, 23 February
1873 - 10 June
, 1951), also known as "Oncle Hansi
", or simply "Hansi
" ("little John") was a French
artist of Alsatian
origin. He was a staunch pro-French activist, and is famous for his cute drawings, some of which contain harsh critics against the German of the time. He was also a hero of both the First
and the Second
Jean-Jacques Waltz was born in Colmar
the 23 February 1873, two years after the annexion of Alsace
by the German Empire
consequitive to the Franco-Prussian War
In the German-occupied Alsace, he worked as an artist for the textile industry, and drew postcard and programmes for local events. He started publishing satirical works in 1908 under the pseudonym "Hansi", making particular fun of German tourists.
First satirical works and First World War
Hansi became famous with his polemical satiric work Professor Knatschke
(1912), which became a best-seller in France, as well as several other militant works. He came to incarnate the symbol of the pro-French Alsace, especially among "revengeful" French intellectuals such as Maurice Barrès
Hansi was imprisoned several times by German authorities for making fun of the German military and professors, culminating in a one-year sentence given by the tribunal of Leipzig in July 1914. This caused a national outrage in France, making headlines in newspapers and inspiring two editorials by Clemenceau.
Hansi eventually escaped to France, where he joined the military as a translator officer when the First World War broke out.
In 1940, Hansi, still wanted by the Gestapo
for his militant works and his "treason" of 1914, had to flee into Vichy France
. He was all but assassinated by the Nazis in Agen
, and fled to Switzerland
Badly wounded because of this attack, he remained weak until he died in 1951.
Hansi is now archetypal of Alsace folklore. His original books, edited at a few thousand copies, are valued among collectors. It is very common to find plates and every-day items decorated with his drawings. His books have been reedited several times.
- Professor Knatschke
- Le voyage d'Erika en Alsace Française
- L'Histoire d'Alsace Racontée aux Petits Enfants d'Alsace et de France par l'Oncle Hansi
- Mon Village , ceux qui n'oublient pas
- L' Alsace Heureuse
- Le Paradis Tricolore
- A travers les lignes ennemies
- Colmar en France
- Colmar , guide illustré des champs de bataille
- Les clochers dans les Vignes
- Au pied de la Montagne Ste Odile
- La fresque de Geispolsheim et autres balivernes
- La merveilleuse Histoire du bon Saint Florentin
- Les armes des villes et des communes 80 documents héraldiques dessinés et commentés par JJ Waltz
- Les armes des tribus et des corporations et emblèmes des artisans
- Les armes des nobles et des bourgeois
- Souvenir d'un annexé récalcitrant