The beginning of the war and the last figurative drawings (during the time of the Les Milles’ camp)
Ferdinand Springer was 32 years old when he was interned at the Les Milles’ camp. As a German citizen, he became a suspect, a potential enemy to the Third Republic which had recently declared war.
"The Les Milles’ camp was about ten kilometers south of Aix en Provence, in a plant which originally was called the "Tuileries de la Mediterrannée” (Mediterranean Tillery). There were several buildings surrounded by barbed wire. When we arrived at Les Milles as prisoners from the department of Alpes Maritimes, the camp was already occupied by internees from the Marseille region. There were about a thousand of us who arrived together which created a huge cloud of dust, tile dust, earth, and straw. Upon entering, my first vision through this kind of almost unreal fog was that of Max Ernst’s face." Ferdinand Springer
"The men I drew in the camp were not models of the kind drawn by Signorelli or Pontormo but idealized portraits. This was a way for me to rise above the depressing atmosphere of the camp and escape this reality." Ferdinand Springer
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