Wolfgang Willrich !!!


Born in Goettingen on 31st March, 1897, Wolfgang Willrich came from a long line of farmer stock from Lower Saxony and Pomerania. His father, the Hellenist Hugo Willrich, taught classical philology at the University of Goettingen and had several preachers as ancestors.


 In 1944 the Oberkommando des Heeres assigned him the new theme of “That’s Why the German Soldier Fought”, which, because of the German defeat, only appeared under that title as a book in Buenos Aires in 1949. In 1945 Willrich was taken prisoner by the Americans and interned in a camp at Normandy, where his health deteriorated. Undernourished and sick, he was transferred to an American military hospital at the end of 1945, and in 1946, released.

During his imprisonment he painted the portraits of numerous American officers. In Goettingen he was reunited with his wife and three children, who had been evacuated from Berlin in the last days of the war. His house had been plundered, and the greater part of his work stolen or destroyed. During 1946 and 1947 he tried to resume earning a living as an artist, despite steadily worsening health. He managed to complete a three panel anti-war painting for his former high school; and began an autobiography (“Aus Freude am Schoenen”), which was only completed by his wife Charlotte in 1987. On the 18th of October, 1948, after a months long hospital stay, he died of cancer.




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