Emil Görling Papers, 1916-1918

Manuscript Collection #1200

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Emil Görling Papers
Creator: Görling, Emil
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English; German
Abstract: Collection (1916-1918) includes 14 silver gelatin photographs and 4 printed postcards that belonged to Emil Görling, a German soldier in the 3rd Landwehr Division during World War I. The majority of the images document the 1918 German Spring Offensive in Northern France, specifically the Noyon campaign (April-August 1918). Included are images of the devastation in the area, the battlefields between the towns of Noyon and Lassigny in France, and the unit at work, at leisure and in retreat in the Lorraine area. Many of the photographs and postcards have comments written with pencil or ink in German.
Extent: 0.0030 Cubic feet, 1 box, 18 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 25, 2012, 0.003 cubic feet, 18 items; Collection (1916-1918) includes 14 silver gelatin photographs and 4 printed postcards that belonged to Emil Görling, a German soldier in the 3rd Landwehr Division during World War I. The majority of the images document the 1918 German Spring Offensive in Northern France, specifically the Noyon campaign (April-August 1918). Included are images of the devastation in the area, the battlefields between the towns of Noyon and Lassigny in France, and the unit at work, at leisure and in retreat in the Lorraine area. Many of the photographs and postcards have comments written with pencil or ink in German. Purchased with funds from the Special Manuscript Fund from Between The Covers - Rare Books, Inc., of Gloucester City, NJ.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Emil Görling Papers (#1200), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Acquisition Information

  • Purchased with funds from the Special Manuscript Fund from Between The Covers - Rare Books, Inc., Gloucester City, NJ.

Processing Information

  • Processed by D. Zeltmann, September 2012


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection was created by Emil Görling, a German solider during World War I.

Emil was a member of the Aufraumungs-Arbeit (literally translated as the "clean-up" crew) in the 3rd Landwehr Division of the Imperial German Army. Görling's division participated in the 1918 German Spring Offensive in France.

Information obtained from Between the Covers: Item 34 in Archives and Manuscripts No. 7 Catalog, which can be found at the following link: Between the Covers, Archives and Manuscripts Catalog

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection contains photographs and postcards dating from between 1916 and 1918 having belonged to Emil Görling, a German soldier in the 3rd Landwehr Division during World War I. Of the 14 gelatin photographs, 13 contain writing in German using either pencil or ink. Of the 4 printed postcards, 2 contain writing. A majority of the images document the 1918 German Spring Offensive in Northern France, specifically the Noyon campaign (April-August 1918). The images depict the devastation that was caused in the area, showing dead men and horses in the battlefield as well as many destroyed buildings. Many of these battlefields were between the towns of Noyon and Lassigny in France. Also contained in this collection are pictures of the soldiers during their leisure time. In one picture a soldier can be seen playing an accordion and in another a solider is playing a guitar. The photographs also represent how they celebrated holidays with one image showing the soldiers crowded around a Christmas tree (1916). The postcards contained in the collection depict a museum building in Berlin, Germany, a monument to Captain Hermann V. Hermannsdorf in Slovenia, a snow covered winter scene and an aerial view of a town. Of the 18 photographs and postcards in the collection, only two were posted and those were probably going to Emil's family. The recipient of the postcards was Ewald Görling who lived in Hamburg, Germany.

