Selected by Lianne Smith, Archives Services Manager

Here are a number of photographs of the German Eastern Front in World War One, taken in Russia, Hungary and Romania, from the papers of Manfred Zadik.

Zadik was a trained reservist and was called up to join the German Army at the start of the First World War. He served on the Western Front until the summer of 1915, after which he was sent to serve on the Eastern front until December 1917. There are 8 albums of photographs in total reflecting Zadik’s time on the Eastern Front.

I find these interesting for the simple reason that being a British archive, our holdings naturally reflect the perspective and experiences of those who served in the British armed forces – these photographs provide us with an insight into the German army which is a rare occurrence among our collections. Also interesting is that these are the photographs of a man of German Jewish ancestry. The photographs relating to Zadik’s service to his country in the First World War contrast sharply with the photograph we hold of Zadik just before the Second World War  – his Nazi government issued identity card from 1938 marked with the yellow ‘J’ for ‘Juden’ – a poignant reminder of how so many of Germany’s citizens were treated under the Nazi regime 20 years later.

Zadik fled Germany with his wife in February 1941 (their children had left for England in the late 1930s). They eventually settled in San Francisco, where he worked as a lawyer for emigrants seeking restitution from the German government. He died in 1967.

Ref: Zadik

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