Hermann Struck: Samba Diallo, from the series “Kriegsgefangene” (prisoners of war), Berlin: Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) 1915 – 1916, Lithography.
Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Photo: Jens Ziehe
The so-called Half Moon or Crescent Moon Camp soon received the attention of scientists from the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission, who believed that the artificially created laboratory situation of the camp offered optimal conditions for comparative cultural research. In addition to their extensive linguistic and musicological recordings, all sorts of elaborate body measurements were carried out on the prisoners under the direction of the anthropologist Felix von Luschan.
In contrast, the drawings that the well-known Jewish painter Hermann Struck made on commission from von Luschan seemed to be less committed to the anthropological determination of “types of people” than to the artistic search for individual expression. Some of the people Struck portrayed even wrote down their names on his illustration sheets.