meters long, 61 meters wide and 45 meters high and with the two perforated arrows it reaches 157 meters.

The great gate, very beautiful in itself, remains nonetheless crushed by the rest, out of proportion with the building.

The Gothic nave is always moving. But imagination and thought is always confounded by its gigantic elevation, the infinite perspective of chapels and its apse.

The stone forest which rises from all sides in festoons, in point lace, filigree, blossoms, and pinnacles, moves, fascinates and strikes the visitor with ecstasy.

The Rathaus brings to the square a German Renaissance loggia that served once for speeches and public oaths.

The stained glass windows. -- Sifted through the ancient windows of yellow gold, white, opel and ruby-red, the rays of the sun project into the nave a light of mystery and contemplation.

The old houses rest here and there in Cologne, awkwardly supporting the weight of centuries, but precious as shrines where glorious memories are housed.

Ancient Cologne. -- The Bell Gate (left), the White Tower (right).

Ancient Cologne. -- The tower of Saint Mark (left), and the house of masons.

Over the Heumarkt (hay market) stands the equestrian statue of Frederick-Wilhelm III, almost in the shadow of this cathedral of which he was the first restorer.

The bridge on the Rhine -- The Rhine Bridge above and the Hohenzollern Bridge below are among the most beautiful and imposing that modern German industry has thrown on the great German river.

On the Sachenring. -- The "Ring" of Cologne is the ring flowered with trees and charming villas nestled in the countryside, which has replaced the forbidding belt of the ramparts.

The old market. -- Cologne has several well-stocked markets. But by its centuries-old tradition it also has maintained its old market, the Altmarkt.

The Cologne Carnaval, the only truly lively one remaining along with the one in Nice. Twenty-five carnival companies present the most fantastic antics there.

A procession in Cologne. -- Cologne is Germany's largest Catholic city and the authorities take part in these grandiose religious events.

The house of Ricmode of Adur, famous for the legend where horses climbed the stairs to look out the window.

On the quays along the Rhine ancient houses and their tranquil countenance contrast strangely with the feverish activity of the modern port.

Hochstrasse, the main street in Cologne, at the entrance of which the Stollwerck home is located.

Düsseldorf. -- The Path of Whispers in the Hogarden of Düsseldorf, which is in the afternoon the place par excellence for a get-together.

Düsseldorf has a splendid municipal park. In the middle of this industrial region, it is also, with its parks and ponds, a veritable oasis.

Saint Roch Church is one of the most beautiful Roman-style monuments in the city.

The Malkasten. -- This...tasteful monument houses the Circle of Artists in Düsseldorf.

The Port of Düsseldorf, viewed from above from a Zeppelin, for which the city has committed a very large expenditude. Why? Because Cologne has done the same for its own. As soon as Cologne finds something new to do, Düsseldorf tries to do it better.

The expo fairgrounds in Düsseldorf. -- The exhibition in connection with its creation brought the Emperor to Düsseldorf, where he had never been since the distrace of Bismarck, the god of the Düsseldorfers.

The French village of Friedrichsdorf was founded in 1687 by French Protestants. Among their descendants is Mr. GUstave Rousselet (in the centre), who does not have a drop of German blood in his veins.

The hat factory was founded in 1687 by Daniel Rousselet, a French refugee in Germany after the revocation of the edict of Nantes. Above one sees the mechanical press, the manual press below.

The hats pass through the a preparation press, then are fitted (above), followed by the hydraulic press and finally are trimmed by the women.

At Hoechst one makes pharmaceutical products, among them antipyrine by Kuorr. Above one sees the bottles of products; below, the tablets of pyramidon.

The welding of bulbs of serum is done each day in the thousands.

One of the many laboratories of the house of Cassella in Mainkur, united in a cartel with the plant of Hoechst.

The French village has Mr. Hahn as its pastor (above on the left), of Swiss origin like all his precedessors.

The oldest house in the village.

