Diary Entry by Egon Schiele
26th Aug. 1915
(Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)
It is August 26, 1915. I am at the prisoner of war camp no. 16 at the Hütteldorferstraße 188, sitting on the benches and armchairs in the officers’ garden in front of the barracks. I am surrounded by the hot summer and the clear sky above, in front of me there are flower beds in which roses are withering. In the barrack building one can hear typewriters and outside, beyond the board-clad iron fence, is the open free street. What shall I do – I was advised to get an operation – the appendicitis has returned. I do know that. But to stay here all alone, when my great longing drives me towards freedom – what good am I for the government? My colleague Fürth was also here, he is certainly a malingerer and a superfluous being – this lazy sitting and laying around does him good – all he wants to do is eat and he won’t think about anything else. When I go up to the hospital, from the second floor I see the Hietzinger Hauptstraße, where my studio and my Edith are – yesterday I had a pass from 2 to 7 – how fast the time passed and how stuporous one has to be here and the hours won’t go by. How patient I am, since 21 June I have to do what soldiers want; the uniform? I spent haunting, tormented days in Prague, where we conscripts were locked up like felons. I won’t forget the Czech people – Prague was beautiful from 18 to 21 June at 8 in the morning. We only got married on 17 June. What anguish the war brings to freedom and sentient humans is perhaps most disgraceful, it is destiny, however, and I have never given up hope, since the days of Prague have also come to an end, where I could talk to Diderle [Edith] through the fence and after 8 days, it was a Sunday, I was dispatched on a freight train to somewhere I did not know. We had to be prepared for everything and therefore we agreed that I would
immediately telegraph where we were staying. Diderle stayed first at the Hotel Paris and then at the Hotel Wien in Prague. She probably entertained herself occasionally during the time that I could not get away, but then we were not as close as we are today (she would not have accepted invitations otherwise) – at the time that upset me although I would have liked to grant her some distraction. But the hours without her were long ones for me. – That is the pain of the world. – In Neuhaus we were in barns, it remains unforgettable. I immediately telegraphed Diderle and she arrived in Neuhaus in a day – how great the joy was when we were together and how great the joy was when I was with her day by day. After much back and forth we came to Vienna, praise God, it seemed unreal to see Vienna again so soon. At the end of July we arrived at the Franz Josef train station. In Neuhaus Diderle came to the train station at 11 in the morning – she remained there and again we did not know
how long we wouldn’t be able to see each other. She came Friday, 30 July? I was at the train station in C. [civilian clothes] and we went for dinner vis à vis. I told her where our brigade is [stationed] and we had to be happy with the little bit of improvement – because we were in Vienna together once more and we could finally sleep at home. I have been sick now since 11 August at 4 o’clock in the afternoon – initially I was at home from 11 August until 23 August at 10 in the morning. We spent beautiful hours at home and I was able to nearly complete a picture, a life-size portrait of Diderle. Since then I sit and lie amongst the severely injured in this hospital – what will happen to me – how long will I remain here?
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Arthur Stemmer, Wien / London (vor 1938-1954);
Walter Neurath, London (ab 1954);
Marlborough Galerie, London (1964);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1964-1994); (1)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994)
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