How to show text on an old postcard?

@Claes This is Prussia at the last vestiges of “Greater Poland” and anti-nationalist leadership under the von Baden administration, a prince who became president. These local training units fed the Eastern Front in defense of Poland and by extension, Greater Poland, from the invading forces.



I don’t think so:

The first letter looks like a V to me. Or is that old calligraphy?

I’m attaching a darktable sidecar; I think playing with the color balance rgb grey coefficients and the rgb levels give different compromises, some better for some areas, others for others.

I’ve masked the sharpening (diffuse or sharpen) based on brightness (to avoid amplifying the details of the paper), so if changing the color balance rgb coefficients (or exposure) alters the brightness, that will have to be adjusted.

out3127.tif.xmp (7.9 KB)

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You can find more about it by looking up Deutsche Schrift or Sütterlin.


Dear sister,

I inform you that I (arrived [assuming]) well in/at…


Could also be:

I inform you that I am alive and well…


I’m amazed at how much information you’ve helped me get from a 100-year-old postcard.
I would like to thank all Play Raw participants for their help, special thanks to ‘tofa’ for the way of recovering the text, ‘apostel338’ for deciphering the key fragment of the text, ‘HIRAM’ for the professional determination of the military formation and history.


Is a nice quiz for in between times one or two minutes.

(With todays spelling daß selbe or daßselbe would be wrong. But at that time I think the rules were not that regulated as they are today, so it could fit)

I inform you that I am alive and well and hope the same from you.

We hope you will submit an update if you proceed with the decryption.


I noticed in yours and other light-hearted group shots of Prussian soldiers, only volunteer enlistees are shown.

This one however shows a few officers wearing insignia, as the subject matter is a machine gun.

These are also from Weißenburg, Elsaß, perhaps two years before the postcard was written.


Today’s quizzing update:

I inform you that I am alive and well and hope the same from you. I know exactly that you hate my … and you …

It’s not getting easier, this part is hard.

In german there is
du hast = you have
du hasst = you hate
or with old spelling
du haßt = you hate

With the spelling at that time, there’s a little chance that you hate might turn into you have, who knows. I think this is a nice cliffhanger.


Also noticed the use of the purple Ersatzstempel, an official substitute (ersatz) cancellation used instead of the traditional hole punch. He probably brought it to the station in person to be hand-franked as such, like we would go to the counter at the post office when we don’t want something to go thru the sorting machine.


Here’s a closer look at the Imperial enlisted-man’s cap showing insignia for German Reich and Bayern:

The cap insignia (cockades) are similar in the postcard, except the bottom knot would represent Preussen, as Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen was not granted unique insignia until 1920 when the draft was in effect.


1914 was like “Hey, we have a war! Nice time with the guys, Paris is a nice city and we will be back at Christmas.” Nobody anticipated the trenches, machine guns and artillery, even after posing with them. The hell of Verdun or the Somme were unthinkable.
A year ago I would have said that the hell of Bakhmut was unthinkable and belonged to the past as in Stalingrad.


It is in Kurrentschrift, Sütterlin was introduced in 1911 and this guy was in school around 1900.

I am pretty sure it is an ß, so “hate”. It’s a match with the “daß” a line above.
The missing word could begin with “adi…” or “adu…”, about “ad” I am pretty sure. But it is a small a and there should be a noun.


Yes, me too. This expected noun is a hard case. If there wasn’t this “a”-looking begining, I would read it as “Dienste”. This would fit the context, maybe following content can help. I probably try more this weekend. Haven’t looked into it since last sunday.