recordings of Irish soldiers in WWI German POW camps

This is a very interesting WWI tidbit. Soldiers from various countries were in German POW camps.  Beginning in 1915 the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission recorded soldiers with their own equipment-gramophone or phonograph, making  records or wax cylinder recordings of the men singing. The commission visited about 70 camps. They found men who could help, filled in questionnaires, and recorded the POWs. Some did not want to stop singing as it made them feel better. Photographs  of the men and files on them were made and many still exist. The plan was to record different voices, accents, speech patterns and use it for future research purposes. This article is specifically about the Irish who were recorded, but other groups were apparently recorded as well.  By 1919 the Commission's two leaders, Stumpf and Doegen, were utterly opposed to each other. The Commission stopped work in 1920. One of the men, Doegen, then went to Ireland in 1936 where he made more recording which are digitized and available. The cache of records in Germany is being digitized. You can hear original recordings and digitally enhanced recordings, learn about the men, the work of the Commission, and the archival collections at Humboldt University. Pretty cool. Click here for more


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