Simpleton Sabotage: Watch out, that asshole at the office might be a double agent!
02:19 pm

That annoying doofus in your office who irritates the shit out of you might not be as dumb as he looks. He could be working for the enemy. He could be a saboteur.

During the Second World War, the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the CIA) issued a field manual called Simple Sabotage intended for use by resistance fighters operating behind enemy lines. The 32-page booklet gave practical advice on how to perpetrate sabotage by “purposeful stupidity.” This ranged from working slowly, using the wrong tools, slashing tires, losing important mail, misfiling information, spreading false rumors, damaging technical equipment and arson.

Sabotage varies from highly technical coup de main acts that require detailed planning and the use of specially-trained operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary individual citizen-saboteur can perform. This paper is primarily concerned with the latter type. Simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen who may or may not act individually and without the necessity for active connection with an organized group; and it is carried out in such a way as to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.

Where destruction is involved, the weapons of the citizen-saboteur are salt, nails, candles, pebbles, thread, or any other materials he might normally be expected to possess as a householder or as a worker in his particular occupation. His arsenal is the kitchen shelf, the trash pile, his own usual kit of tools and supplies. The targets of his sabotage are usually objects to which he has normal and inconspicuous access in everyday life.

A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to make faulty decisions, to adopt a noncooperative attitude, and to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another. A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than creating an unpleasant situation among one’s fellow workers, engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.

This type of activity, sometimes referred to as the “human element,” is frequently responsible for accidents, delays, and general obstruction even under normal conditions. The potential saboteur should discover what types of faulty decisions and the operations are normally found in this kind of work and should then devise his sabotage so as to enlarge that “margin for error.”

The manual offered five top tips to “simple sabotage”:

Managers and Supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.

Employees: Work slowly. Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one.

Organizations and Conferences: When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

Telephone: At office, hotel and local telephone switchboards, delay putting calls through, give out wrong numbers, cut people off “accidentally,” or forget to disconnect them so that the line cannot be used again.

Transportation: Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Issue two tickets for the same seat on a train in order to set up an “interesting” argument.

This is all fascinating stuff. Among the tactics listed for those working in “organizations and production” are eight points which are appear to be still in use today:

(1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.

(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.

(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

(7) Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Sounds uncannily like life in a modern organization…. Last year, a trio updated the OSS manual to one which detected and rooted out simple sabotage in the workplace.

Simple Sabotage was declassified by the CIA in 2008. The whole document can be read below—click on image to view larger size.
Read the rest of ‘Simple Sabotage,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
02:19 pm
Sven Hassel and the strange obsession with Nazi fiction
12:46 pm

The Second World War claimed over 60 million lives and flattened most of Europe. Seventy-one years after it ended, the Second World War is still the got-to global conflict for hundreds, nay, thousands, of books, movies, TV series, comics, and gung-ho trigger happy violent computer games. The Second World War is the war that just keeps on giving.

One old soldier who made a small fortune from writing about his exploits fighting with the Nazis during the war was Sven Hassel. His fourteen semi-autobiographical books have sold 53 million copies worldwide, with a staggering 15 million sold in the UK alone.

Hassel’s books were “pulp fiction staples in the 1960s and ’70s to a male cohort that may have its equivalent today in those who sustain a billion-dollar industry in war-themed video games.” His tales of the band of renegade German soldiers, deserters and prisoners—a Nazi “Dirty Dozen”—who fought on the Russian front were supposedly based on the author’s own experiences. This band of brothers hated Hitler, hated war, killed their superior officers and indulged in “steamy sex with consenting local women.” It all sounds rather fantastical—and led one Danish newspaper to denounce Hassel as a fraud, claiming he never fought with the Germans but saw out the war at home and based his best-selling novels on secondhand stories and movies.

