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Rudi Woelke World War I correspondence


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 0

Rudi Woelke World War I correspondence, 1903-1970 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Aaron M. Lisec and Tanja Burkhard

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Collection Overview

Title: Rudi Woelke World War I correspondence, 1903-1970Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1917-1918

ID: 1/7/MSS 325

Primary Creator: Woelke, Rudi

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.

Date Acquired: 06/19/2001

Subjects: World War, 1914-1918

Forms of Material: Soldiers - Germany - Correspondence, World War, 1914-1918 - Personal narratives, German

Languages: German


World War I correspondence primarily between Rudi Woelke and Hermine Kahlo in 1917 and 1918.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of more than 200 letters, postcards, and field postcards, the majority dating from 1917 and 1918 between Rudi Woelke and Hermine Kahlo. The primary correspondents in this collection are Hermine Kahlo-Woelcke (teacher), Ludwig Techer (Infantry cadet in March 1915, farmer after the war), and Rudi Woelke (Leutnant, 205 Stab 1 Abteilung).  Letters are sent from Bray-St-Christophe, Foreste, and Herly in France, Gdanzk, Poland, and Heidelberg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, Germany.The earliest letter dates from 1903; the collection ends about 1970.

The bulk of the letters are from Rudi Woelke to Hermine Kahlo; Ludwig Techer also regularly writes to Hermine after the First World War, when Hermine loses both her father and her brother.  Most of Rudi's letters contain requests and receipts for cigarettes, pipes and cheese; Rudi was stationed in Beirut (27 January 1918), which fell to British and allied forces in October 1918. Rudi and Hermine were married in 1918; many letters refer to their wedding plans. Other letters describe Rudi’s daily routine of riding and tending to his horses, socializing with other soldiers, and drinking wine.

In a noteworthy letter of  October 19,1918, Rudi gives his evaluation of the war: He claims that the Western front could be held for many more years by Germany, if needed. He hopes that Germany will not give into United States President Woodrow Wilson’s pressure, and that it will cease to be afraid of the Eastern Front.

Collection Historical Note

Hermine Kahlo-Woelcke  was a teacher, Ludwig Techer served in the Infantry cadet in March 1915 and farmer after the war, and Rudi Woelke  was a Leutnant, 205 Stab 1 Abteilung also known as the  205th Infantry Division (German Empire).

Biographical Note

Rudi Woelke  was a Leutnant, 205 Stab 1 Abteilung, also known as the  205th Infantry Division (German Empire), during World War I.

Subject/Index Terms

World War, 1914-1918

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Charles Apfelbaum, manuscript dealer.

Acquisition Method: Purchased.

Preferred Citation: Rudi Woelke World War I correspondence, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1903-1904Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1917 January-JulyAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1917 August 1-6Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1917 August 17-31Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1917 September-DecemberAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1918 January 1-16Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1918 January 17-31Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1918 February-OctoberAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1919-1970Add to your cart.

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