Blicke in die Welt um 1900 – 30
»Theaters, vaudeville shows and moving pictures are popular in Constantinople, through they can have nothing like the large attendance of feminine patrons which help support them in England and America. In Turkish country villages the formalities of seclusion are not quite so strict as in the towns, and a traveling troupe like this often makes a fair living. That dancing bear was captured in Bulgaria, up among the wilds of the Balkan mountains. The man and the gaily dressed youngster before him are acrobats. The woman sings and dances. The dog contributes tricks of his own, and is a playfellow for the boy in their leisure time.
It is the natural thing here for the husband to ride at ease while the wife trudges on foot. No other plan of procedure has ever occurred to either of them. She really is amazingly strong and hardy and probably will suffer no ill effects other than the earlier approach of old age. Such women become hags, when an American woman would be fresh and blooming.
Parts of the country regions around Constantinople are well cultivated and productive, but for many generations the Turkish government policy was not encouraging to farmers, and great tracts of land have long been so neglected that they show little promise. Sheep and goats do find some pasturage on hills even as bare as these. This highway is better than most of the country roads. Some of them, used only by foot passengers and pack donkeys, are mere trails connecting scattered villages.«
»Whether in the old days of the supremacy of the czars or at present under the equally dictatorial rule of the Communists, the existence of the average Russian peasant or laborer has been a hard one. Formerly he was exploited for the benefit of the classes; now he is exploited ostensibly for the ultimate uplifting of the masses. But in both cases he has been a pawn in the hands of higher powers, forced to labor like a slave in order to live at all. Seldom has be modern implements with which to work; his tools and his methods are pitifully primitive and his own physical efforts play the most important part in nearly every task he has to do.
These fishermen, drawing their nets from the waters of the broad lower Volga River, reflect in their faces and attitudes the narrowness and poverty of their lives. They remind us of the long suffering and tragedy which finds poignant musical expression in the “Song of the Volga Boatmen”. The ignorance, the hopelessness bred of lack of inspiration and opportunity, the patient, animal-like endurance of heavy toll, which are their inheritance from countless generations of ancestors who have known no better lot, are all plainly written on their persons. Yet these men are representatives of a race possessing boundless capabilities. In most fields of thought the untrammeled intellect of the Slav is the equal of the intellect of any other race, and in many it is superior. Like the vast river of their native land at whose margin they are toiling, their tremendous potential power and usefulness for themselves and for all the world are wasted so long as they remain undeveloped and without aim.«
Ein stereoskopischer Ein-Blick in die Welt um 1900 … (wird fortgesetzt)
(alle Bildunterschriften und Texte sind den Vorder- bzw. Rückseiten der Stereokarten entnommen)
Private Collection / Private Sammlung
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- 9. Juli 2012 / 08:43