Vater und Sohn

May 9, 2007

I have a special memory as a child of a comic strip book that my grandmother had called Vater und Sohn (Father and Son) by e. o. plauen. Although it was a German book, the cartoons were almost all wordless and so were very accessible. I only remember thinking that they were funny and a little risqué. 

Naturally it never occurred to me at the time who e. o. plauen was, and I have only just done so now on unearthing our own dogeared copy.  According to the strangely Google translated version of the German Wikipedia entry, e. o. plauen was actually the illustrator Erich Ohser (Plauen was the name of the town in Saxony where he grew up). He was a famous caricaturist and his caricatures of Hitler and Goebbels won him no favours with the Nazi Party. Once the Nazis came to power he lost his professional credentials and couldn’t work. Vater and Sohn was published in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung under his pseudonym – e. o. plauen. They were also published in book, one of which I still have. He continued to show his dislike for the Nazis and in 1944 was arrested. He committed suicide before his case came to trial. 

I am sort of glad that I didn’t know Erich Ohser’s story when I was a child. I am sure that it would have altered my enjoyment of his work. As an adult, I am pleased to be able to put Vater und Sohn in context.


2 Responses to “Vater und Sohn”

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