'der Weltkrieg in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit'



a Series of Unpublished Photos from the War

cover and title page of the 1926 edition of Hermann Rex's war photos


'Der Weltkrieg in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit' (The Brutal Reality of the World War) was published in three volumes in 1926. It is comprised of some 500 war-time photographs taken by the accredited German photographer Hermann Rex and his staff. Many of the photographs in these three volumes were published in the news media during the war, some were indeed used again and again in many diferent types of publications, often finding their way into Allied magazines as well.

Even so the majority of the photographs in these 3 volumes were not published during the Great War, mainly because they were considered too shocking or gruesome and therefore unfit for publication at the time. After the war, and possibly under impulse from such books as Ernst Friederich's 1924 'Krieg dem Kriege', it was considered permissable to do so, even though Rex's photographic collection was not at all meant to inspire pacifistic feelings or promote international solidarity between the nations. Rather it was a patriotic retort to such anti-war books as 'Krieg dem Kriege', extolling the horror and suffering endured by the soldiers of the Fatherland.

The collection contains a multitude of photos of dead soldiers, devasted trenches and war-torn landscapes. Unlike Friedrich's eclectic collection of horrific photographs, these were all taken by a visually talented and technically competent photgrapher, the results being carefully composed and eye-catching. In the following links are a number of general battlefield scenes and further a choice of some of the more gruesome views.

see also photos by Hermann Rex on the 1915 Summer Offensive in Galicia


to Photos

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a photo of photographer Hermann Rex filming French prisoners in 1916
during the Battle of the Somme


see also :

Anti-War Books from the 1920s / Photographing the Dead
Censored Photos in France / Censored Photos in Germany


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