The few French here above have really conserved the type of our race in spite of interbreeding, and the main street of the village with its church does not differ in appearance from those of our towns.

At the chemical products factory of Hoechst (close to Frankfurt) one finds a bacteriological station and a production line of serums. Above one sees the bottling of serum, and below, the packaging of the bottles.

At Hoechst, when powdered materials are being put into barrels, workers are protected by the dust by a circulation of air.

The transport of rust by a moving magnet.

The bacteriological station at Hoechst contains a barn for laboratory animals.

An ophthalmic reaction is done on an ox.

At Hoechst. A pig is subject to a hypodermic vaccination.

Bloodletting treatment being performed on a horse

Hanover has very nice Renaissance houses and one of the most beautiful, now converted into a museum, is that of Leibnitz, whose facade is richly decorated with sculptures.

Elberfeld. -- The raised railroad requires a particular method of inspection, where the monitor travels along the lign, sitting on a velocipede.

Hanover -- One arrives at the castle of Herrenhausen by an avenue of lime trees two kilometres long, entering a park designed in the manner of France's Le Nôtre.

Hanover -- The old City Hall, glazed and all in coloured brick, is of an attractive and cheerful gothic style.

Hanover -- The old houses sleeping on the banks of the Leine river.

Hanover. -- The provincial museum, constructed in a Renaissance style, contains the interesting gallery of Cumberland and the Museum of Guelph.

Hanover. -- The fountain of Hansel and Gretel, brother and sister of France's Petit Poucet.

Hanover -- This tomb, respected by man, has been bizarrely violated by nature.

Hanover -- The imposing Guelph Castle has been transformed into a high school of technical studies.

Hanover. -- The Georgstrasse, the large modern shopping street.

Barmen. -- A suspended electric railway connects Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel. Enormous iron arches 20 metres in length are raised on each side, placing their feet on each side of the river. And under the metallic structure the cars go at full speed, with the rails above them. The total length is 13 kilometres and it cost 12 million.

Schessel, in the province of Hanover, has kept many of its traditions. Village weddings there are still celebrated in the pictoresque style of yesteryear in a ceremony bequeathed by its ancestors.

Hildesheim is a small German city as curious as Nuremberg, being constructed entirely of wood. The Rathaus is one of the few rare stone buildings that can be found in the city.

Hildesheim. -- The house of the Roman Emperors presents 43 images on its front of Roman emperors, sculpted of wood and of natural grandeur. On the right is a beautiful covered balcony, Erker, the ancestor of the French "bow window".

Hildesheim. -- With its wooden houses, scaffolding of its roofs and gables, its calm and old-fashioned silhouettes, Saint Andreas Place (Andreasplatz) brings us several centuries back in time.

Hildesheim. -- In order to enter Andreasplatz the streets have been paved in a tortuous and dark path through the houses, under the arches with powerful beams.

Liebknecht is one of the most active orators of the German Social Democrats; it was he who, by his revelations to the Reichstag tribunal, stirred up the well-known Krupp scandal.

The leaders of German Social Democracy. On top to the left is Kautsky the famous theoretician, to the right Dr. Vollert. Below on the left is Liebknecht, at his right is Bebel, the old leader, who has recently passed away.

Thyssen (first on the right) shares the running of the Coal Union with Kirdof, Haniel, Krablet and Stinnes (from right to left), the strongest German cartel along with the Steel Union.

The strike. -- Factory workers await the return of delegates sent to their bosses with their demands they hope to achieve.

The Rheinische Stahlwerke (Rhein Steelworks) in Duisburg-Meiderich is one of the most important in the basin. Its coal and mineral mines give the primary materials necessary for its industry. It has a metalurgical factory at Duisburg-Meiderich, a sheet metal rolling mill at Duisburg, a coal factory at Wattenscheid...it has five furnaces capable of producing 1400 to 1500 tons of pig iron per day.