These claims can still be found on Hassel’s Wikipedia page—despite Hassel presenting documentary evidence in the form of his Heeresstammkarte (Hassel’s official military record—issued by the German army), photographs, medals and scars to prove he had indeed fought with the Wehrmacht. This led to a retraction from the newspaper that published the allegations.
Author and soldier Sven Hassel.
Hassel was born Sven Pedersen in Fredensborg, Denmark, on April 19, 1917. He did military service with the merchant navy, before leaving Denmark to look for work in Germany. Hassel later claimed:

Germany was obviously not the right country to move to, but then again, you must remember that those times were chaotic and at that point there was still no war.

There may have been no war, but the persecution of the Jews was well under way and the Germans had been involved in horrific bombings of civilians during the Spanish Civil War—so, it does seem (shall we say) rather unbelievably strange why he chose to move to Nazi Germany rather than France or Belgium or even the United Kingdom.

Hassel signed up for the Wehrmacht in 1938—after falsely claiming his father was an Austrian—enrolling in the “2nd Panzerregiment and later in the 11th and 27th Panzerregiment (both in the 6th Panzer Division).”

We were trained to become the world’s best soldiers through the use of Prussian methods that surpassed any evil and terror you can imagine.

Maybe that was why Hassel attempted to desert. He was caught and sent to the penal battalion of the 27th. Here he met many of the characters who later appeared in his novels. He was wounded eight times, and “transferred to the Abwehr (espionage) in Denmark for a few months (from December 1944 to January 1945).” Denmark was occupied by Germany throughout the war—4,000 Danish volunteers died fighting alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front.
Photograph of two German soldiers purportedly “Tiny” and Portas who featured in Hassel’s books.
After the war, Hassel was a P.O.W. in various prison camps, before he was returned to Denmark where his citizenship was canceled and was again sent to jail. It was during his time in prison that Hassel started writing The Legion of the Damned. Since its publication in 1953, The Legion of the Damned has never been out of print—making it the only “Danish novel that has been sold consecutively for more than six decades since its first edition.”

Hassel’s novels are but one part of the bizarre enduring fascination the West has with the Second World War, in particular the Nazis, those scum-sucking evil psychopaths who perpetrated genocide on the Jewish people and slaughtered anyone else who disagreed with their policies or didn’t quite fit the desired profile.

This cultural obsession with these fuckers attracts some very strange bedfellows including hipster favorites like Lemmy—who liked collecting Nazi memorabilia; Bryan Ferry—who once admitted a passing regard to the stylishness of Nazi iconography; punk rockers who wore swastika armbands to allegedly shock the very people who had fought the Nazis back in the day; just as Brian Jones had once dressed up as a Nazi—with his then girlfriend Anita Pallenberg—to shock the flower power generation; and let’s be honest, even those damned hippies, gott in himmel, drove Volkswagon Beetles—which are nothing short of Hitler mobiles.
Sid in swastika T-short, Lemmy and his collection, Brian posing for the camera.
Not that any of these lovelies were or are Nazis—rather they are examples of a strange cultural phenomenon—an interest in Nazism—be it uniforms, iconography, medals or weaponry—that has lasted for over eight decades. It should also be pointed out that these musicians are all English—as the country has a very strange relationship with the Nazis and the Second World War.

In England or Britain as a whole, Der Fuhrer and his gang of merry Nazis are fodder for long-running sitcoms like Dad’s Army or ‘Allo ‘Allo! or failed sitcoms like Heil Honey I’m Home or skits by Monty Python and Spike Milligan.

And then there are the endless TV dramas of life during wartime like Colditz, Back to the Land, Secret Army, Danger UXB, Foyle’s War.

The Brits, you see, have this thing where they can go on and bloody on about past battles, victories, defeats and yon noble war heroes who sent people homeward to think again or died for King and Country. From Gordon of Khartoum, to Wilfred Owen, to Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the Normandy landings. It’s in our national anthems. It’s in our street signs and place names. It’s deep within our national psyche.

It’s no accident the Brits produce TV series like Downton Abbey as we love to wallow in an idealized nostalgia of a fantasy past where people are reassured that things were better in the olden days when life was structured (or class-ridden) and everyone knew their place.

