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Albatros Scout from the Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., shot from below.

Albatros Scout from the Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. © 2012 John M. Shea

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Monday, December 4, 1916

"Zeppelin hangers. Maubeuge at 3:30 p.m. Right after, Haumont. A perfect example of a French provincial town. The poesy of sobriety, everyday life without makeup. Food? Sugar? Oil? Rice? Wool? Rubber? Little, barely more than we have, and already plundered, because it is a military station. Soldiers scouting for goods, hoarding merchants, the speculators! I too would like butter, but not for trading, only for me and my family to eat. The Satan of usury has no strength, he is too much of a bourgeois."

Quotation Context

Excerpt from the diary of the Swiss-German painter Paul Klee serving with the air corps where he had varnished of the wings and fuselages of airplanes. On December 4, 1916, Klee was transporting two planes — B.F.W. (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke) 3054/16 and 3053/16 and spare parts to Fighter Squadron 5. The journey takes him through Cologne, Belgium, and into France. Jagdstaffel 5 was on the Somme battlefront at the time. Both Hermann Göring and Werner Voss flew with the squadron. B.F.W. manufactured planes under license from Albatros-Flugzeugwerke.


The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918, Edited, with an Introduction by Felix Klee by Paul Klee, page 354, copyright © 1964 by the Regents of the University of California, publisher: University of California Press, publication date: 1968


1916-12-04, 1916, December, Klee, Zeppelin, Albatros