A Collection of Illustrated Postcards with a Colonial Theme
Images © Gary Kadau Collection

These illustrated postcards mostly date from the 1920s and show a variety of military colonial scenes. They were often printed to raise funds for former colonial soldiers ("Kolonial Krieger Spende" and "Kolonial Krieger Dank"). They also no doubt had the aim of raising public awareness of Germany's lost colonies in the hopes of their future reclamation. As such they tend to show the heroic and and beneficial side of the German colonists and the loyalty of their African soldiers.

East African Schutztruppe Askaris helping a wounded German comrade
Like all of the paintings by Fritz Grotemeyer shown here, the uniforms of the Schutztruppe in Africa are represented very accurately.
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

East African Schutztruppe Askaris with a mule team carrying a machine gun being watched over by a German officer
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

East African Schutztruppe Askaris pulling an artillery piece into position under the supervision of two German officers
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

East African Schutztruppe Askaris and German officers and NCOs fording a river with a telegraph wire
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

A German Doctor inoculating Children in East Africa
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

The 7th Camel Mounted Company of the South West African Schutztruppe Charging
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

A Company of the Cameroon Schutztruppe on the March
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

Uniforms of the German Colonial Forces
The uniforms of the Schutztruppe, Polizeitruppe and East Asian Occupation Brigade appear very accurate and are labelled in German
Illustration by Richard Knötel

An Infantryman, Sailor and Colonial Soldier
 shown with Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Iron Cross and Imperial Flags

The uniform of the Colonial soldier appears to be a confused mixture of Schutztruppe and East Asian issue
Illustration by Willy Stöwer

Another version of the same Theme
Again the artist seems vague as to the Colonial uniform worn
Illustration by Unknown Artist based on Willy Stöwer's work

The Defenders of Tsingtao
Again the artist seems vague as to the uniforms worn.
Unknown Artist

General von Lettow-Vorbeck and his loyal East African Askaris
The illustration of the General mounted shows him with his Pour-le-Mérite medal
which he only received after the First World War back in Germany.
Illustration by Fritz Grotemeyer

An East African Askari carrying the German national flag
Unknown Artist

The Graves of Schutztruppe Soldiers in South West Africa
Unknown Artist

Some of these postcards were painted by three renowned military and naval artists, Fritz Grotemeyer, Richard Knötel and Willy Stöwer.

Friedrich 'Fritz' Albert Theresa Grotemeyer (1864-1947) was born in Münster and studied art in Berlin from 1887 under Anton von Werner. He later worked under the patronage of Adolf von Menzel. During the First World War he painted on the Western and Ottoman Fronts. Many of his works still hang in the Café Grotemeyer, Salzstraße in Münster, still run by his family.

Richard Knötel (1857–1914) was born in Glogau (modern Głogów, Poland) and was taught to draw and paint from a young age by his father, August Knötel. He was already employed by the newspaper Illustrierte Zeitung before he attended the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts from 1880. He is most famous for his prolific military illustrations especially the massive Uniformenkunde showing the uniforms of European armies from the 17th century to 1914. After his death his work was continued by his son Herbert.

Willy Stöwer (1864–1931) was the son of a Pomeranian sea Captain and initially trained as a locksmith and later worked as a technician, illustrator and draftsman in the engineering offices of various German shipyards. He became famous for his naval paintings, showing various German naval vessels and events. Kaiser Wilhelm II enjoyed Stöwer's work and invited the artist to accompany him on the Imperial yacht on several occasions. 


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