Franz Pfeifer Family World War I Correspondence | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The correspondence covers the period 1915 to 1918 and consists primarily of letters and "Feldpostkarte" (army-issued postcards) between Franz Pfeifer, his two sons, and their relatives at home. The collection includes eleven permission slips for leave of absence for Johann Pfeifer and Franz Pfeifer Sr., one summons for medical examination, one hand-drawn battlefield map, and one tuition waiver for Johann Pfeifer dated 1906.
Johann Pfeifer's correspondence chiefly covers his detainment as a prisoner of war in Russia. He describes the conditions, camp morale, education, and his hopes for the future, as well as specific training measures.
Franz Jr. was killed in 1916, and family letters depict how long it took for them to receive news of his death. The correspondence also reflects a great disparity between the transmission of information from the Russian front and the Italian front, as Franz’s letters rarely reached his parents while Johann’s were received frequently.
Letters are datelined Vienna, Sterlitamak, Russia, Rowno, Ukraine, Italy, Dolomites, and Vladimir, Russia.