Hans Traxler

Mom, How Come I’m Not a Chicken? - Childhood Memories

Illustrated throughout
(German title: Mama, warum bin ich kein Huhn?)
ca. 104 pages
Hans Traxler
Foto: Hans Traxler
© Jürgen Bauer

Hans Traxler, born in Herrlich, a village in northern Bohemia, in 1929, is a painter, illustrator and author. He was awarded numerous prizes for his oeuvre, among them the Wilhelm- Busch-Prize in 2015 and most recently the Sondermann-Prize 2017.

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A childhood just like in the old days – and its sudden end


Hans Traxler, who grew up in a Bohemian village in the 1930s, had a childhood just like in the olden days, with a mother who played the church organ, a father who was the commander of the local Gendarmerie and who at Ascension Day could be found behind the baldachin with the monstrance and his older brothers who showed him how to catch trout with the butterfly net. But this idyllic time came to end in 1938, when the Wehrmacht marched in and World War II began one year later.

With his typically laconic-humorous style, Traxler tells the comical and the terrible tale of a childhood spent in the shadow of the Third Reich, in 33 short chapters. In addition, he has authentically illustrated every chapter with a highly detailed, full-page colour drawing.