Karl Mobius, Naked Soldier with Steelhelmet

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Price: € 9,700

Description

‘Nackte Soldat mit Stahlhelm’ (‘Naked Soldier with Steelhelmet’)
Created in the beginning of the 1920s by Karl Möbius, most important sculptor of German Colonial Memorials.
Single unique cast, with core still inside (see X-ray photo below).

Direct Lost-Wax Casting – the Single Unique Cast
In the direct lost-wax casting process (also named ‘cire perdue’), the sculptor begins by building a roughly modelled clay-core over a metal armature. The clay-core is baked to harden it and drive off moisture, and then a relatively thin layer of wax is applied that receives the detailing of anatomy, texture, facial features and signature. A mold is formed around the wax-model, when the mold is heated the wax melts and creates a space into which molten bronze is poured. Once the bronze is cast, the clay-core and armature can be removed to lessen the weight of the finished sculpture. Occasionally the core and armature rods are -in whole or in part- left inside the bronze. On sculptures meant to be placed outdoors, the clay-core and iron-armature are generally removed in order to avoid damage from absorption of water.
The direct lost wax technique allows the artist to cast directly off of the original model, and is ideal for wax models with complex surface textures as well as large and complex compositions. This casting method produces a Single Unique Cast from a Single Model (as opposed to one that is cast from a mold of an existing model). The original master model is lost in the casting process: producing more copies of the master model is impossible.
When X-ray photos show iron armature or internal frame inside the bronze, it is evident that the direct lost wax casting technique was used and that we have to do with the original cast/model.

X-ray photo taken in 2021 of ‘Nackte Soldat mit Stahlhelm’ by Mobius. Visible are the iron wires from the core inside.

During the 20th century, almost all memorials by Karl Möbius were destroyed during an iconoclastic fury (Bilderstorm) by the British and French after WWI, by the Nazis who melted them down for ammunition, by the Russians and the DDR, and finally by German students in the 1960s.

The Nacked German Warrior
The symbol of the ‘Nacked German Warrior’ is related to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest: writing in 98 A. D. the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus describes the Germans as a tall, red haired, blue-eyed ‘race unmixed by intermarriage with other races, a peculiar people and pure, like no one but themselves’.
In Tacitus we find the first German hero, Arminius (Hermann der Cherusker), the Roman-trained prince of the Cherusci tribe, who, returning to his Germanic roots, united his people and led a decisive battle against the Roman army in 9 A.D. in the Teutoburg Forest. Led by German guides into the impenetrable forest, the legions of Publius Quintilius Varus, comprising the entire Roman occupation army of more than 20,000 men, were ambushed and annihilated by naked German warriors hurling spears from behind the trees. The Romans would never regain the territory east of the Rhine. From the mid 18th-century, the story of Arminius, the ‘Liberator Germaniae’ has been an inspiration to German nationalists. The Stahlhelm, a similar German symbol, reinforces the total picture of heroism.

Psychological Warfare
Also from Celtic warriors is known that they fought naked: towards the end of the 3rd century B.C., a coalition of Celtic tribes attacked the Roman Republic. One of the decisive battles during this war was the Battle of Telamon (225 BC). The ancient writer Polybius writes about ‘a tribe of Celtic warriors who had the habit of fighting naked’. According to Polybius they fought naked for three reasons: first of all, this was meant to display their confidence, both to their allies, and to the enemy. Secondly, it seems that it was more efficient to fight this way, ‘thinking that thus they would be more efficient, as some of the ground was overgrown with brambles which would catch in their clothes and impede the use of their weapons.’ Thirdly, the sight of naked warriors was also intended to intimidate the enemy.

– condition : II
– size : height 46 cm
– signed : at the base ‘Möbius’
– type : bronze
– misc. : created in the early 1920s

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BIOGRAPHY: KARL MÖBIUS

German colonial empire

The German colonial empire was an overseas area formed in the late nineteenth century. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany’s colonial efforts began in 1883. The German colonial empire ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919: all its overseas territories were confiscated by the Allied Powers and transferred to Japan, France, Belgium and  The United Kingdom. Owing to its delayed unification by land-oriented Prussia in 1871, Germany came late to the imperialist scramble for remote colonial territory. German foreign policy -the age of Otto von Bismarck- had been concentrated on resolving the ‘German question’ in Europe and securing German interests on that same continent. On the other hand, Germans had traditions of foreign sea-borne trade dating back to the Hanseatic League. A tradition existed of German emigration: eastward in the direction of Russia and Romania and westward to North America. Because Germany was so late to join the race for colonial territories, most of the world had already been carved up by the other European powers. The rising desire in Germany for prestigious colonies went hand-in-hand with dreams of a High Seas Fleet, which would become reality and be perceived as a threat especially by the United Kingdom.
Among Germany’s colonies lost in 1918 were:

– German West Africa: Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Guinea, Central African Republic, Ghana and Togo.
– German South West Africa: Namibia.
– German East Africa: Burundi and Kenya.
– German Samoa: Samoa.
– German New Guinea: Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon-, Marina- and Marshall Islands.

