Art in Wartime
Design and Text ©Diana Nichol 2020 All image content ©The Nichol Family , unless otherwise noted
History - Legacy
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Arthur Nichol enlisted for war service in 1939 at the age of 25, set sail for the battlefields of Europe in 1940, served in Intelligence and was captured on Crete in 1941. Imprisoned in Stalag VIIIB in Poland between 1941 and 1945, he produced unique realist artworks of life in prison camp, painted posters of theatrical productions and held art classes for fellow prisoners at several Stalag camps.
In the bitter winter of January 1945, as Soviet forces advanced on Lamsdorf camp, Arthur and around 25,000 fellow POWs, were force-marched westward in groups of around 500. They would be on foot for the next 4 months, with no knowledge of their destination. Those who survived the ordeal were finally liberated, the fortunate by American forces; those not so, by the Soviets, who would hold them hostage for several months longer. In a letter home, Arthur talks of waiting for "the Russians to let us go."