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World War I: Postcards From The Front

During World War I -- which broke out 100 years ago on July 28 -- the Austro-Hungarian Empire's "feldpost" system enabled soldiers to communicate with their loved ones back home. Preserved postcards and letters provide a very personal view of how individual soldiers experienced the conflict. Jaroslav Bis, from the east Bohemian town of Vysoke Myto, sent these poignant messages home to his family during the war. His fate was sadly similar to many others who fought in the trenches from 1914 to 1918. After fighting on the Italian front, he was sent home in 1916 with a head wound that caused him to lose the sight in one eye. In the 1920s, he was admitted to an insane asylum. He died in 1937, and his war injury was cited as the official cause of death. These postcards from a Czech family's private collection were shared with RFE/RL and have never before been shown publicly.
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