A SINISTER DARKNESS:
The Forgotten Works of
Paul Andreas Weber
In 1995 I was commissioned by The New Statesman magazine to write a feature on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp just outside Munich. On that cold, sleet-driven day there was no comfort to be found walking around the massive site. It felt thick with tragic ghosts. When I entered what was once the camp's SS barracks, among all the murals and photos one set of artworks stunned me.
|A. Paul Weber: The Informer|
In the 1930s Weber saw the wickedness and hypocrisy behind the Nazi sideshow and committed his thoughts to art. I find it haunting, and, as the 21st century world slips back into that dark, proto-fascist 1930s mindset, these drawings seem to have a new relevance in the age of post-truth. The biography below is a translation from the original German direct from the weber Museum's web site. It still gives me the creeps and sends me back to Dachau every time I see it.
|'SPECULATING ON DEATH'|
On November 1, 1893, Andreas Paul Weber as the son of a railway was
Born in Wizard in Arnstadt (Thuringia). His grandfather, the manufacturer Christian Kortmann, and his mother encouraged him in the literary and artistic technical fields. Weber attended the secondary school Arnstadt, later briefly the arts and crafts school in Erfurt.
1908-1914 he was a member of the young Wandervogel, a movement that was looking for a new lifestyle in the hiking and natural way of life. His love of country and nature were awakened when hiking through all over Germany. From these experiences out, also the national and nature-loving ethos of the artist is to understand, who already worked in these years as a commercial graphic artist.
In the first world war, he performed military service as a railway pioneer on the eastern front. From 1916 he worked as a cartoonist and Illustrator for the "Journal of the 10th army" until 1918, he was sent to Spa.
in 1920, he married Toni Klander; they had 5 children. In the following years, Weber achieved first successes as an Illustrator: it created illustrations to Hans Sachs, till Eulenspiegel, Reineke Fuchs and time-critical work "The contemporary" by Hjalmar Kutzleb. in 1925, the artist founded his own, named for Toni Klander "clan press". In the later collaboration with his eldest son Christian, signets, bookplates, and promotional materials were produced.
in 1928, Weber joined the resistance circle to Ernst Niekisch. He often only partly followed the ideologies of the intellectual circle, but shared its growing concern for the future of Germany with regard to the rising national socialism. In the years 1931-1936, Weber besides Niekisch was co-editor of the journal "Resistance", for which he designed the logo. For the resistance-Verlag, he produced numerous book facilities, but above all politically satirical illustrations. From 1932 to 1945, Weber was also the German folk calendar North Schleswig, gave out his friend Hans Schmidt-Gorsblock.
Weber moved to residences in Berlin-Spandau, upper Ellen, Nicholas Berg, Reinhausen, outdoor banes on the Lüneburg Heath in 1936 after Schretstaken (district of Lauenburg). Resistance published the monography of Weber, Hugo Fischer, which stipulates that appeared at this time:
"... the artist the world holding up a mirror, themselves recognize that he scares himself...".
On July 2, 1937, A. Paul Weber was arrested and imprisoned until December 15 in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel, in Berlin and Nuremberg because of its contacts with the resistance circle. In prison, he was allowed drawing apolitical leaves; first work on the motifs of "Chess player" and "Forest" was developed. After a trip to Florida in 1938, not used Weber his family due to the emigration, he began in 1939 regularly to deliver blades for the evil John derived "pencil Art Association" in Hamburg. This company aimed to publicise good graphics like all parts of society. Until 1980, Weber delivered for this 157 lithographs.
1939-1941 Weber worked at the cycle "Wealth of tears" (British pictures), which were published in the Nibelungen-Verlag Berlin. 1944/45, he was used for military service.
After the war, he created again critical lithographs to current problems. He met satirical human foibles and far-sighted pointed to abuses in politics, Church, judiciary, economy, art, medicine and the environment. 1954-1967 Weber worked at the magazine "Simplicissimus". This time the artist brought increasing recognition: already in 1951, a special "A. Paul Weber circle" was founded in the pencil Art Association, 1955 he received the art prize of Schleswig-Holstein, in 1963 the Hans-Thoma medal. Weber was appointed Professor in 1971, and was awarded the great Federal cross of merit.
From 1959 until his death the "Critical calendar" published in self-publishing - a Yearbook with graphics, texts from literature and newspapers were put to the side. More than 600 works were published until 1980.
On November 9, 1980, the artist died 87jährig in Schretstaken. His urn was in the garden of A. Buried Paul Weber Museum. Weber's oeuvre includes nearly 3.000 lithographs, hundreds of woodblock prints, over 200 oil paintings, an immense number of gebrauchsgraphischer work and sketches, as well as several thousand drawings.