Lothar Sperl was
Markt Eisenstein, the third son of primary school teacher Alois Georg
his wife Rosalia.
Luis, the parents, Walter
today, is situated in
just across the border from Bavaria,
in the Bohemian
geographical situation and
consequent political developments in the area as well as the nature of
marked Lothar Sperl’s life and art.
In 1910 Bohemia
with a predominantly German population - belonged to the Austro
Hungarian Empire. After the First World War, the area of the Bohemian
became part of the new independent Czechoslovakia
to come to terms with their minority status in the new Republic. Such
as there were, were greatly inflamed in 1938, after Hitler had annexed
Austria into the German Reich and was planning
to do the same to the so-called Sudetenland, the German –
speaking area of Czechoslovakia.
While Hitler and the British Prime Minister Chamberlain negotiated, the
population was armed and the Germans formed so – called
troops) to defend themselves, or stir up further trouble, according to
sources. Markt Eisenstein was finally occupied by regular German troops
October 1938 and a German administration was set up.
As its name
implies, the Bohemian Forest is a largely wooded, hilly country with
beautiful landscapes, a sparse and precarious agriculture, depending on
forestry, glass manufacture, and in the 20th
was the landscapes and the activities of the local foresters and
became the focus of Sperl’s early work.
1914, his father had to
join the Austro –Hungarian army, was wounded and died in
after the birth of his daughter.
widow Rosalia had to
rely on her own
strength and the support of her family to bring up her four children.
her very meagre resources, she succeeded in making them all into solid
adults. Lothar says in some of his letters home how much the closeness
family meant to him and his siblings.
her children Luis, Rosl, Walter, Lothar