Karl Möbius, ‘Koloniaal Denkmal‘ (‘Memorial to the Lost Colonies’). Located in  Döbritz, Thuringia. Revealed at 21 June 1931. Destructed after WWII. The text on the base reads: ‘Deutsches Land in Fremder Hand’ (‘German Land in Foreign Hands’). The globe shows in black all the lands which Germany no longer controled.
The memorial was demolished by the Russians after WWII.
Photo at the bottom: ‘Karl Möbius – Ein Deutscher Bildhauer’, by Arne Schöfert.

‘Speerwerfer’ by Möbius, Great Berlin Art Exhibition 1913
Karl Möbius, ‘Speerwerfer‘ (‘Spear Thrower’). Displayed at the ‘Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung’, 1913, where it was awarded the State Medal. Placed in Berlin in the Stadtpark an der Kaiser-Allee (now called Volkspark Wilmersdorf respectively Bundesallee). In 1944 it was melted down for ammunition. In 1954 an aftercast was created and replaced at the same location.
An original second, pre-war cast from 1931 is located in the Allianz-Stadion in Berlin-Mariendorf.

‘Speerwerfer‘ by Möbius, after 1954. Aftercast located in the Volkspark Wilmersdorf, next to the Bundesallee.
   

‘Speerwerfer’ by Möbius, early 1920s. Placed in Berlin in the Stadtpark an der Kaiser-Allee.

‘Speerwerfer’, original pre-war cast from 1931, located in the Allianz-Stadion in Berlin-Mariendorf.

Speerwerfer’ by Möbius, intended for the Deutsche Stadion (later the Olympic Stadion)
The magazin ‘Sport im Bild‘, 1920, Heft 10, writes that the ‘Nationalstiftung Vaterlandsdank‘ has donated money to the National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise (Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen) for the purchase of ‘Der Speerwerfer’ by Karl Möbius. The statue had to be revealed in the ‘Deutsche Stadion’ in Berlin at the occasion of ‘a next major sport event’. The Deutsche stadion was built in 1913 to host the Olympic Games 1916; the Games however, were cancelled after the outbreak of World War I. The first new Olympic Games eventually took place in 1936, but the Deutsche Stadion was already demolished in 1933 and replaced by the new ‘Olympiastadion’.
Assumable this Speerwerfer cast is the one which finally was placed in the Allianz-Stadion in Berlin-Mariendorf.

First ‘Hans Dominik Memorial’, 1912
Karl Möbius, ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal’, 1912. Memorial to Hans Dominik (1870 –  1910), German colonial officer of the Schutztruppe, long-time commander of the Jaunde (Yaoundé) military station in Cameroon (Jaunde is the main capital of Camerun).
Placed in the cito of Kribi, Cameroon. Revealed in Cameroon on 6 September 1912, in the presence of Karl Möbius. After WWI, the British dismantled the statue and sent it back to Germany. In spring 1933 the memorial was placed at the Bahnhofvorplatz in Frankfurt an der Oder. During WWII the Nazi’s melted the statue down for ammunition.

The relevation on 6 September 1912 of the ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal’ in Kribi, Cameroon, in the presence of Karl Möbius. Photo from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), Huis Doorn, The Netherlands.

The re-erection of the ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal‘ in Frankfurt an der Oder, spring 1933. Photo from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), Huis Doorn, The Netherlands.

Left: the ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal’ by Möbius, depicted in ‘Deutsche Ehrenhain, -für die Helden von 1914/18’, 1931.  The text below the picture reads: ‘DOMINIK-DENKMAL von KRIBI (KAMERUN). Das Denkmal wird im Frühjahr 1931 in Frankfurt an der oder enthült‘.
Right: the ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal‘ at the Bahnhofvorplatz in Frankfurt an der Oder. Postcard.
   

