Smithsonian confirms the authenticity of World War I era journal.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. – Local resident Anna Heinlein was contacted today by the Special Collections staff from the Smithsonian Institute to let her know that they completed their analysis of the journal she discovered.
Ms. Heinlein’s grandmother, Margaret Heinlein passed away in January. A sketchbook and journal of a German Unteroffizier from World War I was discovered among her personal effects.
The Smithsonian issued the following statement to the press;
“Today is the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, the day we commemorate the signing of the Armistice by France, Britain, and Germany that ended World War I. We felt today was the appropriate day to announce the completion of our review of the journal and confirm its authenticity for the family and the community of St. Augustine.
The journal and sketchbook combines a written account with sketches, photographs and newspaper clippings to give unique insight into how one individual experienced the Great War. This is a rare find because there are few surviving examples from the German perspective that remain with this much detail about life on the Western Front. We are pleased that the family has agreed to donate the journal to our museum and look forward to adding it to our collection so that researchers and the interested public will have access to it when they visit our archives.”
The St. Augustine Historical Preservation Society also released a statement;
“We are an organization that is dedicated to preserving and recognizing the importance of historical events. The Centennial of the signing of the Armistice has great significance but with all the distractions of modern life, it is easy for that significance to be lost. A discovery like this places historical facts in a very personal setting that helps enrich our understanding of what it was like for the men and women who lived through it.
We are proud that ”Rupp’s Skizzenbuch” was discovered in our community and we hope that people who read the journal gain a better understanding of the real human impact of the Great War.”