The port of Ruhrort, a coal warehouse in the Ruhr valley, occupies a water area of more than 80 hectares.

The movement that takes place at the port of Duisburg-Ruhrort added to that of other small private ports exceeds that of Hamburg.

Social democracy is a powerfully established and directed organization. One has an idea of its power if we consider that it is a group of more than 2.5 million adherents.

Arrests take place with a certain vigor. Besides this, the police are not just to content to keep order in the streets; they also closely monitor simple union gatherings.

Ehrhardt Factory in Düsseldorf. -- The scribing of a cannon barrel requires just two or three hours of automatic work by a calibrated machine.

Ehrhardt is a serious competitor of Krupp and its manufacturing process has been combined with that of Krupp for the manufacture of canons for the German army.

Ehrhardt. -- Before entering into service, shrapnel envelopes are verified by the women and then cleaned and rubbed by them.

The Ehrhardt plans also produces guns and ammunition: rupture shells, breaking shells, melinite shells, shrapnel and infantry projectiles.

Altenhof is one of the working cities created by Krupp to provide its staff with comfortable, low rent housing.

Altenhof. -- A maisonette arranged for two widows.

Altenhof. -- A maisonette for one family.

At Friedrichshof the maisonettes of varied architecture are charming and cheerful, and they are separated by squares between them, where children can play under easy surveillance.

A student. - The member of the council of a "Corps" wear the "Cerevis", a kind of polo embroidered with gold, a gaudy jacket, scarf, white pants, very high boots, gauntlets and a long sword.

Saluting the Crown Prince. - The corps of students have an official relationship with the authorities. In university towns, they yield to the teachers, but come before the officers.

Gerard Hauptmann, seen here seated to the left of a lady, is the president of the students. He is currently the greatest writer in Germany.

A student room. - The rooms of German students of Goettingen resemble ordinary room of the Latin Quarter, but are generally better kept.

Corporate houses. - Every corporation has a "Kneipesaal" room where one drinks, and which also serves as a room for conversation, reading, and cabaret.

A prison is located on the third floor of the "Aula". Students who failed in an academic discipline are enclosed there. Bismarck got to know the dungeon as well for having had a pistol fight.

The prison consists of four small rooms arranged in cells.

Cell. - The walls are covered with colorful drawings, a pastime of the prisoners.

A march. - The ideal of the students: to resemble the officer, to not reveal oneself only in uniform and with the rapier.

A procession. - Every "Corps" and each "Burschenschaft" has its flag with emblems, colors and its special ribbons.

A religious service. - Some students attend religious services in public bodies and all these demonstrations show how seriously they take them.

Borussia counted among its members every son of the Emperor and the Emperor himself. The election of new members is also subject to the approval of William II.

Duels. - The sword lesson. - Each afternoon, students go to the armory and train in the sword and saber.

A duel. - Preparations. - Being just about slashing the other, the opponents wear a padded tie, leather bands, an armband, a breastplate, a leather apron and goggles.

The meeting. - In principle, the duel consists of sixty rounds of three blows. If before the end too serious injuries are received, the fighting stops on the intervention of the "second" of his client away from combat.

A duel. - The dressing. - The duel stopped, the surgeon goes over the edges of the wound with antiseptic and using a sharp tapestry needle deftly sews the gaping gashes together.

The stitches are done coarsely, making the scars clearly visible.

The scars are decorations and trophies, making one worthy of being loved as a hero.

The night parties do not go on without remaining seated for long hours in front of glasses constantly emptied and filled. For every self-respecting German, there can not be a party without beer.

Teachers have kept their traditional costume in ceremonies. It gives a lot of importance that fits well with the reputation enjoyed in Germany as a "Herr Professor".

A new rector. - The ceremony in which the outgoing Rector places his big red coat on the new Rector is of a very impressive character.

Corporate houses. - The "Body" is composed of all homeowners where they meet every day. These buildings can be more or less elegant, depending on the fortunes of the members.


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