Comic about german history: Zivis, Nurses & Nudism

Comic about german history: Zivis, Nurses & Nudism

Zivis, FKK & Krankenschwestern is a comic about german history seen from the perspective of my younger self. To explain some of the pages which might be of some interest for those born a bit later than myself. 

  • How we grew up in a divided german society with the history of the crimes commited by the generation of our grand ancestors.
  • And why we aim to never letting fascism, racism and hate take over again.
  • How and why cultural communication, dialogue with others was, is and will ever be important to evolve and live peacefully. 

The creation of this comic was part of a project by my fellows from Beatcomix and me to tell stories from german history with various eastern and western perspectives. An important part of the idea was to work with animals as protagonists of the story. On hand our stories were based on very personal experiences. On the other we wanted to create a bit of distance,to receive a wider perspective, to typify behaviours and makr roles, i.e. ourselves as the cats.

Link to the comic:

Page 1: How my grandmother taught me about responsibility.

Page 1: How my grandmother taught me about responsibility.

Page 1: How I grew up as a little child and how my grandmother taught me to never ever let war happen again.

The 1st page is about how my grandmother taught me as a little child about the cruelties and sufferings all families endured during WW2. We should never start again.

This is an experience I share with lots of others in my generation: many kids did not have grandfathers as a lot of them died during the war. The experience of war was very visible in our family, even though we were born more than twenty years after the war (which is not very much from my perspective nowadays).

My grandparents, my father as a little boy, the sisters of my grandmother and their kids fled from the burning Hannover during the bombings. They went to live in a small hut at the Steinhuder Meer in Großenheidorn. There they hid with them their sister in law who was of jewish descendance.

My father saw a british bomber shot and falling down on Großenheidorn. The pilot prevented the village and all its inhabitants from dying and died himself by doing so. Many yeards later my father tried to get to know the identity of the pilot to inform his family of this very heroic act.

Page 2: How we grew up during the early 80ies.

Page 2: How we grew up during the early 80ies.

Page 2 is about how we grew up during the early 80ies. John Lennon was our idol: “Give Peace A Chance!" No war ever again. 

So we were part of the upcoming peace movement, out of which the party "Die Grünen" evolved. Demonstrations were part of our growing up. 

But to be honest: getting near to girls was very important, too. And it wasn´t all that easy at that age - which was due to our own shyness. And: We were taught to be respectful against women and girls.  

The girl shown in this page is a character of a lot of girls I cared and worshipped for at that time. 

Important: We had to pass through an examination of conscience to be able to enter community service - one of our basic rights. Not so easy: I had to pass two times, because I failed the first - I had let the fictive opressor kill a prominent poiltician during the fictive peaceful resistance which I had organized, fictively. And I admired Willy Brandt a lot.

I was and still am very happy how my father supported me during these very hard examinations. He himself was asked to give a testimony and during these he lived again through his very hard experiences as a little boy during the bombardement of Hannover which was very traumatizing for him. He stood behind me with no doubt and supported me with any means possible. 

Page 3: How being a Zivi was a life changing experience.

Page 3: How being a Zivi was a life changing experience.

Page 3 illustrates of how being a Zivi was a life changing experience.

I did my civil service in a home for the aged working as a carer for the elderly.

To get up very early in the morning. And to work hard. 

We worked in shifts from 6 to 14 and 15 to 20, every 2nd weekend the early morning plus the evening shift on both saturday and sunday.

For us it was a "real life flash", we and I learned a lot.

To get to know some beautiful nurses. That was something that really kept me going.


To overcome my limitations. To go farther. 

To help people regardless their moral choices in their past and yours now. Just because they are helpless now.

To experience how thin the impact of what we call our character and personality is. 

How important health is to keep it intact and how quick it can be destroyed by illness.

Page 4 shows how we adventured in Europe.

Page 4 shows how we adventured in Europe.

After the civil service I went (back) to a more safe environment: the university. At first I studied economics.

Why? I wanted to know why and how the world and our system works and functions. Yes, there were some answers to be found. But also a lot of dogmatism. The ideal picture and theory of the homo economicus, the most meant-to-be rational being, acting only in self-centered egoism, free of moral boundaries, to gain his maximal personal wealth and therefore helps society to achieve and our optimum - the paradies. What a big chimera! 

On the other hand: We were adventurous. We wanted to get to explore the world. And ourselves.

We knew about the "other Germany". Some had relatives, some had political connections, as being a communist was something connceted to higher ideals of people being equal and such.

Working together for a better world. Not against each other in achieving egoistic goals.

How to find paradies at home? It seemed so difficult.

We travelled a lot. Hitchhiked and visited other european countries. I loved the experience. You never knew in the morning where you were going to be at the end of the day. Every day was an adventure. New cultures, new people, new friends. 

Page 5 and 6: How the west was won

Page 5 and 6: How the west was won

For us the east german revolution just happend. We weren´t prepared, maybe a lot of us really weren´t.

In my memory literature such as Asterix was more helpful than economic theory. 

We tried to understand! But the results of our studies were not sufficent: too cold, not enough empathy for people and their needs.

Maybe that was part of the problem of the west german approach: 

We lacked a true understanding of what had happened in the German Democratic Republic. 

Of what "the other Germans" said, meant and felt.

I viewed the events with the background of my family.

And the historic guilt of us Germans, the sufferings of all people because of the actions of our ancestors.

I never had any understanding for people trying to forget this.  

To be continued

To be continued



Have fun to explore.