Ernst Werner correspondence, 1915-1919 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The Ernst Werner Collection contains approximately 270 letters and cards, all written in German, from Ernst Werner to sisters, Berta and Marie Diehm. The letters and cards were written between November 21, 1915 and June 15, 1919. The last 27 letters were written from the French prison on the island of St. Martin de Ré in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France. In the collection, there are 3 picture postcards, one with a picture of Stuttgart, one of the University of Strasbourg, and one with a picture of German soldiers in Mangiennes, France. The letters and cards are arranged chronologically in 13 folders. The last 2 folders contain the letters Ernst wrote as a Prisoner of War.
Ernst writes in the cards from prison that he is learning English, French, Spanish, and even some Turkish there, mostly by reading different newspapers. Ernst comments often on how beautiful the view of the sea is from the camp, and he says that he is in much better health because of the fresh sea air. Ernst says that he feels much happier in the camp than on the front because in the camp, he can be his own man.