To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WW II, there's a German Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a Graphic Novel

Historians in the News
tags: WW II

In 2015, the world will remember the end of World War II 70 years ago. There aren’t that many grandfathers and grandmothers left to talk about their traumatic experiences from this period. Markus Freise, Alex Kahl and Dr. Christian Hardinghaus have launched a crowd-funding campaign on this occasion. The result of this will be Großväterland – a Graphic Novel that portrays war stories from the last living eyewitnesses. Younger generations who can no longer ask their great grand-parents should be touched and enlightened by the book beyond the scope told in history classes: without sugar-coating or moralizing, but with a sound historical basis and a sense for social responsibility. More than 50% of the needed 18,000 US dollars budget are already collected. Theres is only time until 28th of December to fund the project and make it possible. 

Through interviews with German eyewitnesses and extensive research, the team intends to collect the last remaining, still untold stories of traumatizing experiences at the front, in POW camps or back home in bombed-out cities, illustrated as a graphic novel.  

"We are convinced that comic is the right medium for reaching a wide readership in an innovative way. The final hardcover book will contain the stories in English and German over more than 100 illustrated pages. The paperbacks are single language editions" said Freise, an experienced comic-artist known for the depth of detail in his drawings.

The crowd-funding platform Indiegogo allows interested readers to buy the graphic history product in advance via so-called perks. These perks include different packages of the book, with several extras such as postcards or a booklet with sketches. This way the team is able to intensify the work on the project and deliver the final product. If a higher sum is acquired, more pages and stories will be added to the book. In case the funding does not reach the minimum budget every paying supporter will be completely refunded.

"We are aware of our responsibility of handling the topic of WWII very sensitively. One part of the budget will be donated to organizations that work against facism," stated Hardinghaus, a doctor of philosophy and the historian specializing on the Third Reich. He will check historical facts and write story outlines, to be drawn by Freise. These story outlines will evolve from interviews conducted with eyewitnesses by Alex Kahl. "Großväterland is not only about stories. It’s also supplemented by historical facts. It is very likely that the book will be used in schools to support modern methods of teaching history."

The crowd-funding campaign has already been launched and ends on 28 December 2014. It can be found via this link on Indiegogo where the product packages can be ordered and bought.

The first episodes of Großväterland about KARLALFREDOTTO and GISELAand more information about the progress of the project is documented on

For questions, please contact Alex Kahl via

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