Second ‘Hans Dominik Memorial’, 1913
Left: Karl Möbius, ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal’, 1913. Memorial to Hans Dominik (1870 –  1910), German colonial officer of the Schutztruppe, long-time commander of the Jaunde military station in Cameroon. After completion the statue was transported to Jaunde, but while WWI had broken out, it was never erected. In 1930 the statue was send back to Germany, and in 1935 it was placed in front of the University in Hamburg.
In 1968 the memorial was torn down by German students. Until now it it stored in a depot. It might be the only existing colonial memorial by Karl Möbius.
Right: the ‘Hans Dominik Denkmal’ by Möbius, in Hamburg in 1968.
Below: the memorial after the iconoclastic fury (Bilderstorm) by German students in 1968.
   

   

The turbulent fate of the Memorial to Carl Peters
Karl Möbius, ‘Dr. Carl Peters Denkmal‘. Memorial to Carl Peters (1856 – 1918), created in 1914. The memorial was planned for and transported to Dar es Salaam (Tazania). However, it was never erected and the British shipped it back to Germany in 1921. It was revealed at 03 July 1931 on Helgoland. During WWII the memorial was melted down for ammunition, but the bronze head survived. The head of this monument was then again erected in 1966 at Helgoland. Since 1997 the bronze head of Carl Peters is on display in the Museum Helgoland.
Dr. Carl Peters was a German colonial ruler, explorer, politician and author and a major promoter of the establishment of the German colony of East Africa (part of the modern republic Tanzania). Peters helped create the European ‘Scramble for Africa’, and was responsible for the capture of large areas of African land. Despite being vilified for cruelty to Africans and removed from office, he was later praised by Kaiser Wilhelm II and was considered a German hero by Hitler.

Heligoland – Zanzibar Treaty, 1890
Heligoland – Zanzibar Treaty, also known as the Anglo-German Agreement of 1890, was an agreement signed on 1 July 1890 between the German Empire and Great Britain. The Treaty set German and British spheres of influence in East Africa, Britain to have Zanzibar and the mainland opposite and towards the north, Germany to have the mainland south of Zanzibar. The accord also gave Germany control of the strategically located island of Heligoland in the North Sea (British possession since 1814), which the needed to control the new Kiel Canal and the approaches to Germany’s North Sea ports. Britain now used Zanzibar as a key link in the British control of East Africa. Carl Peters wanted to extend the German influence in Africa munch further than agreed in the Treaty.
Since the 1890 Agreement, Helgoland is nicknamed ‘Peters Land’.

The ‘Carl Peters Memorial, revealed at 03 July 1931 on Helgoland. Photo from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), Huis Doorn, The Netherlands.

Left: the ‘Carl Peters Memorial, Helgoland, 1936. Also depicted in ‘Das Bild’, January 1938.
Right:  the ‘Carl Peters Memorial, Helgoland, 1966. Depicted on the cover of the ‘Mitteilungsblatt des Traditionsverbandes ehemaliger Schutz- und Überseetruppen‘, October 1976.
   

After 1997: the head of the ‘Carl Peters Memorial’, on display by the Helgoland Museum.

Karl Möbius, ‘Denkmal für die Gefallenen der Kameruner Schutztruppe‘ (‘Memorial to the Fallen of the Cameroon Troops‘). Revealed in Frankfurt an der Oder, 1926. The bronze eagle on the front side of the obelisk later became the symbol of the Cameroon Troops. After WWII destructed by the Russians. The historical bronze eagle however survived and is in private possession. Photos: ‘Karl Möbius – Ein Deutscher Bildhauer’, by Arne Schöfert.

Karl Möbius, ‘Kolonialkrieger – Ehrenmal‘ (‘Memorial to the Colonial Soldiers’). Revealed in Halle (Saale), July 1933. Melted down by the Nazis in spring 1943 for ammunition. Photos: ‘Karl Möbius – Ein Deutscher Bildhauer’, by Arne Schöfert.
   

The Kalahari Expediton, 1908, by Captain Friedrich van Erckert
One of the most extraordinary and little known military campaigns in history
Officially, the Herero and Hottentot uprisings against German control in Namibia were ended by a 1907 peace deal. However, Simon Kopper  and his 80-strong gang operating out of the wilderness north of the Nossob thought otherwise. Using hit-and-run guerilla tactics, the Kopper clan murdered and pillaged a swath of terror through Namibia’s eastern homesteads. As a result, one of the most extraordinary and little known military campaigns in history took place; the Kalahari Expedition 1908.
Attempts to get Kopper proved to be unsuccessful due to the lack of available water. Determined to oust the guerillas from this waterless wasteland, Captain Friedrich van Erckert spent six months in preparation, training his mounted troops to ride specially imported camels. In March, 1908, he set out from the Nossob river. In the assault party were 23 German Officers, 373 rifles, 4 medics, 120 non-whites, 710 camels as well as horses, mules and riding oxen. Four maxim machine guns completed the force. The wisdom of von Erckert’s decision to use camels was justified: water restrictions did not hamper the group’s movements, most of the camels going 12 days without water. Koppers force was found and a dawn engagement took place. Records show that 13 Germans were killed, including Captain von Erckert himself, 19 were wounded and 58 of Koppers men were killed. Kopper escaped but, after this, was no further trouble to the Germans. Around 1908/09 Karl Möbius created a bronze sculpture of Hauptmann Friedrich von Erckert as camel driver.