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#1200.1 Icon to indicate that there are digitized materials available
    • Folder a#1200.1.a (1 item  digitized)
      • Gelatin photograph of 9 men, in uniform (possibly soldiers) sitting on a mountain top with mountainous terrain in the background. There is one line of writing on the back in German. Undated.  (item #1)
      • Gelatin photograph of uniformed soldiers, possibly digging trenches. Horses can be seen in the trench as well as tree roots, logs and other debris. Writing on the front and back in German suggests the photograph was taken in Noyon. Undated.  (item #3)
      • Gelatin photograph of uniformed soldiers standing/sitting in front of a one story building. German writing in purple ink on the back. Undated.  (item #4)
      • Gelatin photograph of soldiers in uniform walking down a city street. Horses pulling a wagon and women sitting in chairs (possibly mending clothes) can be seen off the left side. Writing is located on the back in German as is the date "24 8.18." August 8 1918   (item #5)
      • Gelatin photograph of destruction of city/town. Damaged buildings an be seen in the background as well as building debris in the foreground. Soldiers can be seen looking through the wreckage. Horses can be seen, both alive and seemingly dead on the ground. Writing on the front and back in German suggests this photograph was taken in Noyon in 1918.   (item #6)
      • Gelatin photograph of uniformed soldiers standing next to what is possibly a train siding/platform. On top of the train are the army wagons, covered and ready for transport. One solider is sitting down in front playing his guitar. There is one small line of German writing on the back. Undated.  (item #7)
      • Gelatin photograph of five uniformed soldiers standing under and near a hallowed out stone structure. Debris can be seen in the foreground and the background. This is one of the two postcards that was posted and the post date reads as "1.12.17".There is writing on the back in German and it was posted to "Ewald Görling" in "Hamburg". It is stamped "S. B. 1.M.G.E. Res.-Inf.-Regt. 64." on back. December 1, 1917.  (item #8)
      • Gelatin photograph of a destroyed church. The focus of the photograph is the crumbling archways and iron gating. A crucifix can be seen in the upper left corner hanging on what is left of the walls. There is writing on the back in German, as well as one line on the bottom of the photograph on the front. Undated.  (item #9)
      • Gelatin photograph of a group of soldiers, most in uniform, standing around a decorated Christmas tree. A sign in front of the tree reads "Gesegnete Deihnachten 1916". One man in the middle on the right is holding a small puppy in his arms. There is writing on the back in German. 1916.  (item #10)
      • Gelatin photograph of five uniformed soldiers standing in a wooded area. One soldier is sitting in front playing an accordion. Undated.  (item #11)
      • Gelatin photograph of uniformed soldiers walking around in a debris ridden battlefield. In the foreground you can see a large mud puddle with a dead horse lying partially in it. Also in the foreground is a man who is either wounded or dead. There is writing on the front and back in German. The date on the back is written as "19.8" and the word "Noyon" is also seen. August 19, 1918.  (item #12)
      • Gelatin photograph of soldiers in a debris ridden battlefield. Trees in the background have been destroyed and there are tipped over wagons and dead horses on the ground. On the left hand side in the foreground there is a small animal, possibly a dog, that lies dead. The word "Noyon" appears on both the front and back in German writing along with more German writing. Undated.  (item #13)
      • Gelatin photograph of a uniformed soldier standing in front of a partially destroyed building, possibly a home. The soldier appears to be holding something in his arms. There is writing on both the front and back in German. The word "Noyon" appears on the back. Undated.  (item #14)
      • Postcard of a museum building in Berlin, Germany. On the right is a large statue of a man on a horse with people surrounding him in a separate monument. On the bottom is printed "Berlin. Altes Museum mit Denkmal Friedrich Wilhelm III." Undated.  (item #15)
      • Postcard of a triangular monument set in front of a stone wall. Four uniformed soldiers appear in the foreground sitting in front of an iron fence, one holding a small dog. A statue of a lion lying down with flowers or branches on top of him sits in front of the monument. On the top right hand side is written "Monument am Predil". This monument is also called the "Sleeping Lion" and is in memory of Captain Hermann V. Hermannsdorf. The monument is located in Slovenia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hauptmann_Hermann_Kriegsdenkmal_Predil_30092005_02.jpg) 1915-1916.  (item #16)
      • Postcard of winter scene. A horse and carriage carries people in a snow covered town. Buildings and carriages are also covered in snow. The words "Brotfabrik Baranowitschi" is printed in the upper left on the front. This is the second of two cards that was posted. There is handwriting on the back in German and it is posted to a "Görling" in "Hamburg." The postmark date is "5.12.16." December 5, 1916.  (item #17)
      • Postcard of an aerial view of a town. Tops of homes can be seen as well as a small bridge, a river and trees that are starting to bloom. In the upper left is printed "Thiaucourt-Totalansicht." There is writing on the back in German. Undated.  (item #18)
      • WWI Scene of Devastation in Noyon, France   (item #2)

        Gelatin photograph of the destruction of a building, possibly a church. On the back is written "Noyon. April, 18." April 18, 1918.

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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