L’Echo du Camp de Rennbahn: Rennbahn-Münster’s prisoner camp newspaper

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Description

Collection of the newspaper L’Echo du camp de Rennbahn from issue 1 (10 June 1916) to the issue 85 (15 June 1918). Each issue contains 3 sheets (6 pages) with both texts and cartoons. The articles are written in French and English, as French represented almost half of the camp's population and English was already a common language amongst prisoners.

Context

L’Echo du camp de Rennbahn was founded in June 1916 to provide general information about life in the German POW camp of Rennbahn-Münster located in the province of Westphalia. Outside events were also recorded. The newspaper Le Canard du Prisonnier (the Prisoner’s Rag) preceded L'Echo but, according to L'Echo’s director Mr. Alran, it was not a serious newspaper and many soldiers grew weary of its inaccuracies. L’Echo was a collaborative newspaper, each soldier could submit an article or drawing but not all were published. Most of the articles discussed events inside the camp, such as sports competitions, theatre shows, lectures and conferences on various subjects (from Leonardo da Vinci to engeenering) but there were also poems and satirical essays. The newspaper was sold for 10 pfennig and all the benefits went to the various charity efforts inside the camp.