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Rare Suite of Drawings Printed at the Bandō POW Camp

10 Zeichnungen aus dem Lager. Originalzeichnungen auf Wachsbogen von W. Blomberg [10 drawings of the camp. Original drawings on wax-coated sheets by W. Blomberg].

Bandō, Japan: Lagerdruckerei, 1919. Quarto (30 × 23 cm). Original lithographed gray card portfolio with three flaps; lithographed title page (replicating cover) and ten leaves of lithographed plates to rectos, loosely inserted as issued. About very good; very light toning to title leaf; wear to folds of flaps.

Published just after the end of imprisonment ("Ende der Kriegsgefangenschaft"), the present portfolio contains ten mimeographically printed drawings showing the POW camp for German soldiers at Bando, Japan. It was printed by the printing press of the POW camp at Bando (Lagerdruckerei des Kriegsgefangenenlagers Bando). The drawings mostly show the various structures and buildings at the camps, including the front gate and the prisoner barracks, including the interiors.

The Bandō camp was created in April 1917 to house nearly one thousand German and Austro-Hungarian troops, who had been arrested following the successful occupation of Tsingtao, previously under German administration. One of twelve such camps, Bandō was known for its relatively liberal rules and a lack of physical abuse, as well as the opportunities for engaging in athletics, trade and industry. Both due to the lax governance and the presence of many highly skilled professionals among the prisoners, the camp resembled a small town where many goods and services were available, as well as opportunities for further professional training and education. The camp also boasted its own lithographic printer as well as the camp printing shop that utilized mimeography to print ephemera for daily use, technical drawings, books, including children's books, as well as news bulletins and a camp journal (Die Baracke). The journal also contains a description of the printing process.

The camp was closed in December 1919 and most of the inmates returned to Germany, though some remained in the region, where they had been able to establish close ties even during the camps' existence. A fascinating relic of this unique prisoner camp culture in the Far East.

See also: Aescht and Ernsting, "Die graphischen Zyklen zum Ersten Weltkrieg" (Letter Stiftung, 2020), no. 33 (p. 161).

As of June 2021, KVK and OCLC show no copies outside of Germany (where we note three institutional holdings).

Book ID: 51353

Price: $2,250.00