Oil painting, 54 x 68 cm
If you drive out of Otzenhausen in the direction of the motorway or walk around the village, you can see them: dragon teeth and a decaying bunker in the wood. They are all parts of the Siegfried Line which - at that time - ran along the outskirts of Otzenhausen (today its remains run through the middle of the village). The Siegfried Line was built by order of Adolf Hitler between 1938 and 1940 on the western border of the then German Reich from the Dutch to the Swiss border. At times up to half a million people, civilian workers as well as paramilitary construction troops of the Organisation Todt, built under miserable conditions around 18,000 bunkers, galleries, trenches and hump lines as tank traps ("dragon teeth"), a bulwark over 600 km long against the Allies. The portrait of the tired, resigned worker of the Siegfried Line worker reminds of this time.
Fritz Zolnhofer (*1896 in Wolfstein, †1965 in Saarbrücken, both in Germany) grew up with his grandmother in Schnappach, Saarland, after the early death of his parents. After studying in Stuttgart and Munich and after the First World War (which he survived as a soldier), he moved back to Saarland with his wife in 1931. It was here that he found the motifs for his paintings - the world that shaped the lives of the so-called "ordinary people": mining, iron production, industrial plants as well as everyday scenes and milieu studies. He painted portraits and landscapes in equal measure. In his last years as an artist, he developed a preference for Expressionism and Surrealism. In the 40 years of his artistic career, he not only showed countless exhibitions, but also created numerous works in public spaces throughout Saarland.