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Europe/Other : The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

 

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pigdoc

05 Aug 2018
09:44:47pm
...the darker side of the story...the truth!

Here is a nifty postcard I picked up this morning to go in my Germany Inflation cover collection:
Image Not Found

The image depicts the sinking of the French cruiser Leon Gambetta the night of April 27, 1915 as she was blockading the Austrian navy in the Adriatic. She was sunk by two torpedos fired from the U-5 ("U V")and sank in 10 minutes, taking some 684 lives of the 821 on board, including all the ship's commissioned officers.

The U-5 was captained that cruise by Korvettenkapitän Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp. Yes, that von Trapp. He lost his wife in 1922 to scarlet fever, and then married his childrens' tutor, Maria Augusta Kutschera in 1928. He lost his monetary fortune after transferring his savings from a London bank to an Austrian bank, Wiki says during the Great Depression, but it seems likely that 1923's hyperinflation in Europe took a significant chunk.

Now, for the reverse:Image Not Found

First, it's an Austrian card, so the image portrayed is one of victory or triumph. It's written in Arabic, I believe, to an Arabian addressee, Isam von Nasif. Strangely late usage for the postcard itself, franked with the correct Non-Local Domestic rate.

When France occupied the Ruhr in January 1923, one of the German responses was to devalue its currency, which led to hyperinflation.

Wondering if this card was sent to convey a political message Any theories on the Arab connection? Syria was under French administration beginning in 1922 and formalized in September, 1923. Can anyone translate the message on the card? Would also enjoy discussing the causes of the hyperinflation in 1923 Germany.

-Paul

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

05 Aug 2018
11:12:59pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

It looks like it went to Berlin.

I, too, would be very interested to know what the message says. A great find!

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Mtrabz

06 Aug 2018
05:45:14pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Pigdoc,

I received your email and after looking at your postcard, the translation was difficult due to the bad handwriting of the sender but I will summarize what I was able to read.

Heidelberg 19-8-1923

"Dear, I am really sorry for the lost of the correspondence. I wish that you are ..... and I will congratulate once I come to Berlin soon. I hope that you are in good health. Why you didn't send me the "magazine" . Once I come, I will admonish you........distinction and to advance and forward.
Wish you all peace....

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Mtrabz

06 Aug 2018
05:46:29pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

NB: the dots means that there are words that I wasnt able to translate.

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Rgbrito

06 Aug 2018
06:25:51pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello, I have suggested to members who follow the Great War postcards thread to read your post on this very intriguing Great War submarine torpedo sinking French warship, delivered in 1923 and written in Arabic.

A wonderful possession, full of history and intrigue...


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Rgbrito

06 Aug 2018
06:36:10pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Mtrabz was contacted by me this afternoon. Given the time difference, etc., etc., etc., he did a great job in spite of what he points out, that the hand writing was difficult to read.

Now, what "magazine" are they talking about?
What correspondence that was lost?
Why would he have to "admonish" the recipient, although he is deferential?
What does the sender do in Heidelberg, a university city?

One could run wild with ideas, given the fact that the postcard portrays a pro-German (anti-French subtext) image of war.

I am ready to write a spy novel! LOL

best philatelic regards,

robert

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pigdoc

07 Aug 2018
09:02:03am
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Rgbrito,

Thanks for your high interest in my postcard, and your calls for a Postal History Discussion topic! I think it's a great idea. There are many here on this forum, who are making the transition from stamp collector to postal historian. I have 10 or 12 ongoing postal history collections which I share from on this list. My latest crazes are German Inflation and censored covers (Clipper mail, double censored, and non-wartime censored mail).

As for the message on the card, a couple of things are clear to me:

1. The recipient received some kind of honor ("distinction", congratulations are in order).
2. The recipient is being admonished for not notifying the sender of the event of his being honored (the "magazine" is probably an announcement or invitation). In turn, this suggests that the sender is implying that he would have attended the event, if he had been notified.

"advance", and "forward" are very interesting words indeed. Suggest to me some kind of 'movement', perhaps referring to a political group...And, that possibility is my principal attraction to this item!

Next step for me is to attempt to google Mr. Nasif. He may be notable for the honor spoken of in the card's message. And, the message itself suggests to me that this honor was awarded at a ceremony that also may be noted somewhere on the web...And, it's already narrowed down to a place (Berlin) and a time (early 1923).

