Vienna, 1944
Pencil and watercolour on drawing paper
190 mm x 150 mm
Painted in Vienna, from the park at Obere Donaustraße, August 27, 1943 - April 4, 1944
Hundertwasser comment about the work:
For the first time I used watercolours; it was a child's kit made by Pelikan. The neighbour's children had great fun ringing our doorbell to scare us. For this was the time when the SS were "rounding up" the Jewish families, in order to murder them in the East. We were still as death until the footsteps went away. Twice, about three months apart, the SS really did ring our bell, in their black uniforms with the skull on their caps. They came at 4 A.M. to take my aunt and grandmother away, but both times I was able to send them away by showing them my H.J. (Hitler Youth) insignia, the medals my father had been decorated with for bravery in the First World War and the Iron Cross of my uncle, who had died "a hero's death". But the third time a kind of "Jewish SS" came in plain clothes and with armbands, and with them the medals and insignia were of no use, and my grandmother was in bed gravely ill, besides. My aunt was killed in Auschwitz, my grandmother in Theresienstadt. After the war my mother counted up the members of her family who had been taken away and didn't come back and stopped counting when she reached 78. Just the same I did not "suffer traumatically", as people always claim children suffer during wars. But my mother worried. For me, aged nine to fifteen, the war was like an action movie. First I followed the expanding front of the German armies and then advances of the Allies with pins and strands of wool in bright colours on a map. In my pictures made during the war there is nothing to see of the war. My mother warned me every day, "Don't do anything to stick out!" After the war, when she would be out doing her shopping and more and more frequently heard the remark, "Your son is in the papers again", she almost had a stroke. (She thought that would come to no good.) (from: Hundertwasser 1928-2000, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 2, Taschen, Cologne, 2002, p. 80)
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