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WAR CHILD
« Nostalgia?KITSCH AND ME »

WAR CHILD

27.04.14

  04:17:00 pm, by   , 609 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

WAR CHILD


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The bigger picture

Reading the book of Sabine Bode : The lost generation on the  childhood trauma  suffered by Germans born in the 30-40ies during the war , I started thinking about my own memories. I found that they were relatively scarce, some bits at best. Historical facts inform me more, even though I found no trace of the activity of my father in Eldagsen village near Hannover . Still, only 10 days after my birth, part of the city of Hannover has undergone a major bombardment, followed by others . But it is in the village of Eldagsen that I lived most of the war. Apart from a few attacks of  British fighter planes flying very low , a night bombing  and a rush in a cellar , I do not remember having seen horrors . After the war, Hannover was devastated and full of unusual scenes; I remember TB sick people spitting blood in the streets, war invalids, ruins, queues in front of stores, the course in daily tram stuck among adults (1947) with the fear of never being able to come out ... But compared to what other German children suffered at the same time, I am lucky without apparent sequels in my adult life. This collage is intended as an illustration of abandonment endured by so many children. It is a cry that one begins to hear in Germany only now, as people of my generation are starting to talk about after  many years of voluntary or imposed silence. The female character is a synthetic portrait of my Dutch, Protestant religious torturer (1946-1947) in the sanatorium for supposedly TB children. So in my case, I did not develop panic attacks for no apparent reason, I could lead a "normal" life. But no doubt that this violent experience from my childhood is the reactor which feeds my images.

 

 

En lisant le livre de Sabine Bode : Die vergessene Generation sur les traumatismes subis par les Allemands nés dans les années 30-40, je me suis mis à réfléchir à mes propres souvenirs.  J’ai constaté qu’ils étaient relativement maigres, quelques bribes au mieux. Les faits historiques me renseignent davantage, même si je n’ai trouvé aucune trace de l’activité de mon père au village d’Eldagsen, près de Hanovre. Toujours est-il que 10 jours après ma naissance, une partie de la ville a subi un gros bombardement, suivi par quelques autres. Mais c’est au village d’Eldagsen que j’ai vécu le gros de la guerre. A part quelques attaques d’avions de chasse anglais qui volaient extrêmement bas, un bombardement nocturne et une ruée dans une cave, je ne me souviens pas d’avoir vu des horreurs. Après la guerre, la ville deHanovre était dévasté et pleine de scènes insolites ; je me souviens de tuberculeux crachant du sang dans la rue, des invalides de guerre, des ruines, des queues devant les magasins, du parcours en tram quotidien coincé parmi les adultes(1947) avec la crainte de ne jamais pouvoir en ressortir… Mais par rapport à ce que d’autres enfants allemands ont subi à la même époque, je m’en suis bien tiré, sans séquelles apparentes dans ma vie d’adulte. C’est ainsi que ce collage se veut une illustration de l’abandon qu’ont subi tant d’enfants alors. C’est un cri qu’on commence à entendre seulement maintenant en Allemagne, car les gens de ma génération commencent à en parler après des années de silence volontaire ou imposé. Le personnage féminin est un portrait synthétique de ma tortionnaire hollandaise, religieuse protestante (1946-47) dans le sanatorium pour enfants soi-disant tuberculeux. Je n’ai donc pas développé des crises de panique sans raison apparente, j’ai pu mener un vie « normale ». Mais sans doute que cette expérience violente de mon enfance est le réacteur qui alimente mes images.

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