Thursday, 4 October 2012

De hjerteligste hilsener fra krigen

WITH LOVE AND KISSES FROM THE WAR

ENGLISH TRANSLATION IN ITALICS


Tegneren Uli Knorr har kombineret historisk dokumentation og egne tegninger til noget så vidunderligt som en opdragelseshistorie til normalitet ført fra første verdenskrigs tyske skyttegrave.

På et loft har Uli Knorr fundet breve og især postkort fra sine oldeforældre, og det er foreløbig blevet til en lille særudgave som optakt til en større manifestation, når det i 2014 vil være 100 år siden, første verdenskrig blev erklæret. Krigens billeder i form af gruopvækkende postkortmotiver blev brugt til at opdrage en børneflok på 5 til fornuftige voksne, mens den ene (sted)forælder slog ihjel på statens kommando, og den anden var udskrevet til at fremstille ammunition.

The cartoonist Uli Knorr has combined historical documentation with his own drawings and created something as wonderful as a parenting story from the German trenches of the Great War.

Uli Knorr found letters and especially postcards from his great-grandparents in an attic, and he has so far published a special issue as a prelude to a major manifestation in 2014, which marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First World War. War images in the form of horrifying postcard designs were used to rear an offspring of five children into sensible adults, while one (step)parent was committing murder as commanded by the state, and the other was allocated far from home to produce ammunition.



Børneflokken havde måttet skilles ad. Den ældste passede de to mindste hjemme, mens de to midterste kom på klosterskole. Uanset hvor de befandt sig, var der en fremtid at tage hånd om, og ordene fra den fraværende stedfar er lige dele støtte og ros, fordi 6-årige Josis seneste brev havde færre stavefejl. Men med formaningen, at hun fremover skal huske at skråtstille bogstaverne, vejen er lang, og hun må udvise mod og flittighed!

Even the children were separated and sent away. The oldest one was looking after the two youngest at home, while the two in the middle were sent to convent school. But still, it was a matter to see to their future, and the words from the absent stepfather consisted in equal parts of support and praise, when the six-year-old Josi's latest letter contained fewer spelling errors. With the caution, though, that she henceforth must remember to tilt the letters when writing: The road is long, and she must show courage and diligence!





Josi fik sine kys og formaninger på et postkort prydet af et nedskudt, britisk fly. Et surrealt lag af krigen som tidens normaltilstand, hvor også den dræbte, engelske major - som den håndskrevne påtegning fortæller under billedet - nåede frem til børnene. Drengen i børneflokken, Eugen, fik en halvt opløst soldat fra sin stedfar, at hvis han igen hørte om klager over Eugens opførsel, så ville der vanke klø morgen, middag og aften og intet at spise, når Dein Papa vendte hjem. Also bessere Dich.

Eugen skulle som voksen blive viceborgmester, så noget blev gjort rigtigt.

Josi received her kisses and directives on a postcard decorated with a downed British aircraft. A surreal layer of war as the state of normality of the time, where even a "killed English major" - as the handwritten signature says under the picture - reached the children. The only boy among the children, Eugen, received a half- dissolved soldier from his stepfather stating that if he were to hear of any more complaints about Eugen's behavior, then the boy would be spanked from morning to night and have nothing to eat when "Dein" Papa returned home. "Also bessere Dich" (So, pull yourself together).

Eugen grew up to become a deputy mayor, so something was done right.



En lille sidebemærkning - dette er et udsnit af særudgavens bagside. Bogstaveligt sønderskudt liv og landskab, men nu med to uforvarende blækklatter. Tegneren har taget et stykke fortid i besiddelse og igen givet sønderskudtheden nærvær:


On a little side note - this is a detail on the back of the cover of the special edition. Life and landscape literally shot to pieces, but to this are now added two inadvertent blots. The cartoonist has taken a piece of the past into his possession and given presence to the devastation:




Uli Knorr afrunder særudgaven med et par statistiske overvejelser. For krigens samlede økonomiske omkostninger kunne næsten hver eneste europæer have fået et 4-værelses hus foræret. Dette på et tidspunkt, hvor sult, spædbørnsdødelighed og at bo i tredje baggård var dagens realitet.

Uli Knorr rounds up the special edition with a few statistical reflections. The total economic cost of war equaled the amount had every European been given a four-bedroom house. This at a time when hunger, infant mortality and the slum of the new and growing cities was the reality.


Summer af denne størrelse ville aldrig have været genereret og kanaliseret over i tryg middelstand, men tænk alligevel tanken et øjeblik. 

I givet fald ville det 20. århundrede aldrig sket.


Sums of this size would never have been generated and channeled into creating a comfortable middle class, but still, just think the thought for a moment.

If so, the 20th century would never have happened.


Særudgaven giver ubændig lyst til at følge Josi, Eugen og deres søskendes udvikling. Må projektet trods tidens økonomiske trange kår finde midlerne til at blive fuldendt, så vi kan lære en side af krigens hverdag at kende, hvor børns indre billedbank blev dannet gennem de fotos, der blev censureret væk i offentligheden. Et meget stort held og lykke til Uli Knorr.


The special edition produces a overwhelming longing to follow Josi, Eugen and their siblings and see them growing up. May the project in spite of the economic hardship find the means to be completed, so we can learn more from the everyday side of the war where the inner image bank of children was formed through photos, which were censored in the public. Uli, good luck!


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