Léon Bernardin, POW


It’s Sunday, therefore here is a special photograph for you! It was bought one or two years ago in a little flea market in French Alps. The portrayed man is named Léon Bernardin, and he sent this postcard from a POW camp in Deutsch-Gabel (Bohemia). This photograph is one of my favorite and was already published in an article of mine). Bernardin was member of the crew of French submarine Monge, which sank in Cattaro harbour during the night from 28th to 29th December 1915.

Bernardin’s photograph looks like at first sight like dozens of studio photographs: a backdrop, a furniture, the soldier is portrayed in uniform with his weapon. But all these elements are transformed: his uniform is an Austrian one (he probably lost his one during the sinking) with a cloth indicating his POW number (F. 152), the studio is a curtain in a yard, and his weapons are a bowl and a sink…

Bernardin came back in France on November 22, 1918.

Léon Bernardin, crew member of the Monge submarine, POW in Austria

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