Landschaftsverband Rheinland - Qualität für Menschen

Foto: Bildleiste von Szenen

Schrift: größer/kleiner

First World War (1914 - 1918)

Anton Keldenich

Anton Keldenich was born on 16th February 1874 as the child of a small farmer in Wüschheim. Because he was quite short (158 cm) at 18 he was not drafted into military service. He stayed at the castle in Großbüllesheim as a stable-boy. While he was working there, he painted the walls of the stables with horse's heads and views of the village. His talent was discovered and he started an apprenticeship as a painter.


At the age of 31, in 1905 he set off for Italy. His first diaries from this almost two year journey have been preserved. After his return he continued to write in his diary and make sketches of the world around him. He made drawings of daily life in Großbüllesheim and created oil paintings for the inhabitants of the village. At the beginning of the First World War he volunteered for military action, but at first was not taken. It was not until August 1915 that he received his call-up papers.


From the beginning of the war he kept a war diary, which at first reflects his enthusiasm. His first experiences of the war were also recorded in his diary and drawings as very positive

He depicted the living quarters of the soldiers as cosy living rooms. He was fascinated by the war machine and made sketches of machineguns and rifles. In the further course of the war he designed crosses for soldiers fallen in battle. He went to war for patriotism and came home disillusioned. Taking stock, the result had been: 50 million dead and wounded.


After the war he became active in the life of the parish and joined the Centre Party. He regarded the take-over of power by the National Socialists very critically and withdrew from public life.
Anton Keldenich died on 20th September 1936 in Großbüllesheim.


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