Weinberg Camp near Zossen

VIII Eu 27542a.jpg
VIII Eu 27547b.jpg

Description

The first picture shows the visit of an Ottoman-German delegation to the Halbmondlager. The gangways are decorated with conifer wood and the buildings with various Ottoman and German flags. The mosque is visible in the background.
The second picture shows the inauguration of the mosque in the Halbmondlager. The prisoners form a circle around the Ottoman and German officials. One official stands on a podium, probably about to hold a speech. The barracks and the nearby forest can be seen in the background.

Context

Pan-Islamic jihad propaganda in the Weinberglager and the Halbmondlager was a combined effort by the Ottomans and the Germans. At religious feasts, such as Bayram, or on special occasions, like the inauguration of the mosque, Ottoman officials including the ambassador or clerics visited the camp to support propaganda with new imagery. Speeches were held, to promote the Caliph’s (spiritual) claim to power over all Muslims worldwide. The Ottomans hoped to regain control over the vast regions they had lost in preceding centuries and prisoners from these regions were thought to be a good starting point.
The propaganda was supposed to foment the Muslim prisoners of war against the colonial powers. German officials hoped that they would defect from their ranks and join the Ottoman army as soldiers. They also hoped to demonstrate a positive impression of progressive civilisation and technological advances in Germany. Upon returning into their homelands, these prisoners would be at the forefront of good German-African or German-Asian relations in the post-war order. From late 1915 onwards, many prisoners were supposed to wear a 'uniform' that included dark blue gaiters and red sashes. This was designed to strengthen community spirit, elevate prisoners' morale, and contribute to the efforts of conscripting them as soldiers of the Ottoman army.
On the other hand, the Ottomans hoped to be able to settle high-skilled craftsmen and farmers in the Anatolian hinterland to strengthen their own war efforts at the home front.