Thanks to all!
-Paul


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StampWrangler
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07 Aug 2018
03:22:55pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

"There are many here on this forum, who are making the transition from stamp collector to postal historian."


And making the transition to detectives as well! Winking

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Rgbrito

07 Aug 2018
03:36:21pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

MORE INTERESTING FACTS COMING UP...

STAY TUNED...

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pigdoc

07 Aug 2018
03:44:22pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Did not take long to find this:

"History
Isam al-Din Hifni Nasif (1899-1969) was one of the most important early socialist thinkers and activists in Egypt.

Hifni Nasif became at an early age involved in the nationalist struggle for independence, first as a sympathiser of the Nationalist Party, and later as participant in the 1919 revolution, which was led by the Wafd. During the upheavals of the 1919 revolution he left for Berlin to pursue his studies in agronomy. There he continued his revolutionary activity as one of the main organisers of the Egyptian student movement in Europe. At the same time, he was strongly influenced by the socialist revolt in Germany and the social and political upheavals which followed the First World War. He became convinced that social reform was a precondition for the success of the struggle for national independence. Inevitably, Hifni Nasef’s radicalisation led to a confrontation and an
eventual break with the more moderate nationalist movement of the Wafd."

And, this:

"The Wafd Party ("Delegation Party"; Arabic: Hizb al-Wafd) was a nationalist liberal political party in Egypt. It was said to be Egypt's most popular and influential political party for a period from the end of World War I through the 1930s. During this time, it was instrumental in the development of the 1923 constitution, and supported moving Egypt from dynastic rule to a constitutional monarchy, where power would be wielded by a nationally-elected parliament. The party was dissolved in 1952, after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution."

Dr. Isam al-Din Hifni Nasif is called "one of the most influential figures of the Egyptian socialist movement in the 1930s."

The Egyptian Constitution was promulgated April 19, 1923. Presuming that Nasif was, through his involvement with the Wafd party, involved in developing the Constitution, I suppose that the "congratulations" offered in the message on the postcard were for the triumph of its promulgation.

I did find that he 'made the newspapers' in America on August 1, 1923, but I am too cheap to pay to read the articles.

Read more here:
https://tinyurl.com/ybvjj8jw

-Paul

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Rgbrito

07 Aug 2018
09:37:53pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Paul, and fellow thread followers:

I have a couple of things to share regarding the U5 postcard featured on The Sound of Music thread:

As for the postcard itself: the painter was a Heinrich "Harry" Heusser, who became a maritime painter on several mediums: watercolor, grisaille, oils. He painted several ship "portraits" for Lloyds of Austria, some very beautiful ships. Apparently he was a commercial artist, who, during the Great War, painted several naval battle scenes, like the image on the Postcard of the U5 sinking the Leon Gambetta French cruiser. Truly high quality German propaganda pieces. He was born in Pula, Croatia, in 1881, ("Pula is important as the main military port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Back then, it was the main naval base of the Austro-Hungarian marine as well as a shipbuilding centre") and died in Switzerland, a Swiss citizen, in 1943. I think he didn't want anything to do with the Nazis and left for Switzerland when he could. He died in Genf. (http://www.artnet.com/artists/harry-heinrich-heusser/)

The invaluable historical and biographical information on the recipient, Herrn Isam von Nasif, provided by Paul (Pigdoc), is wonderfully enlightening.

THIS POSTCARD IS A HISTORICAL DOCUMENT.

Continuing my search I came across the following details:
Accessed on August 7, 2018: http://www.reviewofreligions.org/13007/the-berlin-mosque-plan-of-1923/

Please, note the postmark on the postcard sent from Heidelberg: August 19, 1923.

On August 6, 1923 a very important ceremony took place for Berlin's Ahmadiyya Muslim community: the unveiling and foundation laying of the Berlin Mosque promulgated by the Indian national, Maulvi Mubarak Ali, a Muslim missionary sent to Germany in 1922 by the Ahmadiyat leader, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, second Khalifah and the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It's interesting to note that a competing Indian community intent on converting Indian Muslims to Hinduism was very active. Mubarak Ali's mission was intended to counteract this other Indian opposition and religious challenge.


