The human toll of the War on the German Empire was high. About 2 million soldiers and 500,000 civilians died.

Studio portrait of an unidentified German soldier, c1915

On loan from a private collection. All Rights Reserved

German infantry regiment soldier Joseph Hermann died on 17 April 1917 at age 25. Although buried in enemy territory, probably France, this memorial card promises that his grave will not be forgotten and in the evening, when the bells toll, the spirits of his loved ones will visit his grave.

On loan from a private collection. All Rights Reserved

WW419 180911

Although they were the enemy and “hated Hun”, German soldiers were similar to New Zealand soldiers in many ways. Like their New Zealand counterparts, they visited photography studios and had their portraits taken in uniform. They endured life in the trenches, suffering from trench foot and lice infestations while also avoiding bullets and artillery fire. For many, their final resting place was in a land far away from the loved ones who mourned for them at home.