The drastic deterioration of the food supply caused by the British sea blockade, the collapse in agricultural production, as well as errors and shortages in distribution, made it necessary to ration food. For this purpose, food ration cards and food stamps were issued to the population.
Honorary doctorates were awarded by German and Austrian universities and colleges to military officers, renowned inventors and company directors. General Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg was awarded an honorary doctorate on numerous occasions, indeed by all four faculties of the University of Königsberg alone.
Inventory of the War Collection in 1922
The list of acquisitions, which was maintained from 1914 until 1919, registered all printed matter that was not procured via usual bookseller routes, while the literature that was published by publishing houses was integrated directly into the inventory of the library. Depending on their type, the items in the War Collection were inventoried and kept in folders or capsules.
Personnel and organisation 1914–1922
The first contemporary documents were being received into the war collection on 5 October 1914. By the end of the year there were around 1,800, and in March 1915 already 4,000 documents, above all announcements by the military and civil authorities of the German Reich.
Along with letters, postcards were an essential means of communication between the front and home. Millions of dispatches were conveyed by field post during the First World War.
By the time of the First World War posters were already an established means of communication, some of which were designed by renowned poster artists. During the war posters were used for announcements by the German military authorities, for event announcements, and as advertisements for war bonds, among other things, and competitions were often held for the best design.
The German libraries were the first to start a comprehensive collection of all printed material related to the war and to appeal to the public. So did the Deutsche Bücherei, which published its Announcement as an institution of the German Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Association on 3 October 1914, initially in the official organ Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel - Journal of the Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Association, in order to inform publishers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Revolution collection in the Deutsche Bücherei, 1918
Despite the general crisis, the Deutsche Bücherei began to collect revolutionary printed matter immediately after the outbreak of the November Revolution. Similar to the World War collection, the writings which sprang from the Revolution and the reshaping of the political landscape were regarded as indispensable material for future historical research.
Saxons in the field and on the home frontSecond war exhibition by the Deutsche Bücherei, 1916
The second exhibition by the Deutsche Bücherei attracted more attention than the first. It opened on 2 September 1916 on the occasion of the inauguration of the new library building.
Soldiers’ Experience of War
The war of attrition began on the Western Front after the Battle of the Marne. In order to protect themselves from enemy fire, the soldiers dug ditches and caves in the ground. These trenches formed the backdrop of the duty at the front, which often involved boredom and apathy. The soldiers guarded, cooked and slept there. In their burrows, which were driven into the loamy walls of the trenches as housing, they wrote letter to their families. From here they heard the enemy in the night, improving his trenches, putting up barbed wire, or setting off on patrol