From June 1941 onwards I was a soldier with the occupation force in Paris and as I didn’t have much time I didn’t want to waste it and thought that painting might be a meaningful activity. At high school in Augsburg I had learned a bit about perspective und watercolours, and so I sat down in the streets of Paris and painted.

I like to remember how happy I was whenever a painting succeeded. The smell of paint in my nose and its taste in my mouth still linger today, for I would always shape the brush into a nice point with my mouth.

A comrade - I don’t like the word "comrade", but I can’t really say a "forced companion" - so a comrade, an artist who had already completed his art studies, persuaded me to show my watercolours at an army exhibition.

Thus it came about that I was able to sell my first paintings at the exhibition "Art at the Front", which took place at the Museé du Jeu de Paume, Tuileries, from November 1-16, 1941, and that my decision to become an artist was made.

I was able to save my box of watercolours through the rest of the war and my imprisonment.

(From Wolfgang Lettl’s memories)


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