Multimedia countdown: 100-days to the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 –

A soldier’s diary- A Texas farm lad of German descent, Hillie Franz served in the 7th Division and fought the Germans in World War I. While serving in France, he found a nearly unused German ledger book and, in spite of his lack of formal education (Franz’s spelling was often phonetic at best), he decided to record his experiences in the book.

dIARY page 1
Photos: Library of Congress

It’s a century-old book that comes alive again in the Library of Congress’ Veterans War Project. Franz saw his first combat during the Meuse-Argonne battle in which more than 1-million U.S. troops forced a German retreat that along with separate French and British offensive drives ended WWI. What Franz’s account lacks in literacy it more than makes up for in capturing the chaos of the infantryman’s life in wartime. 

Diary Sept 27

Diary Hillie John Franz 2
Hillie J. Franz while serving in WWI in France in 1918. Photos: Library of Congress

Diary oct 3   Diary oct 14

Diary Nov 8


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