Israeli history photo of the week: Turkish-German forces

JPost special feature: A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

July 21, 2011 12:43
1 minute read.

Turkish-German forces. (photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)


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The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of Congress in 1978.

The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during Arab riots, and the building of Tel Aviv.

This week's collection focuses on the prelude to the 1917 war in Palestine.  World War I did not only take place in the trenches of Europe. A massive war also took place in the Middle East between 1914 and 1918 with the British Empire engaging the armies of the German and Ottoman Empires. 

The war years were marked by severe persecution and hardship for the Jewish communities of Palestine. War was waged from the shores of the Suez Canal to Damascus. Armies of hundreds of thousands of men fought over control of the Canal, the water wells in the Sinai, Gaza, the Arabian peninsula, Beersheba, Jerusalem, Jericho and Damascus. Great cavalry charges, military railroad construction, air bombing raids, camel transport were hallmarks of the war. German officers commanded Turkish, Austrian and German troops, and British officers commanded British, Australians and Indians. 

More photos can be viewed at

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