Daniel Vogl

Walter

I started working on this project in 2015, five months after my grandfather passed away at the age of 90.

I went so see the city Nový Jicín where he was born in 1923. Back then it was called Neu Titschein and was populated by the so called Sudeten Germans. My grandfather moved to Znojmo and began his education as a dental technician.

Then the war came and he voluntarily reported himself to the Wehrmacht. There is hardly no information about his time during the war and he rarely spoke about it. In an effort to escape the war he shot himself in the hand and later found himself in the military hospital near Cham at the doors of the Bavarian Forest. He stayed and lived there for the rest of his life. He started a family with his wife Josefine and they had two kids, Sabine and Jürgen.

When I think of childhood, I think of him. I remember exploring his dental laboratory every time I visited my grandparents. There were so many things to discover. He showed me his work and I was allowed to melt wax over his Bunsen burner. I still have the scar on my thigh, when on a hot summer day one drop of wax fell onto it and I wore just my swimming trunks.

I grew up, then he was gone and I asked myself: “Who was that man and did I even know him?”. Whenever I visited my grandmother after his death, I tried to photograph something that reminded me of him. Over three years I was constantly searching for something I cannot name. 
Now I have a finished book and no clue at all what the answer might be. But even if there is none, I was consistently concentrating on him. And if this is the answer, then I’m happy about it.

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