Zwei Freunde


  Reformatory Pupils, Friends, 1929


Following World War One, Peter Martin Lampel underwent a transformation from right-wing radical soldier to socialist fighter who showed special devotion to the matter of reorganising youth welfare by means of writing. The situation of the young during the time after the war was especially visible in Berlin. They were suffering and desperately in need of help. Lampel passionately began to devote himself to the well-being of youth and worked for reformatory institutions.

In his novel "Boys In Distress", Lampel tells us of his experiences as educator in the reformatory Struvedorf where Lampel was working during the late twenties. The valiant boys told him about all their many problems, their noble and exemplary relationships and even about their sexual relationships. This book was published with seven illustrations, and one of those illustrations was the basis for the painting above which shows two pupils from the reformatory.

Lampel had been especially impressed by their friendship and loyalty to each other. His play "Revolt in the Reformatory" in 1929 was shown in several theatres in Germany, and his paintings and drawings were shown in the accompanying collective exhibition. Many of his paintings are lost and only known through reproductions in the magazines of the youth movement and the gay movement of his time. Aside from a few postcards and drawings of boy scouts, not much of his works has survived.