24. December 2017


In December, Winfried Muthesius held a workshop for young artists at the Faculty of Design of the University of Würzburg. It was the start of the pics4peace campaign, which aims to motivate young people aged between 16 and 26 to have creative input on the theme of peace and democracy, and to campaign against radicalism, populism, antisemitism and other forms of marginalisation of people in our country. The city of Würzburg is sponsor of the project in 2017/2018. It will then go on to other municipalities so as to reach as many people as possible, thereby strengthening democracy in freedom.

Winfried Muthesius explains the pittura oscura technique – here using the skull of a pogrom victim, with which he is working

The multi-layering of the pittura oscura is ideal for tackling history, the challenges of the present and possible outlooks for the future, and for condensing the whole into a single work.


Veronika Genslein from the Museum für Franken describes the periods of war and violence in the history of the city of Würzburg, which spans more than 1,300 years.

The historical reference point is the Habima scandal of 1930. It was the largest and most brutal antisemitic riot in Würzburg prior to 1933; that is, at a time when a freely and democratically elected government was still in power. The scene was the Municipal Theatre, where the Russian “Habima” theatre group was performing a Jewish play called “Der Dibbuk”. Around 1,000 attendees were beaten, injured, pursued and put in fear of their lives.


A skull picture by Muthesius is carried through the city to the theatre, pausing here by a plaque marking the collection point from where Jews were deported from Würzburg to the concentration camps.