Germany, still reeling from its Allied defeat in the Great War, had been receiving and welcoming anti-British members from British colonies and protectorates. However, many in the German government did not see favorably Maulvi Mubarak Ali's plans. The Foreign Ministry had sent letters to government officials and others strongly suggesting to reject the invitation to the Mosque ceremony. The reason given was that a sector of the Weimar Government believed that Maulvi Mubarak Ali was an agent for the British government. The Egyptian Nationalists held similar feelings towards the Ahmadiyya Muslims living in Germany.


A group of Egyptian Nationalists, led by a Dr. Mansur Rifat, showed up at the ceremony and disrupted the event. They were removed by the German police. The Mosque was to be erected on Kaiserdamm Boulevard. (The address on the postcard shows Kaiserdamm 23, where Isam Al Nasif resided. It is presently a row of apartments and shops.) Isam von Nasif was 24 years of age when these events took place. We can very well imagine Mr. Nasif as being part of Dr. Mansur Rifat's group of college students and followers that disrupted the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque's unveiling of architectural plans and foundation laying ceremony.

The Berlin Mosque project fell victim to the hyperinflation that crippled Germany's economy, and which led to the eventual take over of the country by the Nazis. In November, 1923, Adolf Hitler led the infamous Beer Hall Putsch which, during his trial and short incarceration, gave him a platform to express his ideology and plans for the future of Germany under Nazi rule.


Maulvi Mubarak Ali left Germany in 1924, going to India and Bengal to teach in the latter, and become Amir of the former. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's German Mission was closed, and it was decided by the Consultative Body to establish London as the main European Mission. The Mosque was finished in 2008.

I apologize for this lengthy summary.

And, as Paul Harvey would have said, "And that is the rest of the story..."


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ikeyPikey
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07 Aug 2018
10:48:43pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Thank you for this post, Paul.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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pigdoc

08 Aug 2018
08:35:44am
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Thanks for all the background, robert!

Yes, I had googled the recipient's address in Berlin. There is not much of historical significance to be seen from the Street View. Interesting that the planned location of the mosque was in the same general area...

Politically, what I find most compelling about the postcard is the knowledge that the recipient was highly influenced by Marxism during his time in Berlin. It is known that there was quite a lot of leftist activity in early 1920s Germany, and this would have been highly influential to Mr. Nasif. I'm still flummoxed over exactly what Nasif did around this time that warranted congratulations. He would have been a bit young (in his early 20s) to have a lot of influence on a Constitutional convention, I think...On the other hand, its promulgation would certainly have been seen as a victory by his political camp.

While the recipient is a notable, my presumption about the sender is that he was probably just a fawning admirer. So, it's probably just fan mail... You wondered why a postcard was sent from a 'college town' (Heidelberg), and the research revealed that Nasif was at the center of a (Communist?) student movement in Germany at that time, so that fits with your observation.

"Before They Were Famous" would be an interesting postal history collection...

A comment on the November 9, 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Another item in my Germany Inflation collection is a cover found in this thread:

German Inflation Covers:
https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=19172#142413

...about 2/3 of the way down. Mailed November 10, by an (in)famous proponent of the Final Solution, Dr. Ernst Boepple. Very spooky. I have an older book on my shelf, Munich 1923 by John Dornberg. The whole book is devoted to those few days in November, 1923. Boepple is not mentioned in the book.

Bottom line, Germany was a hotbed of political activism in the early 1920s, making it a fertile collecting era for what I call "twofors" - items that hit (at least) two prominent historical contexts at once.

-Paul


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Rgbrito

08 Aug 2018
11:35:21pm
re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Paul:
Thank you for the insightful title: Before They Were Famous!

A search on Dr.Mansur Rifat would be in order.
Who is the postcard sender? The deferential tone strongly suggests some personal connection between the two subjects: sender-recipient.
The key to this enigma is the subject of a 1915 anti-allies propaganda piece being sent during a hypercharged European-Arabic geopolitical struggle. I do believe the sender knew exactly what he was doing when he picked up the postcard and mailed it to someone in the midst of this controversy. Historically, Isam al Nasif was right in the middle of this Arab-European conflict. We can theorize this given the details of the pro-British, anti-British and all other political-religious-economic elements at play here. That's my belief.

Best regards,
robert
rgbritophilately@gmail.com

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Author/Postings
pigdoc

05 Aug 2018
09:44:47pm

...the darker side of the story...the truth!

