Photographs Reveal Life in the German Trenches During WWI

Robert Lichte was a medical officer in the German army during World War I. He took a series of photographs that give a glimpse into life in the German trenches. In all, he took nine albums worth of photographs in the trenches and operating rooms on the other side of enemy lines.

Marius Moneth, 33, is a Ph.D. student in Düsseldorf at the Heinrich Heine University who obtained the photos. He feels the albums are a “historical treasure” as they show a unique aspect of the war from a German soldier’s viewpoint.

He said that the collection is special. It is eight photo albums and an album of postcards. Moneth believes that the doctor created each photo album for a different family member.

Not only did Lichte capture life in the trenches and the destruction caused by the war, he shared his own experiences. Included in the photos is one of Lichte and his medical team operating on a patient – a rare artifact since photographers were not allowed in the operating room. Moneth believes that the photo was staged.

The photograph is the first time Moneth has seen a picture of a medical procedure during WWI out of all the photos in his large collection of photographs from the war.

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