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First Album of photos by Max Jacoby of the Eastern Front
A German doctor on the Eastern Front
Photo album of Max Jacoby, a doctor with the German medical corps stationed in Belarus from 1916-1918. His Iron Cross was awarded after he captured a Russian village.... he walked into village and the Mayor saw he was a German officer and surrendered to him. Max lived in Pollnow, Pomerania, Germany, now part of Poland and he and his wife reared three children all of whom were educated in Switzerland, the reason being that Max was a Jew. Also, although a very well appreciated doctor he still fell foul of the Nazis who forbid any monetary payment by his patients and they had to exist on the barter system. Life had to be faced with the continuous threat of arrest and imprisonment in a Concentration Camp, even for his Christian wife. Consequently, to save her Max Jacoby committed suicide sometime in 1936 or 37. This and album number ONE of TWO also included on the Europeana site and are of great interest showing as they do life in general for the ordinary German soldier on the Eastern Front from both the early and later parts of the conflict. The photos show both the Home and Eastern Fronts, internal and external rural views, local villagers, trench life, barbed wire and its wooden precursor, military positions (stellung) , horse drawn ersatz railway construction, artillery, a trench mortar, infantry, medical and air force personal and their equipment. It also includes Russian prisoners, a horse drawn captured 15cm Russian Howitzer and a German field kitchen and saw mill. There are many very interesting and informative studies of Officers, NCOs and enlisted men on parade, at work, on guard duty, relaxing and at play, along with their attempts at domesticity, indicated by mementoes of home and a pre-war normality, with pictures of children and female family members. In addition there are several of pets – cats, horses, puppies and dogs, including one named Herr Rolph but, however, on a more sombre note several photographs also show destruction and the victims of war - dead soldiers and several military cemeteries. Information on the German Army Medical Services of World War One. These consisted of a corps of officers designated Militar-Arzte (Military Doctors) with ranks ranging from General-Stabs-Artze (fully qualified military doctors) to Assistant Artze and Einjahrige Artze (less qualified temporary/ junior doctors). The rank and file were known as Sanitats-Mannschafen (Medical Service Troops) and included hospital orderlies and stretcher-bearers. The medical Services in the Field comprised a Regimental Medical Service; Bearer Companies (Field Ambulance units); Field Hospitals; Motor Ambulance Columns; War Hospitals; Ambulance Trains and Advanced Depots of Army Medical Stores. Normally there were two medical officers to each battalion and four medical NCOs (five after May 1916). The stretcher bearers were considered non-combatants and were distinguished by a white cloth brassard or armlet with a red cross on it, worn on the upper left sleeve of the tunic.
Max Jacoby was my mother's father. He was a Jewish doctor from Pollnow, a small town in Pomerania. He was a member of the German Medical Corps in WWI and was stationed on the Eastern front in 1916-1918. He took many photographs, many with descriptions, and they have been passed through the family. There are about 350 photos in two albums. Most are from Darovo and Baranovichi Belarus. This is the first album of the two.