Below: headstone of Hauptmann Friedrich von Erckert in Gochas, Namibia, and ‘German South West Africa Patrol’. Pictures from: ‘The Kalahari Expedition March 1908. The Forgotten Story of the Final Battle of the Nama War’, Wullf D. Haacke.
   

Karl Möbius, ‘Sculpture of Hauptmann Friedrich von Erckert as Camer Rider‘, around 1908/09.
Left: ‘Kamelreiter der Schutztruppe‘ (‘Camel Rider of the German Troops‘) by Möbius. Displayed at the exhibition ‘100 Jahre Verein Berliner Künstler‘, 1941. Bronze, signiert 1935, height 37 cm. Depicted in the exhibition catalog.
Right: ‘Kamelreiter der Schutztruppe‘ by Möbius, sold by a German auction house in 2015. Bronze, height 43 cm.
   

Left: Karl Möbius, ‘Ehrenmal für die Gefallenen des Karabinier Regiment zu Borna, Bez. Leipzig’. World War I Memorial to the Fallen of the ‘Königlich Sächsischen Karabinier-Regiments (2. Schweres Regiment), city of Borna. Revealed at 10 July 1927 in the city of Borna, Saxony. The memorial was demolished in 1946 and melted down in Berlin in 1950.
Right: the ‘Karabinier Denkmal’ depicted in ‘Deutsche Ehrenhain, -für die Helden von 1914/18’, 1931.
   

Karl Möbius, ‘Denkmal für die gefallenen Arbeiter der Friedrich-August-Hütte‘. WWI Memorial to the Fallen Workers of the Friedrich-August Hütte in Norderham. Created in 1922.
      

The revelation of the ‘Friedrich-August Hütte’ memorial in 1922.
Photo: ‘Karl Möbius – Ein Deutscher Bildhauer’, by Arne Schöfert.

Karl Möbius, ‘Pferd’ (‘Horse’), plaster model. Displayed at the ‘Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung‘, 1926. Depicted in ‘Das Bild‘, January 1938 (at the left the Carl Peters memorial by Möbius at Helgoland).

Karl Möbius, ‘Südwestafrikakrieger zu Pferde auf Patrouille‘ (‘Horse Riding South West African Soldier on Patrol‘), displayed in 1907 at the ‘Deutschen Armee-, Marine- und Kolonialausstellung‘ in Berlin; there awarded the Silver Medal. Inspired by the mobilization since 1904 of German Troops to South West Africa, this was one of the first works by him based on the ‘colonial theme’. Möbius also created smaller bronze versions of this figure, which were i.a. used as Offiziersgeschenk der Schutztruppe (Gifts to Officers of German Troops in Africa).
Other names of the sculpture were: ‘Meldereite’, ‘Schutztruppler auf Patrouille’ and Patrouillereiter’. Assumable the bronze displayed at the ‘Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung 1907’, named ‘Feind in Sicht‘ (‘Enemy in Sight‘) was the same art work.

Left: ‘Südwestafrikakrieger zu Pferde auf Patrouille‘ by Möbius, sold by a German auction house in 2009. Bronze, height 30 cm. With inscription: ‘Dem scheidenden Kameraden Herrn Oberleutnant Schultze Moderow. Das Offizier Korps der Schutztruppe für Südwestafrika 1910‘ (‘to the parting Comrade First Lieutenant Schultze Moderow. The Officers Corps of the Protection Force for South West Africa 1910’).
Right: Südwestafrikakrieger zu Pferde auf Patrouille‘ by Möbius: photo from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), Huis Doorn, The Netherlands.
   

