Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A. Paul Weber

 A. Paul Weber, The Rumor, 1943

Andreas Paul Weber (1893-1980) was born in Arnstadt, Thuringia. He visited the secondary school in Arnstadt, and then for a short time, the Art and Crafts School in Erfurt. He joined the Wandervogel, a youth movement interested in cultivating a better lifestyle and a heightened appreciation of nature through hiking. Weber's attachment to nature was awakened by extenisively hiking through Germany. 

 A. Paul Weber, Leviathan, 1942

During the First World War, Weber was drafted into military service and sent as a railway pioneer to the Eastern Front where he worked as a draftsman and caricaturist for the magazine of the 10th Army. In 1928, Weber became a member of a political circle opposing Hitler and National Socialism, which was centered around Ernst Niekisch. Niekisch and his followers adopted the name of "National Bolsheviks" and looked to the Soviet Union as a continuation of both Russian nationalism and the old state of Prussia. 

 A. Paul Weber, The Informer, 1934

Niekisch's movement took the slogan of "Sparta-Potsdam-Moscow". Weber illustated books and periodicals for Niekisch's Widerstands-Verlag (Resistance Press). After a time in the underground, Niekisch was arrested in 1937 and sentenced to life imprisonment  for "literary high treason". He was released in 1945, by which time he was blind. Weber was imprisoned by the Nazis from July to December 1937. Following are a few  examples of Weber's caricatures for the Resistance magazine:

A. Paul Weber, The Meeting, 1932

The meeting between President Hindenburg and Hitler took place on August 13th, 1932, two weeks after the Nazi Party had become the strongest parliamentary party with 230 seats. Hitler is caricatured in the pose of corporal before his former commander in chief.

 A. Paul Weber, Der Schlag ins Leere, 1933

The above drawing, a "Michel" (the average German small guy) hammering a nail into his head, was Weber's response to Hitler's seizure of power.

 A. Paul Weber, Speculating on Death, 1943

Here, a capitalist war profiteers neatly brushes wooden grave crosses in view of the coming war. In a number of Weber's political drawings the mass of "humans" is replaced by the mass of crosses.

 A. Paul Weber, The Doom, 1932
The most famous of Weber's anti-Hitler drawings: the march of the crowd under Nazi flags to the mass grave.

 A. Paul Weber, Little Shark, n.d.

After the Second World War Weber continued to be a social commentator, with his criticism covering politics, justice, militarism, enviromental pollution, inhumanity, medicine and fanaticism in sports. In 1973, the A. Paul Weber Museum opened in Ratzeburg. In 1980, Weber died at the age of 87 in Schretstaken, a small village near Ratzeburg, where he had lived since 1936. 

 A. Paul Weber, The Man with the Golden Tooth, 1952

Weber left an extensive work of drawings and lithographies. Furthermore, he designed a number of commercial art and book illustrations (for example, to Reineke Fuchs, Till Eulenspiegel, Münchhausen and works of Hans Sachs).

1 comment:

  1. It's just beautiful and very expressive. I will make a little post to link this on my own blog.