This cultural obsession with the past might also explain why the Brits, or in particular the English, have an obsession with the Nazis as they represent the uber bogeyman whose defeat (in two world wars and one World Cup) enhance the national self image as one of great strength, bravery and utter moral superiority.

Of course, none of this mattered a jot to Sven Hassel who just counted the royalty checks. Anyway, Hassel considered his books as anti-war:

My books are strictly antimilitary. They correspond to my personal view of what I experienced. I write to warn the youth of today against war. I am writing the story of the small soldiers, the men who neither plan nor cause wars but have to fight them. War is the last arm of bad politicians.

Hassel died a wealthy man at the grand old age of 95 in 2012. Not a bad innings.
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
12:46 pm
See where 30,000 bombs fell during the London Blitz, 1940-41

In September 1940, the German Luftwaffe unleashed a strategic bombing campaign that targeted all of the major cities across the UK. Over 30,000 tons of high explosives were dropped on sixteen cities during a relentless over 267-day campaign, or “Blitzkrieg” (German for “lightening war”), that claimed over 40,000 civilian lives—half them in London alone—wounded over 100,000 and destroyed more than a million homes. It was an event that changed the nature of the war, and brought repercussions for Germany.

My mother was a child during the Second World War, living with her parents and sister in a tenement in the north-west of Glasgow. She can still clearly recall the regular sound of the siren warning of another German bombing raid. People decamped to the bomb shelters situated in the back gardens, where my mother listened to the whistle and blast of the bombs, land mines and other incendiaries raining down from the planes above.

In March 1941, she was briefly evacuated to a cottage in Milport on the isle of Great Cumbrae, off the west coast of Scotland. During this time, the Luftwaffe carried out two bombing raids on Clydebank—that have been described as “the most cataclysmic event” in war-time Scotland. My mother recalled how the German planes seemed to fly so low she felt she could touch them, while the flames from the raid lit up the sky like it was day.
Clydebank, near Glasgow, after the ‘blitz’ of March 1941.
Devastation in the south of London—a bus lies in the rubble of a bomb crater.
Central Coventry after a bombing raid November 1940.
Sleeping in the shelter of London’s Underground station at Elephant and Castle, November 1940.
More photos plus link to the interactive Blitz site, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
11:20 am
Inside the Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941

Since 1596 Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. In Polish Warsaw (“Warszawa”) literally means “belonging to Warsz”—a 12th-13th-century nobleman who owned land in the Mariensztat district. Warsaw was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population—around 337,000 in 1939, and 445,000 by 1941.

When Germany invaded Poland on September 1st 1939, the Nazis quickly surrounded the capital city and launched a deadly blitzkreig that claimed many lives and destroyed buildings. The Germans were now in control of the country and in November 1939, an edict issued by Hans Frank, the Governor General, decreed all Jewish men, women and children over the age of ten had to wear a Star of David armband to identify themselves. All Jewish shops had to be similarly marked with a Star of David, and severe restrictions were placed on the Jewish population. Further laws limited the amount of money Jews were able to withdraw, with strict rules on buying produce, letting and owning property and travel.

In March 1940, groups of Polish gangs launched a series of violent attacks on the Jewish population—stealing money, gold, food, clothes and anything they could find of any value. These attacks lasted for eight days until the Germans intervened.

In February 1940, the Germans proposed plans to create a Jewish quarter or ghetto, where all Jews would be contained. On the Day of Atonement, October 1940, a decree was issued establishing a Jewish ghetto. All Jews had to relocate to this ghetto, which meant 30% of the population of Warsaw was packed into only 2.4% of the city’s area—some 400,00 people living in 1.3 square miles, an average of 7.2 people per room.