Here is a nifty postcard I picked up this morning to go in my Germany Inflation cover collection:
Image Not Found

The image depicts the sinking of the French cruiser Leon Gambetta the night of April 27, 1915 as she was blockading the Austrian navy in the Adriatic. She was sunk by two torpedos fired from the U-5 ("U V")and sank in 10 minutes, taking some 684 lives of the 821 on board, including all the ship's commissioned officers.

The U-5 was captained that cruise by Korvettenkapitän Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp. Yes, that von Trapp. He lost his wife in 1922 to scarlet fever, and then married his childrens' tutor, Maria Augusta Kutschera in 1928. He lost his monetary fortune after transferring his savings from a London bank to an Austrian bank, Wiki says during the Great Depression, but it seems likely that 1923's hyperinflation in Europe took a significant chunk.

Now, for the reverse:Image Not Found

First, it's an Austrian card, so the image portrayed is one of victory or triumph. It's written in Arabic, I believe, to an Arabian addressee, Isam von Nasif. Strangely late usage for the postcard itself, franked with the correct Non-Local Domestic rate.

When France occupied the Ruhr in January 1923, one of the German responses was to devalue its currency, which led to hyperinflation.

Wondering if this card was sent to convey a political message Any theories on the Arab connection? Syria was under French administration beginning in 1922 and formalized in September, 1923. Can anyone translate the message on the card? Would also enjoy discussing the causes of the hyperinflation in 1923 Germany.

-Paul

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
05 Aug 2018
11:12:59pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

It looks like it went to Berlin.

I, too, would be very interested to know what the message says. A great find!

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"Author: Seasons of Fantasies and Dreams, The Whitechapel Fog"

www.hipstamp.com/sto ...
Mtrabz

06 Aug 2018
05:45:14pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Pigdoc,

I received your email and after looking at your postcard, the translation was difficult due to the bad handwriting of the sender but I will summarize what I was able to read.

Heidelberg 19-8-1923

"Dear, I am really sorry for the lost of the correspondence. I wish that you are ..... and I will congratulate once I come to Berlin soon. I hope that you are in good health. Why you didn't send me the "magazine" . Once I come, I will admonish you........distinction and to advance and forward.
Wish you all peace....

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Mtrabz

06 Aug 2018
05:46:29pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

NB: the dots means that there are words that I wasnt able to translate.

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Rgbrito

06 Aug 2018
06:25:51pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello, I have suggested to members who follow the Great War postcards thread to read your post on this very intriguing Great War submarine torpedo sinking French warship, delivered in 1923 and written in Arabic.

A wonderful possession, full of history and intrigue...


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Rgbrito

06 Aug 2018
06:36:10pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Mtrabz was contacted by me this afternoon. Given the time difference, etc., etc., etc., he did a great job in spite of what he points out, that the hand writing was difficult to read.

Now, what "magazine" are they talking about?
What correspondence that was lost?
Why would he have to "admonish" the recipient, although he is deferential?
What does the sender do in Heidelberg, a university city?

One could run wild with ideas, given the fact that the postcard portrays a pro-German (anti-French subtext) image of war.

I am ready to write a spy novel! LOL

best philatelic regards,

robert

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pigdoc

07 Aug 2018
09:02:03am

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Rgbrito,

Thanks for your high interest in my postcard, and your calls for a Postal History Discussion topic! I think it's a great idea. There are many here on this forum, who are making the transition from stamp collector to postal historian. I have 10 or 12 ongoing postal history collections which I share from on this list. My latest crazes are German Inflation and censored covers (Clipper mail, double censored, and non-wartime censored mail).

As for the message on the card, a couple of things are clear to me:

1. The recipient received some kind of honor ("distinction", congratulations are in order).
2. The recipient is being admonished for not notifying the sender of the event of his being honored (the "magazine" is probably an announcement or invitation). In turn, this suggests that the sender is implying that he would have attended the event, if he had been notified.

"advance", and "forward" are very interesting words indeed. Suggest to me some kind of 'movement', perhaps referring to a political group...And, that possibility is my principal attraction to this item!

Next step for me is to attempt to google Mr. Nasif. He may be notable for the honor spoken of in the card's message. And, the message itself suggests to me that this honor was awarded at a ceremony that also may be noted somewhere on the web...And, it's already narrowed down to a place (Berlin) and a time (early 1923).

