Ca. 1904-1906. Oblong Folio (ca. 40x51,5 cm). 28 card stock album leaves. With 230 mounted photos, the majority - gelatin silver photos, including twenty larger photos ca. 16,5x22 cm (6 x 10 in), the rest are from ca. 11,5x17 cm (4 ½ x 6 ¾ in) to ca. 7,5x10 cm (3x4 in); with five albumen photos ca. 10x15,5 cm (4x6 in) and six photochromic studio views of Frankfurt ca. 16x22,5 cm (6 ½ x 8 ¾ in). About 140 photos with pencil manuscript captions in German on the opposite back of the previous photos mounts, six photos captioned in negative. Period brown soft cover album with leaves fastened with a string. Cover with water stains and minor tears on extremities, several images faded, several mounts with minor tears not affecting the photos, but overall a very good album of interesting photos.
Historically significant extensive collection of original photographs taken by a German officer while on service in German South-West Africa (modern-day Namibia) which includes some vivid scenes and portraits illustrating the ill-fated Herero and Namaqua uprising and its suppression by the Imperial Schutztruppe. The album opens with a dozen photos of Frankfurt and other parts of Germany and is followed by about thirty portraits and views taken on board the German steamer “Lucie Woermann” which took the album’s compiler to Swakopmund (portraits of German officers and settlers going to the colony – with many names and military ranks captioned, views of Las Palmas, scene of the Equator crossing celebration etc.) Over thirty photos taken in Swakopmund show the unloading of the cargo, horses and artillery guns on the pier, office of the Woermann Line in the port (clear sign “Wormann Linie”), black port workers, a German officer with a photo camera, the compiler of the album with his German and native subordinates; six group portraits taken in the military camp near Swakopmund show soldier in the open-air canteen, a blacksmith’s shop, a music band, officers drinking beer etc.
Over a hundred the photos in the album depict German military camps and settlements, and native villages in modern-day north-central Namibia: Windhoek (Kaiser Wilhem Berg, Catholic mission, post office, hospital), German military cemeteries in Otjimbinde, Okahanja and Otjosondu (with clearly seen signs on the graves of Richard Max von Rosenberg (1878-1904) and Volkmar von Wurmb (d. 1904) and more graves identified in pencil on verso of the leaf); Khan railway station; Franzfontein (farm, German post); Okonjeje (Okenyenya) Mountain; Okawayo (German station in the bush, barracks, officers’ quarters, hoisting of German imperial flag on Kaiser’s birthday); Mounted Schutztruppe members in the Erongo Mountains; Spitzkoppe Mountain; railway station in Kalkfontein (?) etc. Very interesting is a photo of the house of a German settler Margarethe von Eckenbrecher near Okombahe, an Italian-style mansion abandoned by the family during the Herero uprising, with a painted (?) line from Horace but still seen above the main entrance “Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt” (“For those who cross the sea, the sky above changes but the heart does not”; more about the house and its history see in: Eckenbrecher, M. Von. Africa: What in Gave Me, What It Took from Me: Remembrances from My Life as a German Settler in South West Africa. Lenigh University Press, 2015).
The album includes several large portraits of the Herero people, including those of the uprising leaders Samuel Mahaero and Hendrik Witbooi, and the family of Herero chief Zacharias Zeraua who “was a firm Christian believer who attempted to remain neutral during the Herero-German war. He was the sole pre-war chief to survive the war in Namibia” (Gewald, J.-B. Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890-1923. James Curry & others, 1999, p. 33). There are also portraits of “Franzfontein Hottentoten,” native children, “Das Alte Jakob Hottentot,” a German nurse “Schwester Selma,” photographs of a hanged Herero man and another one being beaten, scenes of military drills, portraits of numerous German military officers with many names written down on verso, portrait of an Englishman wearing a uniform Shutztruppe hat, views of military camps with tents and horses, including the tent of the album compiler etc. Overall an interesting content-rich original album giving an eye-witness account of the events of the Herero-Namaqua uprising and its suppression which became the first case of genocide in the 20th century.
“On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Samuel Maharero, rebelled against German colonial rule. In August, German general Lothar von Trotha defeated the Herero in the Battle of Waterberg and drove them into the desert of Omaheke, where most of them died of thirst. In October, the Nama people also rebelled against the Germans only to suffer a similar fate" (Wikipedia).
Price: $3,500.00 USD