By mid-November, a wall surrounding the ghetto was built. The wall was over eleven feet high with broken glass and barbed wire on top and was constructed by the German company Schmidt & Munstermann, who were responsible for building the Treblinka concentration. The wall was paid for by the same Jewish community it was built to imprison. Access to and from the ghetto was limited to mainly food and supplies. The Jewish population inside the ghetto were allocated daily rations of 181 calories. The Germans intended to starve the imprisoned population. During 1941 Jewish deaths rose from 898 in January, to 5,560 in August. The average monthly mortality rates for the seventeen months from January 1941 to May 1942 was 3882. But death was not quick enough for the Germans, and in May 1942, 254,000 Jewish ghetto inhabitants were transported to Treblinka for extermination.

Willy Georg was an old German soldier who made money taking photographs of young German soldiers. During the summer of 1941, Georg was given permission to enter the Jewish ghetto and take photographs of the inhabitants. Georg shot four rolls of film, but as he was shooting a fifth roll, a German military policeman stopped him and confiscated his camera, he was then escorted out of the area. However, the policeman had not searched Georg and he was therefore able to sneak out the four rolls of shot film. He developed these films and carefully stored them along with the prints for the next fifty years until the late 1980s when he met Rafael Scharf, a researcher of Polish-Jewish studies, to whom he gave his pictures. These photographs were then published in the book Warsaw Ghetto: Summer 1941 in 1993.
More of Willy Georg’s powerful photographs of the Jewish ghetto, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
10:10 am
The ordinary faces of evil: Mugshots of female Nazi concentration camp guards
08:41 am

Frieda Walter: sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Though their actions were monstrous, they are not monsters. There are no horns, no sharp teeth, no demonic eyes, no number of the Beast. They are just ordinary women. Mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, widows, spinsters. Ordinary women, ordinary human beings.

In the photographs they look shameful, guilty, scared, brazen, stupid, cunning, disappointed, desperate, confused. These women were Nazi guards at the Belsen-Bergen concentration camp during the Second World War, and were all tried and found guilty of carrying out horrendous crimes against their fellow human beings—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons. Interesting how “evil” looks just like you and me.
Hilde Liesewitz: sentenced to one year imprisonment.
Gertrude Feist: sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Elizabeth Volkenrath: Head Wardess at Belsen-Bergen: sentenced to death. She was hanged on 13 December 1945.
More Nazi mugshots, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
08:41 am
Alfred Hitchcock’s unseen Holocaust documentary to be restored

It is claimed Alfred Hitchcock was so traumatized after viewing footage of the liberation of the Belsen-Bergen concentration camp that the legendary film director stayed away from Pinewood Film Studios for a week.

Hitchcock had been enlisted by friend and patron, Sidney Bernstein to make a documentary on German atrocities carried out during the Second World War. The director was to use footage shot by British and Soviet film units during the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The material was so disturbing that Hitchcock’s complete film has rarely been seen. Speaking to the Independent newspaper, Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Department of Research, Imperial War Museum, said:

“It was suppressed because of the changing political situation, particularly for the British. Once they discovered the camps, the Americans and British were keen to release a film very quickly that would show the camps and get the German people to accept their responsibility for the atrocities that were there.”

According to Patrick McGilligan in his biography Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light:

[Hitchcock met] with two writers who had witnessed the atrocities of Bergen-Belsen first-hand. Richard Crossman contributed a treatment, while Colin Wills, an Australian correspondent, wrote a script that relied heavily on narration.

The director had committed himself to the project early enough to give Hitchcockian instructions to some of the first cameramen entering the concentration camps. Hitchcock made a point of requesting “long tracking shots, which cannot be tampered with,” in the words of the film’s editor, Peter Tanner, so that nobody could claim the footage had been manipulated to falsify the reality. The footage was in a newsreel style, but generally of high quality, and some of it in color.


The footage spanned eleven concentration camps, including Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Ebensee, and Mathausen. The filmmakers ended up with eight thousand feet of film and newsreel, some of it shot by allied photographers, the rest of it impounded. It was to be cut and assembled into roughly seven reels.

