1945–1970 in Peru

Exhibition poster
Exhibition poster, 1944/45
German Exile Archive 1933-1945 at the German National Library, estate Robert Hans Olschwanger

1945–1970 in Peru

Denn diese braunen Teufel fanden
Auch völlig neue Höllenqualen.
Und Bosch und Breughel beide hätten
Ganz andere Bilder nun zu malen.

[Because these brown devils also invented brand new forms of hellish torture. And Bosch and Breughel would have had quite different pictures to paint. (ed. trans.)]

From Robert Hans Olschwanger’s ballad Die Geschichte eines Verbrechens (The story of a crime)

After the war ended, Olschwanger initially remained in Peru and continued working as a commercial artist and caricaturist. In 1945, around 100 of his caricatures were displayed in a temporary exhibition staged in cooperation with the “Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norteamericano”. The exhibition toured several Peruvian cities, where it was acclaimed by a wider public. The artist, who had already gained a reputation for the work he had published in two of the most important Peruvian daily newspapers, also received outstanding press reviews. His democratic messages denouncing Fascism were warmly praised. One critic compared his work to that of Francisco de Goya and George Grosz, writing, “The artist is noted for the mischievous nature of his drawings, which have the bold, firm lines of scalpel incisions.” Rafael Larco Herrera, Vice-President of Peru, wrote the foreword to a booklet on the exhibition. He was particularly impressed by how Olschwanger succeeded in capturing the individual gestures and physiognomies of the people he drew. He also praised the artist’s graphic “fighting spirit” in the cause of democracy and his denunciation of “bloodthirsty, vengeful people who in their megalomania did not shrink from letting the most barbaric hecatombs rain down upon humanity merely to satisfy their desire for power”. The exhibition went on display in several locations in 1945; in 1946, it was also shown at the “Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norteamericano”.