Germany just before 1914 as seen by French reporter Jules Huret

Jun 2016
Hi all,

I just joined the forum. Last year I spent a few months translating one third of a book from French called l'Allemagne Moderne published in two parts in 1912 and 1913.

The book is by Jules Huret who was a journalist for Le Figaro, and just happened to put together a fascinating writeup of Germany just before Europe's long period of (relative) peace ended. The two books are also full of pictures that I put together and translated the captions for here (494 in total):

Page F30: 494 images of Germany just before World War I - part 1

And the original book in French can be seen in full here.

Huret died in 1915, but in Paris so not on the battlefield (was too old to go to war in any case by then), but I still can't find out how he died. By some disease, I assume. His book on Germany was extremely positive, always emphasizing areas where Germany did things better than France, and so he died at just the wrong time for his book, which is why I believe it has been forgotten and never translated into another language.

By the way if anybody knows how he died I'd love to know. I've even gotten in touch with a few journalists at Le Figaro to ask if they have a way of finding out and no luck so far.

Some of the images:

A zeppelin flying over a boat

Berlin viewed from above


Water purification

Street cleaning

Jun 2016
A few more pictures in Huret's book that I like in particular.

Huret visited two beaches in the book, one being Wannsee close to Berlin:

That one was mostly hidden to the authorities when he was there so rules were few and far in between. Apparently the Prussian authorities had gotten wind of it and started to enact stricter rules by around the time the book got published.

In contrast to this is Norderney (the island) about six hours away to the northwest, which apparently Bülow had made into a popular destination by visiting there a lot. At Norderney even buildings of more than two stories weren't allowed to be built for a while because from the top of one someone could conceivably use a spyglass to take a look at the women's quarters on the beach.

An inspector of a raised railroad at work:

A completed raised railway line:

Propeller of a steam ship:

The main anchor of the Imperator:


Coronation of King Ludwig in Bavaria:

Public telephone in Munich:

Divination at year's end using molten lead:

Laundry in Munich:

Simplicissimus caricature showing the UK trying to provoke France and Germany against each other:

Tramways in Dresden hauling equipment along with people:

The Völkerschlachtsdenkmal commemorating the war between Germany and Austria from above.

Jul 2017
So Dh...
Besides those pictures...
Does anything interesting come out of that book??
Something opposed to the collective imaginary??
Something that would have been usefull if known during WWI??