Hitchcock watched “all the film as it came in,” recalled Tanner, although the director “didn’t like to look at it.” The footage depressed both of them: the piles of corpses, the staring faces of dead children, the walking skeletons. The days of looking at the footage were long and unrelievedly grim.

In the end, the planned film took Hitchcock and his team much longer than anticipated, and when it was delivered, the perceived opinion was the documentary would not help with Germany’s postwar reconstruction. Despite protests from Bernstein and Hitchcock, the documentary was dumped and five of the film’s six reels were deposited at the Imperial War Museum, where they were quietly forgotten.

Some later thought Hitchcock’s claims of making a Holocaust documentary were mere flights of fancy, that was until 1980, when an American researcher discovered the forgotten five reels listed as “F3080” in the Museum’s archives. These were screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 1985, and this incomplete and poor quality version was then shown on PBS under the title Memory of the Camps, with its original commentary by Crossman and Wills, narrated by Trevor Howard.

Now, the Imperial War Museum has painstakingly restored all six reels according to Hitchcock’s original intentions. This has led to some “wariness” over seeing the documentary as a “Hitchcock film” rather than as an important and horrific record of Nazi atrocities.

Haggith, who worked as an advisor on the project, has said the film is “much more candid” than any previous Holocaust documentary, and has described it as “brilliant” and “sophisticated.”

“It’s both an alienating film in terms of its subject matter but also one that has a deep humanity and empathy about it. Rather than coming away feeling totally depressed and beaten, there are elements of hope.

“We can’t stop the film being incredibly upsetting and disturbing but we can help people understand why it is being presented in that way.

“Judging by the two test screenings we have had for colleagues, experts and film historians, what struck me was that they found it extremely disturbing.

“When you’re sitting in a darkened cinema and you’re focusing on a screen, your attention is very focused, unlike watching it on television… the digital restoration has made this material seem very fresh. One of the common remarks was that it [the film] was both terrible and brilliant at the same time.”

Work on Hitchcock’s documentary is almost complete, and the film (with as yet to be announced new title) will be shown on British TV in early 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the “liberation” of Europe. The film will also be screened at film festivals and in the cinema.

The following is the 5-reel version of Hitchcock’s documentary. Warning: the film contains horrific and disturbing images, which may not be suitable viewing for all.

Via the ‘Independent’ with thanks to Tara!

Posted by Paul Gallagher
05:04 pm
Watch the Second World War unfold across Europe in 7 minutes
11:46 am

This is quite incredible: every single day of the Second World War in Europe as mapped out by YouTube user EmporerTigerstar.

Starting with the German invasion of Poland (1 September, 1939), the invasions of Norway (April 9, 1940), France (May 10, 1940), Yugoslavia and Greece (April 6, 1941), to the invasion of the Soviet Union (June 22, 1941), through to the Battle of Moscow (November 25, 1941), the Battle of El Alamein (October 23, 1942), the German surrender at Stalingrad (January 31, 1943), the Allies capture of Rome (June 4, 1944), the Normandy Landings (6 June, 1944), the liberation of Paris (August 25, 1944), the Soviets enter Berlin (April 23, 1945), and Victory Europe Day (8 May, 1945).

EmporerTigerstar has previously mapped the First World War, and is planning to create a map for the Second World War including all the battles.

Via i09

Posted by Paul Gallagher
11:46 am
‘Art is a means of feeling our way forwards’: Oskar Kokoschka’s letter to a prisoner of war

The artist, poet and playwright, Oskar Kokoschka sent the following letter to a young German prisoner of war, in 1946. In it he advised him to be warmed by love ‘the sight of our neighbor, other people, a foreign nation, another race,’ in which the ‘embrace of love will illumine the choice, form and shape of a new order of humanity.’ Kokoschka understood the young man’s trauma, having himself served as a Dragoon in the Imperial Austrian army, during the First World War, where he slithered in trenches through ‘bottomless mud,’ until he was seriously wounded and considered too mentally unstable to fight - the twisted logic of this was not lost on Kokoschka. Later, he was the focus of hatred and bigotry, when his art was deemed ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis. It forced Kokoschka to flee Austria for Prague, before then moving to Ullapool in Scotland, where he remained for the duration of the Second World War.

