My grandfather enjoys telling stories from his life, above all stories from the time during Second World War and his experiences during captivity in Africa. As I have never been able to arrange those little tales in a chronological order, I decided to do some research on my grandfather’s life in order to create a whole picture from all of the little pieces I had.
There were a lot of documents, photographs and almost 200 letters from the army postal service, which my grandfather sent home during war, available. With the help of that collection and by his large number of stories, I was able to put together a data record that included all important events and places he had been to from his birth onwards.
After that, I decided to divide my grandfather’s life into the three most important sections and to illustrate a central theme for each section while reducing the visualisation to the absolutely necessary.
Childhood & youth:
Born in 1919 as the family’s second youngest son, Walter Martin visits elementary school in Nahbollenbach (Idar-Oberstein) for seven years. Following his father’s wish, Walter starts the education of a goldsmith by the age of 14. After two years as a journeyman he has to work for one year in the course of the State Labor Service. After that, he has to join the German Armed Forces.
Second World War/Captivity:
During Second World War, Walter is part of Hermann Goring’s regiment and as such based at many different places in and out of Europe. In 1943, he is captivated by the French in Northern Africa and spends four long years in different camps in Algeria. From all these places, he writes nearly 200 letters to his family.
Post-war period until today:
After coming home in 1947, Walter Martin starts working as a goldsmith again and stays in the same company until his retirement. In November 1951, he marries Ursula Blümel, one year later they have got a son called Norbert who is followed by their daughter Cornelia in 1954. In the course of time, their children grow up and start their own families. Walter stays in his hometown all his life and enjoys, together with his wife Ursula, their sunset years.
As my grandfather always worked as a goldsmith, I decided that his portrait mustn’t be digital but analogue. I chose engravings on a brazen board as he used to work with that kind of material. With respect to the costs, however, I had to be satisfied with a laser engraving on Alu-Dibond boards.