Emil Huber

This postcard, a work by the painter Emil Huber (1883-1943), is the first in a series dedicated to young "Scouts in the Service of the Army". It depicts the use of the scout movement on the fringes of the troops. On the right side of the picture, a young scout has dismounted from his bicycle. The youth is practically standing at attention. He is wearing the traditional uniform (four-humped felt hat, neckerchief, khaki shirt). This clothing was introduced internationally in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell, the British founder of the Scout movement. The scout wears a Helvetic armband on his left arm, the sign of belonging to the national movement founded shortly before the war (1913). On the left of the picture, an officer holds a notebook in his hands. He seems to be smiling, apparently satisfied with the enlightener's commitment.

Emil Huber was a sought-after artist in the German-speaking world during the First World War. In addition to his work for the Swiss army, the painter was also involved in the illustration of a book about Germany at war. Published in Zurich by Gustav Eberlein, a German journalist who worked for the Berner Tagblatt, it celebrates the greatness of the German army and the Entente's responsibility for the outbreak of the conflict. It is interesting that it was used by the English propaganda service and disseminated in the neutral countries.

The personal example of Emil Huber shows that some Swiss artists worked on a double nationalist mobilisation, both Swiss and German. In 1915, Huber produced a series of Baltic postcards dedicated to "our field greys", depicting the various types of weapons used by the German army.