During World War I Hermann Struck was in the German Army, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant. His job as a soldier appears to have been the early 20th century equivalent of Public Affairs. Stationed in the Eastern Front he reported on the lives of German soldiers as well as the people and places of Poland and Russia occupied by Germany at that time. His depiction of soldiers was, of course, sympathetic and showed them at their daily tasks or moments of rest and recreation. In this scene (Rusel, 779L), a rather rotund nonmilitary looking German is on guard duty. We have to assume that he was not expecting any trouble since he appears relaxed – smoking a curved pipe, his rifle balanced on the wood barricade in front of him. His canteen hangs from an improvised hook on the barrier and he is wearing his winter whites. While this image strikes us as humourous, Struck may have taken this scene seriously. The print on a thin wove paper is still strong but there is minor staining, which is less intrusive than seen on the photograph. The artist signed his last name just below the bottom right.
image dimensions: height – 7 3/4″; width – 5 1/4″