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POSTCARD – POEM – “THE LAST MAN” – PROFESSOR HANS BOHRDT

SKU: 44-22

$20.00

This image of a German sailor standing on a piece of his wrecked ship defiantly thrusting the kriegsflagge up toward advancing British ships is one of WW I’s best-known German propaganda vehicles. The scene represents Great Britain’s destruction of the German East Asian Squadron under the command of Vize Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee (1864-1914). Six of the German fleet’s eight ships were destroyed in the battle near the Falkland Islands. Von Spee, his two sons, and almost 1,900 German sailors went down with their ships. This black and white postcard depicts Hans Bohrdt’s (1857-1945) most famous WW I painting. It portrays the battle’s final events on 8 December 1914, when the crew members of the Nürnberg chose to go down with their ship, flags in hand, rather than surrender to the British. Below “The Last Man” is a poem written by Heinrich Röfer. It has a dedication first, “Aus dem Heldenkampf in der Seeschlacht bei den Falklandsinseln am 8. Dezember 1914. Nach dem Gemälde von Professor Hans Bohrdt” (From the heroic fight in the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December, 1914. After the painting by Professor Hans Bohrdt). The poem begins “Sie haben gefochten eins zu vier,/Nun zieht sie der Tod ins kühle Revier./ Sie haben gefochten vier zu eins,/Die Helden im Strahl des Ewigenscheins./Nun brennt das Schiff an Bug und Heck,/Die Mannschaft steht auf Borderdeck./Und wie sie in die Tiefe sinkt,/Greift sie zur Mütze und grüßt und Schwingt,/Bis daß von Fluten begraben die Hand, Hurra dem Kaiser und Vaterland!” (They have fought one to four, / Now death pulls you to the cool district. / They have fought four to one, / The heroes in a ray of everlasting light. / Now burn the ship at the bow and stern, / The crew stands onboard the deck. / And as it sinks into the deep, /Grab your hat and call and wave, / Until the waters bury your hand, Hurrah for the emperor and the Fatherland)! After several more verses, it finishes with “Und als die Welle den kopf bedeckt,/ Aus dem Wasser ein Arm noch die Fahne streckt./Er läßt Sie nicht, er nimmt sie hinein;/Sie soll auch im Tod sein Begleiter sein.” (And as the wave covered his head,/from the water an arm still stretched forth the flag/He will not leave you, he takes you in; /You will be his companion also in death).
The postcard’s reverse shows it was mailed. It is in fine condition.

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This image of a German sailor standing on a piece of his wrecked ship defiantly thrusting the kriegsflagge up toward advancing British ships is one of WW I’s best-known German propaganda vehicles. The scene represents Great Britain’s destruction of the German East Asian Squadron under the command of Vize Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee (1864-1914). Six of the German fleet’s eight ships were destroyed in the battle near the Falkland Islands. Von Spee, his two sons, and almost 1,900 German sailors went down with their ships. This black and white postcard depicts Hans Bohrdt’s (1857-1945) most famous WW I painting. It portrays the battle’s final events on 8 December 1914, when the crew members of the Nürnberg chose to go down with their ship, flags in hand, rather than surrender to the British. Below “The Last Man” is a poem written by Heinrich Röfer. It has a dedication first, “Aus dem Heldenkampf in der Seeschlacht bei den Falklandsinseln am 8. Dezember 1914. Nach dem Gemälde von Professor Hans Bohrdt” (From the heroic fight in the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December, 1914. After the painting by Professor Hans Bohrdt). The poem begins “Sie haben gefochten eins zu vier,/Nun zieht sie der Tod ins kühle Revier./ Sie haben gefochten vier zu eins,/Die Helden im Strahl des Ewigenscheins./Nun brennt das Schiff an Bug und Heck,/Die Mannschaft steht auf Borderdeck./Und wie sie in die Tiefe sinkt,/Greift sie zur Mütze und grüßt und Schwingt,/Bis daß von Fluten begraben die Hand, Hurra dem Kaiser und Vaterland!” (They have fought one to four, / Now death pulls you to the cool district. / They have fought four to one, / The heroes in a ray of everlasting light. / Now burn the ship at the bow and stern, / The crew stands onboard the deck. / And as it sinks into the deep, /Grab your hat and call and wave, / Until the waters bury your hand, Hurrah for the emperor and the Fatherland)! After several more verses, it finishes with “Und als die Welle den kopf bedeckt,/ Aus dem Wasser ein Arm noch die Fahne streckt./Er läßt Sie nicht, er nimmt sie hinein;/Sie soll auch im Tod sein Begleiter sein.” (And as the wave covered his head,/from the water an arm still stretched forth the flag/He will not leave you, he takes you in; /You will be his companion also in death).
The postcard’s reverse shows it was mailed. It is in fine condition.

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