In this letter, Kokoschka expounds his belief in the importance of art and the artist that could show the ‘way up from subjection of blind obedience to human freedom.’

To a German Prisoner-of-War (Fritz Shahlecker)

[London,] 4 July 1946

A close friend showed me the drawings you made in the camp in England. He told me of your prospects of soon regaining your freedom and returning home to Tübingen. Like many of your fellow-Germans, you were abused in your early youth by a criminal demagogy and thrown into a war of aggression, during which the authority of human precepts was thoroughly and totally suspended, and which appears even now to threaten the future validity of those same precepts.

As an older man, I am in a position to make comparisons which shed light on the changes that have taken place in the moral sphere. That gives me a right to offer a younger man some advice that may come in useful when you are home again. After every great disappointment - in your case, when one has been the victim of a betrayal - one’s insight is clouded, because one is always overcome by weariness at the same time. The tendency to feel sorry for oneself is only a natural consequence of that weariness. You are honest in your drawings, but it seems to me that you tend towards the idealized view which comes from being in the center of a world that one is trying to rebuild. In your drawings you are trying to give shape to a new world with artistic expressive media available to you, after the reduction of your old world to ruins. You want it to be a human world, in contrast to the physical, materialistic world where naked force ruled, and in my view that is the hopeful and promising aspect of your experiment.

But the advice I would like to give you, however great your present need and poverty may be, is this: stop surrendering to a tendency to study yourself alone and to forget that a sentimental outlook is just as sure to lead to waste and failure as the entire order that is collapsing before our eyes today. That order sprang from individual egoism, and was helped to ripen by nationalistic narrowmindedness. Humanism was believed dispensable. This materialistic attitude found its complete embodiment in Fascism. Bear in mind that your personal need and poverty, both physical and spiritual, are nevertheless infinitesimal compared to the need and poverty of the children abandoned to savagery in today’s world. If your heart turns in hope to the work of rebuilding, because you are young and want to do good, you must help to make a better world for these children. You saw for yourself that what was achieved by the sword came to nothing in the end, therefore take up your pencil in the hope of doing better. You do not succeed in expressing anything about the pain throbbing in mankind today, because you are not yet able to give shape to genuine emotions. It will be like that for as long as you idealize yourself as a man of sorrows, instead of looking for the redeemer in every innocent child. The child can truly be the redeemer, if we can genuinely believe in the possibility of a better world. Sentimentality does not help us to discover new worlds, it makes us cling to the past in fascination. The new world can only be given shape if we love our neighbor. If we are warmed by love, the sight of our neighbor, other people, a foreign nation, another race, will enable us to shape a new image of the world, in the contemplation of which the isolation of the individual and his nameless torment in a ruined world will give way to the splendor in which the embrace of love will illumine the choice, form and shape of a new order of humanity. All art, that of the great epochs as well as that of primitive cultures, that of colored races as well as our own folk art, is rooted in this soil, in which the moral man has vanquished dust, decay and force. Man overthrows the dictates of physical laws and the dominion of blind elements, and by that means fights his way up from subjection of blind obedience to human freedom.

Art is a means of feeling our way forwards in the moral sphere, and it is neither a luxury of the rich nor the rigid formalism that comes out of the theories of the academies. The modern art of the present time also tends towards arid formalism. Art is like grass sprouting from the frozen earth at the end of winter, like growing corn, and like the spiritual bread in which the human inheritance is passed on to future generations.

In hope that you will find the inner strength to practice the spiritual office of an artist in the future, I leave you with my best wishes,

Yours, Oskar Kokoschka

‘Oskar Kokoschka Letters 1905-1976’ is published by Thames and Hudson.

Posted by Paul Gallagher
08:46 pm