Navy Harbour, Kiel, Germany, 1910

1910 – A historic postcard shows a view across the military harbour in Kiel, Germany. Scan © Mark Zanzig/ Carl Speck

The story behind the image

This morning I shared an image of my grandfather Otto as he posed in 1901 for the photographer in a navy uniform in Kiel. Sadly, I never had a chance to meet my grandfather but I wondered what made him join the naval forces in 1915, at the age of 20.

Recently, I have been able to obtain a historic postcard from 1910, shot by photographer Carl Speck in Kiel. The city had become one of the major military harbours and had gained substantial economic growth. The image shows how Otto – then about 15 years old – might have seen the military harbour of his hometown. Shot from the terrace of the hotel Bellevue, there are about 20 war ships visible, a deadly power and probably quite interesting for a young man back then.

In fact, after completing high school, Otto joined the navy in 1915 but was captured later on as prisoner of war by the British forces who treated him well until he got released after the end of the war. Following that episode in his life, he was cured from pursuing a navy career.

By the way, photographer Carl Speck died at the age of 39 in July 1915 and was buried at the Eichhof cemetery in Kiel on 10th July 1915. His work continues to live.

The high resolution image

Capture Dateabout 1910
PhotographerCarl Speck, Kiel
LocationKiel, Germany
Image Source13.5 x 8 cm postcard
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6501 x 3711 Pixels
CopyrightScan © Mark Zanzig/ Carl Speck

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