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Andreas Maraski

was born in 1889 in the town of Bocșa, approximately 80 kilometres southeast of Timișoara in the Caraș-Severin County in today's Romania. During the First World War, he was mobilised as a non-commissioned officer into the 43rd Infantry Regiment stationed in Caransebeș. He fought on a number of battlefields, mostly against Italian forces. He spent the period from 1915 to 1917 at the Isonzo Front on its Kras battlefields, both at Doberdob and Komen. Following the breakthrough of the Front in late October 1917, he marched, together with his unit, towards the Piave river and the Monte Grape mountains where he stayed until the end of the war. Maraski was a keen photographer, always ready to capture a motif that caught his attention.
When he came back home, he managed a family trading company and a small brewery together with his two brothers. After the Second World War, most of their property was nationalised. He died and was buried in his home town in 1967.
His family found a number of artifacts from the First World War, including a collection of 375 photographs, in his estate. Most of the photographs were probably taken by Maraski himself, while some were most likely obtained from other photographers. An examination of the photographs revealed that most of them were taken in the Kras area. They give us a valuable insight into the everyday life of the men enlisted in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the aftermatch of the battles, devastated villages situated close to the frontline, etc. A significant number of the photographs depicts the military life at the Segeti camp.

War photography

Photography blossomed during the First World War.
All the involved sides were perfectly aware of the importance of documenting war events. Hence, armies established their own film and photographic units recruiting professional photographers equipped with quality cameras through which they recording military actions and anything interesting that was going on. These photographers reported directly to the War Press Office at the Imperial and Royal Ministry of War, as well as to the War Archives where censors decided which photographs could be published.
This was also the time when the number of amateur photographers increased significantly. Officers, in particular, would purchase their own cameras. Manufacturers would promote some of their pocket models as ideal for military men. The Ministry of War looked benevolently at amateur photographers knowing that professionals alone could not capture everything. The Ministry adopted rules and instructions on war photography and everybody with a camera had to obtain a special permit from their units. All photographs were submitted for inspection. Those that proved important were used by the War Press Office.
One of the many amateur photographers was Andreas Maraski. The number of the photographs and the diversity of the motifs captured by Maraski make his collection one of the most valuable photographic accounts of the events that took place in the Kras during the First World War.

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