Winter Sports in the Vosges (circa 1914)
Interesting postcard for many reasons. How often do you get to see a skier from one hundred years ago?
Also, this card is one of the many that I own that were written by the mysterious Jean Sazy to his wife Jeanne.
I have no idea who they were (my dad thinks that he was one of my grandfather’s cousin), and even less why they were in my grandmother’s possession when she passed away. However, they are so fascinating for many reasons, the main one being that Jean Sazy was a conscript sent to war in 1914… Yes, that war!
I wish I could one day transcribe and translate all of his correspondence and post it here, but I’m not sure if that will ever be possible. His letters to his wife don’t tell that much about the war itself, and at the same time they tell so much. You can guess that he couldn’t really tell a lot, on the one hand because of censorship from his hierarchy and on the other hand because he clearly wanted to spare her from the horrible things he saw and lived through.
Now, you may wonder what has happened to him. I do too.
Searching through the French Ministry of Defense archives (that has a database of every soldier who died during the main wars of the 20th Century), I did find a Jean-Baptiste Sazy who was born in Lamagistère (that is the village closest to my grandfather’s home – he lived in the countryside) and who died in November 1914.
Case closed, right?
Well, no, because I have postcards from him that date from later, up to 1915 or even 1916.
So was it someone else from his family (the first name “Jean” was very common at the time) or is it him, but the date of death was a mistake?
I’ll probably never know.