A Secret code in Macedonian embroidery?

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The geometry, colors, and aesthetics of traditional Macedonian embroidery has mesmerized all war painters that traveled through Macedonia or fought with their armies on Macedonian front during the Great War 1914-1918. Macedonian farmers dressed in traditional clothes are common subjects in their paintings.  But in one case, this inspiration went into a scenario that one can find in James Bond 007 spy films.

Max Römer (1878-1960) was a German painter from Hamburg, educated in art academies in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris. The Great War has transformed him from a painter into a soldier of German infantry in the fronts of Champagne (1915) , Sonne (1916) , Romania (1917) and finaly in Macedonia (August 1918).

There are several of his drawings from Macedonia in my private collection.But there is one drawing that I don’t possess and it is recently published in the book of Edward Kassab “Max Römer Sketches from the Great War” (https://oneline.pt/pt/portfolio/max-romer-3/) which is very impressive:

Römer started to encode Morse code letters hidden into drawings of Macedonian folk embroidery and Ottoman calligraphy. In this way, he could send secret messages about the location of the German troops, or perhaps send a sincere letters to his family and avoid military censorship.

This discovery opened a new perspective to me. When I see, for example this Greek Macedonian folk dress – now I look at it as a 100-years-old wearable technology with stories written on it :-).

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