Thanks to all!
-Paul


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StampWrangler

07 Aug 2018
03:22:55pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

"There are many here on this forum, who are making the transition from stamp collector to postal historian."


And making the transition to detectives as well! Winking

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Rgbrito

07 Aug 2018
03:36:21pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

MORE INTERESTING FACTS COMING UP...

STAY TUNED...

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pigdoc

07 Aug 2018
03:44:22pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Did not take long to find this:

"History
Isam al-Din Hifni Nasif (1899-1969) was one of the most important early socialist thinkers and activists in Egypt.

Hifni Nasif became at an early age involved in the nationalist struggle for independence, first as a sympathiser of the Nationalist Party, and later as participant in the 1919 revolution, which was led by the Wafd. During the upheavals of the 1919 revolution he left for Berlin to pursue his studies in agronomy. There he continued his revolutionary activity as one of the main organisers of the Egyptian student movement in Europe. At the same time, he was strongly influenced by the socialist revolt in Germany and the social and political upheavals which followed the First World War. He became convinced that social reform was a precondition for the success of the struggle for national independence. Inevitably, Hifni Nasef’s radicalisation led to a confrontation and an
eventual break with the more moderate nationalist movement of the Wafd."

And, this:

"The Wafd Party ("Delegation Party"; Arabic: Hizb al-Wafd) was a nationalist liberal political party in Egypt. It was said to be Egypt's most popular and influential political party for a period from the end of World War I through the 1930s. During this time, it was instrumental in the development of the 1923 constitution, and supported moving Egypt from dynastic rule to a constitutional monarchy, where power would be wielded by a nationally-elected parliament. The party was dissolved in 1952, after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution."

Dr. Isam al-Din Hifni Nasif is called "one of the most influential figures of the Egyptian socialist movement in the 1930s."

The Egyptian Constitution was promulgated April 19, 1923. Presuming that Nasif was, through his involvement with the Wafd party, involved in developing the Constitution, I suppose that the "congratulations" offered in the message on the postcard were for the triumph of its promulgation.

I did find that he 'made the newspapers' in America on August 1, 1923, but I am too cheap to pay to read the articles.

Read more here:
https://tinyurl.com/ybvjj8jw

-Paul

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Rgbrito

07 Aug 2018
09:37:53pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Paul, and fellow thread followers:

I have a couple of things to share regarding the U5 postcard featured on The Sound of Music thread:

As for the postcard itself: the painter was a Heinrich "Harry" Heusser, who became a maritime painter on several mediums: watercolor, grisaille, oils. He painted several ship "portraits" for Lloyds of Austria, some very beautiful ships. Apparently he was a commercial artist, who, during the Great War, painted several naval battle scenes, like the image on the Postcard of the U5 sinking the Leon Gambetta French cruiser. Truly high quality German propaganda pieces. He was born in Pula, Croatia, in 1881, ("Pula is important as the main military port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Back then, it was the main naval base of the Austro-Hungarian marine as well as a shipbuilding centre") and died in Switzerland, a Swiss citizen, in 1943. I think he didn't want anything to do with the Nazis and left for Switzerland when he could. He died in Genf. (http://www.artnet.com/artists/harry-heinrich-heusser/)

The invaluable historical and biographical information on the recipient, Herrn Isam von Nasif, provided by Paul (Pigdoc), is wonderfully enlightening.

THIS POSTCARD IS A HISTORICAL DOCUMENT.

Continuing my search I came across the following details:
Accessed on August 7, 2018: http://www.reviewofreligions.org/13007/the-berlin-mosque-plan-of-1923/

Please, note the postmark on the postcard sent from Heidelberg: August 19, 1923.

On August 6, 1923 a very important ceremony took place for Berlin's Ahmadiyya Muslim community: the unveiling and foundation laying of the Berlin Mosque promulgated by the Indian national, Maulvi Mubarak Ali, a Muslim missionary sent to Germany in 1922 by the Ahmadiyat leader, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, second Khalifah and the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It's interesting to note that a competing Indian community intent on converting Indian Muslims to Hinduism was very active. Mubarak Ali's mission was intended to counteract this other Indian opposition and religious challenge.


