Third Reich Military Art: HANS LISKA

Third Reich Military art  Hans Liska

Liska's war paintings are striking. They catch the attention even of someone totally ignorant about art .


Liska wanted as a boy to be a draftsman, but first he attended trade school and then worked as an office boy. Besides, he played piano in a dance school. There, at a big event, he replaced a failed musician and was hired by the popular singing group. Now, he was earning more than before, and he began to realize his old dream.

Liska attended the Vienna School of Applied Arts at Alfred Roller , where he was student of Berthold Löffler. He then worked as a commercial artist in Switzerland. He then attended the School of Applied Arts in Munich , where he was a pupil of Emil Praetorius and Walther Teutsch. From 1933 to 1944 he served as apprentice for the cartoonists Berliner Zeitung Illustrirte newspaper and propaganda sheet Signal.  Liska was promoted by the Ullstein company. In 1933, he attended the United School of Fine and Applied Arts as a student under Ferdinand Spiegel . In 1939, he was drafted as a soldier and an artist in a propaganda unit and special squadron. His drawings of the various war fronts appeared in many newspapers, even in neutral countries. Two of his sketch-books from the years 1942 (Junkers) and 1944 (Hans Liska) are now a rarity.

After the war Hans Liska stayed at Schesslitz near Bamberg in Germany, married in 1948 and resumed his drawing for the magazines Quick and Hörzu . He worked for many years in the advertising creating drawings for the automotive industry, Daimler-Benz, Cologne Ford and Mühlens were his clients. 

Hans Liska had always been an avid lover of Mozart operas, and in 1982, came  his book "Magic of the Stage". On 26 December 1983 Hans Liska suffered a heart attack, he died shortly afterwards.

In an autobiography in the picture book Picturesque Kulmbach. Liska declared himself as an admirer of Oskar Kokoschka , Pablo Picasso and Max Ernst .

Below are some of Liska's drawings depicting the Second World War.....

The German "Katyusha", Nebelwerfer in action

German soldiers on a railway train fire at the enemy. Partisans?
Removing mines in Sevastapol. 

Each white stripe on the barrel 88-mm cannon, the "Tiger" - the destroyed enemy tank

Morser heavy gun fires. In the foreground, radio operators at work (apparently talking to artillery fire spotters)
A Panzer 4 and German Grenadiers attack

Supply vessels
Dieppe beachhead, 1942. The strangest British operation during all of World - an attempt to land troops and capture the French port of Dieppe, launched August 19, 1942.
Fighting in the woods

SdKfz 250 armored personnel carriers in the attack
Ju-52 transports - "Aunt Jumo," as the Germans called them

JU-87. Stuka Dive Bombers

German planes over Athens

"Mountain Arrow"

German Military Paintings During WW2

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
Read More


Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians