Today we have an English card followed by three French ones. Many regrettable acts took place during the Great European War of 1914; we’ve already seen what happened to Rheims, and the deliberate sacking of the Belgian town of Louvain by the Germans probably ranks even higher on the list.
You probably know what happened over a few days in late August 1914, and it really wasn’t very nice; the destruction Louvain’s University library (above), with all its historic contents, was a huge own-goal on the part of the Germans, condemnation of their actions coming from all corners of the earth, including the United States.
And you might not think it a suitable subject for a series of postcards, either. But as we saw in those Rheims postcards ten days ago, and as you can see here, you’d be wrong. Numerous images of destruction were turned into postcards in France during the Great War, and examples such as these are still easy to pick up, cheap as chips, to this day.
As a postscript, Louvain University library was rebuilt after the war, and had acquired some 900,000 volumes to replace those lost forever when the Germans turned up in May 1940 and decided it was best practice to burn it down for a second time. Although they maintained that Allied bombing was the cause on this occasion……