Germany, still reeling from its Allied defeat in the Great War, had been receiving and welcoming anti-British members from British colonies and protectorates. However, many in the German government did not see favorably Maulvi Mubarak Ali's plans. The Foreign Ministry had sent letters to government officials and others strongly suggesting to reject the invitation to the Mosque ceremony. The reason given was that a sector of the Weimar Government believed that Maulvi Mubarak Ali was an agent for the British government. The Egyptian Nationalists held similar feelings towards the Ahmadiyya Muslims living in Germany.


A group of Egyptian Nationalists, led by a Dr. Mansur Rifat, showed up at the ceremony and disrupted the event. They were removed by the German police. The Mosque was to be erected on Kaiserdamm Boulevard. (The address on the postcard shows Kaiserdamm 23, where Isam Al Nasif resided. It is presently a row of apartments and shops.) Isam von Nasif was 24 years of age when these events took place. We can very well imagine Mr. Nasif as being part of Dr. Mansur Rifat's group of college students and followers that disrupted the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque's unveiling of architectural plans and foundation laying ceremony.

The Berlin Mosque project fell victim to the hyperinflation that crippled Germany's economy, and which led to the eventual take over of the country by the Nazis. In November, 1923, Adolf Hitler led the infamous Beer Hall Putsch which, during his trial and short incarceration, gave him a platform to express his ideology and plans for the future of Germany under Nazi rule.


Maulvi Mubarak Ali left Germany in 1924, going to India and Bengal to teach in the latter, and become Amir of the former. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's German Mission was closed, and it was decided by the Consultative Body to establish London as the main European Mission. The Mosque was finished in 2008.

I apologize for this lengthy summary.

And, as Paul Harvey would have said, "And that is the rest of the story..."


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ikeyPikey

07 Aug 2018
10:48:43pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Thank you for this post, Paul.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
pigdoc

08 Aug 2018
08:35:44am

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Thanks for all the background, robert!

Yes, I had googled the recipient's address in Berlin. There is not much of historical significance to be seen from the Street View. Interesting that the planned location of the mosque was in the same general area...

Politically, what I find most compelling about the postcard is the knowledge that the recipient was highly influenced by Marxism during his time in Berlin. It is known that there was quite a lot of leftist activity in early 1920s Germany, and this would have been highly influential to Mr. Nasif. I'm still flummoxed over exactly what Nasif did around this time that warranted congratulations. He would have been a bit young (in his early 20s) to have a lot of influence on a Constitutional convention, I think...On the other hand, its promulgation would certainly have been seen as a victory by his political camp.

While the recipient is a notable, my presumption about the sender is that he was probably just a fawning admirer. So, it's probably just fan mail... You wondered why a postcard was sent from a 'college town' (Heidelberg), and the research revealed that Nasif was at the center of a (Communist?) student movement in Germany at that time, so that fits with your observation.

"Before They Were Famous" would be an interesting postal history collection...

A comment on the November 9, 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Another item in my Germany Inflation collection is a cover found in this thread:

German Inflation Covers:
https://stamporama.com/discboard/disc_main.php?action=20&id=19172#142413

...about 2/3 of the way down. Mailed November 10, by an (in)famous proponent of the Final Solution, Dr. Ernst Boepple. Very spooky. I have an older book on my shelf, Munich 1923 by John Dornberg. The whole book is devoted to those few days in November, 1923. Boepple is not mentioned in the book.

Bottom line, Germany was a hotbed of political activism in the early 1920s, making it a fertile collecting era for what I call "twofors" - items that hit (at least) two prominent historical contexts at once.

-Paul


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Rgbrito

08 Aug 2018
11:35:21pm

re: The Sound of Music: A postcard that is a Historical Document

Hello Paul:
Thank you for the insightful title: Before They Were Famous!

A search on Dr.Mansur Rifat would be in order.
Who is the postcard sender? The deferential tone strongly suggests some personal connection between the two subjects: sender-recipient.
The key to this enigma is the subject of a 1915 anti-allies propaganda piece being sent during a hypercharged European-Arabic geopolitical struggle. I do believe the sender knew exactly what he was doing when he picked up the postcard and mailed it to someone in the midst of this controversy. Historically, Isam al Nasif was right in the middle of this Arab-European conflict. We can theorize this given the details of the pro-British, anti-British and all other political-religious-economic elements at play here. That's my belief.

Best regards,
robert
rgbritophilately@gmail.com

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