Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hug Mundinger: A Clarifying Anecdote on the Artist as a Young Man

Hug Mundinger
Standing before a large-scale airbrush painting
made using templates and spray cans
Hug Mundinger vor einem seiner großformatigen Spritzbilder
hergestellt mit Schablonen und Spraydosen
(Image from

I've previously written about my friendship with the German artist Hug Mundinger, but my memory of some details concerning what he told me about his life has required some corrections.

I had written about how he had lost both hands and one eye in a wartime explosion, but I didn't know all the details of that, so a couple of weeks ago, his son Stefan Mundinger wrote to add some things that I hadn't known:
In ihrem Blog von 25.3.08 schreiben sie, daß sie leider keine farbigen Bilder meines Vaters sehen können. Das wäre sehr bedauerlch da mich interessieren würde ob ihnen die vielen verschiedenen stile und techniken die mein Vater benutzt hat gefallen. Konnten sie die Bilder bei Art Channel sehen. Oder nun bei via Google?

Kurz noch zur Geschichte der Kriegserlebnisse meines Vaters nach dem granaten Angriff und der Verletzung wurde er in ein Feldlazarett gebracht, ob von amerikanischen Soldaten oder deutschen weiß ich nicht. Ich vermute es waren Deutsche, denn ein paar Tage später wurde er mit einem kranken Transport von der umkämpften Front weiter ins Hinterland verlegt.

Dieser Krankentronsport (Eisenbahn) wurde von gegnerischen Jagdfliegern angegriffen. Als schon einige Verletzte getroffen wurden beschloß der Sanitäter aus dem fahrenden Zug zu springen. Mein Vater wollte ebenfalls springen, aber der Sanitäter sprang alleine ab, denn mein Vater war erst ein paar Tage zuvor verletzt worden war natürlich am ganzen Kopf verbunden und konnte natürlich auch nicht sehen.

Als der Mann der neben meinem Vater auf dem Boden saß einen kopfschuß erlitt und starb entschied mein Vater alleine aus dem fahrenden Zug abzuspringen. Dies gelang, da er aber nichts sehen konnte tastete er sich an den Bahngleisen entlang bis er an eine kleine Bahnstation kam. Er konnte später nicht mehr sagen ob er einen halben oder ganzen tag oder in der nacht gegangen war, aber dort in der Bahnstation (in Holland) wurde er freundlich aufgenommen und später in ein Krankenhaus gebracht.
I will translate these German passages, adding a comment or two:
In your blog of March 25, 2008, you write that, unfortunately, you are unable to see any of my father's paintings in color. That would be very regrettable, for I would be interested whether or not my father's many different styles and techniques appeal to you. Would you able to see paintings at the Art Channel? Or perhaps at via Google?
Unfortunately, seems inaccessible from Korea, or perhaps one has to be a member, but seems to work. Is that the same website? I typed "Mundinger" into the "Suchen" slot and located 75 paintings by your father. The Art Channel also seems to work fine, at least for now, and I've located the page with some of your father's works. I'll have to take a closer look at both websites when I have more time, but the images look good, and I'd encourage readers to click on the links and see for themselves. The image above, of course, comes from the site.

Now on to the interesting and clarifying anecdote supplied by Stefan Mundinger -- and keep in mind that his father had just two days before lost both hands and one eye to an exploding grenade:
Now briefly concerning the story of my father's war experience: after the grenade attack that wounded him, he was brought to a field hospital -- whether by American or German soldiers, I don't know. I suspect that it was German soldiers, for a few days later, he was put on a transport heading from the front lines for the hinterlands.

This railroad transport of injured soldiers was attacked by enemy jet fighters. Because some of the injured had been hit, the orderly decided to jump from the moving train. My father likewise wanted to jump, but the orderly had jumped out alone, for my father had been injured only a couple of days before and had his entire head bandaged, of course, and was also naturally unable to see.

When the man sitting next to my father on the floor suffered a headshot and died, my father sprang alone from the moving train. He succeeded, but since he could see nothing, he felt his way along the railway tracks until he came to a small train station. He later was no longer able to say whether he had been walking half a day, or the entire day, or into the night, but there in the train station (in Holland), he was received with kindness and later taken to a hospital.
I had no idea of just how difficult Hug Mundinger's experience had been, but now that I read these details, I find his survival simply amazing.

Those of you who don't know about Hug Mundinger might want to read my earlier blog entries about him.

Many thanks to Stefan Mundinger for supplying these extra details.

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At 2:16 PM, Blogger Deplorably Bonnie Blue said...

Wow, just Wow! Thank you so much for posting this update/clarification. It is truly an amazing story about an amazing man. Really, someone should write a book about his life.

I am glad his son told you where to view his paintings. I had tried searching after reading your previous posts about him, but didn't have any luck either.

Thanks again,

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Cynthia, you're welcome.

I am privileged to have known Hug Mundinger -- and now to know his family. Oddly, I never met any of them in the five years that I met Hug weekly.

Jeffery Hodges

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