'Camp Weinberg near Zossen' and 'Zossen 1914-17'

VIII Eu 27555b_tatar cemetry.jpg
VIII Eu 27595b_bairam(pic 5).jpg
VIII Eu 27917.jpg

Description

The first picture shows the inauguration of the Tatar memorial stone in the Tatar section of the cemetery in Zehrensdorf. Prisoners from both propaganda camps attended the ceremony, as well as Ottoman and German officials. The memorial stone, probably designed by Otto Stiehl, is located on the right hand side. On the podium in front of it, two propagandists officiate the ceremony. The prisoners are standing outside the cemetery. In the background, the chimney of the former brickyard in Zehrensdorf is visible.
The second picture shows the ritual butchering that took place at feasts for Bayram in front of the Halbmondlager mosque, probably in 1915.
The last picture shows the memorial stone at the Arab section of the cemetery.

Context

Until December 1916, the main strategy was to instigate unrest among Muslims by appealing to their religious beliefs. German authorities were convinced that a Jihad against the Entente powers, especially in their colonies, could help the Germans to win the war. In the Halbmondlager, they built a mosque to symbolise Muslim-German friendships and to strengthen the Ottoman-German alliance. On feast days, prisoners were allowed to follow their respective traditions. Also, prisoners were allowed to bury their deceased comrades in accordance with their religious beliefs at a cemetery nearby. The cemetery was divided into sections, with each being dedicated to the various nationalities and sects represented by interned soldiers at Zossen and Wünsdorf.
When the French and the British realised that the Germans were appealing to the Muslim prisoners in religious terms, they developed their own religiously motivated strategy to appeal to the Muslim soldiers’ faith. Rules on practising religion in the army were relaxed, Muslim military chaplains were employed. At some point, the British even convinced some Muslim clerics to declare a rival jihad on their behalf.