The Kameruner Schutztruppe auf Fernando Poo
‘He who serves the Germans faithfully will be treated like a German, and share in the privileges of the Germans..’
When the Germans were ousted by Allied forces from Cameroon in January 1916, they retreated to neighbouring neutral Spanish Guinea. Thousands of Cameroonian Schutztruppe soldiers and carriers accompanied them on a harrowing jungle trek to Bata, the administrative capital. They travelled with wives, carriers and servants in tow, in some cases with entire villages loyal to the Germans. Among the 20,000 who made it to Bata were 6000 Schutztruppe combatants. British and French authorities were disturbed by the presence of a large, disgruntled and restless enemy force on the West African coast, and pressed the Spanish government to disband the troops and to intern the German nationals in Spain. Instead, over 18,000 Cameroonians and a thousand Germans were transferred to Fernando Po. The encampment of the German-Cameroonian troops and their followers only forty kilometres from the Cameroonian coast caused the Allies great anxiety. The naval significance of the island was obvious. The soldiers’ camps could hardly be considered wartime internment, and German officers continued to drill the troops. Weaponry was smuggled into Spanish territory, clearly with Spanish connivance. British pressure on Spanish authorities to repatriate the troops had no effect. Rather, the Governor General and the Spanish officers turned a blind eye to what was clearly a German attempt to establish a military base off the West African coast.

Many who followed the Germans into Spanish Guinea were inspired by loyalty to the Germans. Others fled to avoid maltreatment by the French or the British -or the Germans, should they return. The German governor in Cameroon, Ebermaier, promised that loyalty to the Germans came with advantages: ‘You natives, who have lived with the Germans for a generation, know that the Germans are strict, but just. Those of you who help our enemy (…) will experience our severity. But those who remain loyal to us will be rewarded. Cameroonian soldiers and government officials loyal to the Germans were exempted from corporal punishment, for ‘he who serves the Germans faithfully will be treated like a German, and share in the privileges of the Germans.
Karl Möbius created in 1933 the ‘Denkmal für die 1916 – 1919 Verstorbenen der Kameruner Schutztruppe auf Fernando Poo‘ (Memorial to the 1916 – 1919 Fallen of the German and Camerounian Soldiers in Fernando Poo, now the Isle of Bioko, part of Equatorial Guinea). The monument was restored in 2009.

Karl Möbius, ‘Denkmal für die 1916 – 1919 Verstorbenen der Kameruner Schutztruppe auf Fernando Poo‘, 1933. Memorial created in 1933 to the 1916 – 1919 Fallen of the German and Camerounian Soldiers in Fernando Poo (now the Isle of Bioko, part of Equatorial Guinea). The monument was restored in 2009.
Left : the memorial, published on the cover of the ‘Mitteilungsblatt des Traditionsverbandes ehemaliger Schutz- und Überseetruppen‘, February 1983.
Right: the restored memorial, after 2009
Below: the text on the relief reads: ‘Den Tapferen Streitern für Deutschlands Ehre! Die Kaiserliche Schutztruppe für Kamerun‘.
   

Karl Möbius, ‘Lieder Brunnen‘ (‘Fountain of Songs’), 1936/37. Located on the grounds of the Hermann Göring Kaserne in Berlin (now called Julius Leber Kaserne). Created in cement.
In the art magazine ‘das Bild’, January 1938, we read that Möbius also created  for a military barrack a ‘Christophorus Brunnen’ and a three meters high ‘Relief of a Soldier’.
Left: the Lieder Brunnen at the grounds of the Julius Leber Kaserne, nowadays.
Right: the Lieder Brunnen, before 1945.
   

A fountain in 1940 at a courtyard of the Hermann Göring Kaserne, assumably the Christophorus Brunnen by Möbius (depicted in ‘Baugilde, Zeitschrift für die Deutschen Architekten‘, 1940, book 4/5).

Karl Möbius, ‘Der Kolonialgedenkstein‘ (‘Lost Colonies Monument‘), 1925. Located in Nordhausen. The monument commemorated the lost German colonies Südsee, Afrika and Kiautschou (1884–1924). The bronze plaque, after the Order of the Elephant, is by Karl Möbius. Destructed after WWII.
Photo: ‘Karl Möbius – Ein Deutscher Bildhauer’, by Arne Schöfert.


Karl Möbius, ‘Elefantenorden’ and ‘Löwenorden’

The Elephant Order (‘Elefantenorden’ or more correctly the ‘Kolonial-Abzeichen’) was instituted by the Minister for Reconstruction in 1921 for all veterans of active service in the colonies in the First World War 1914-18. Later issued by the German Foreign Office, and from 1936 to 1945 by the Reichskanzler. The award was a round white metal badge worn on the left breast showing an elephant over an oak leaf wreath below the titles ‘Südsee Afrika Kiautschou’. The Elephant Order was a semi-official award. Size 40 x 32 mm.
The Lion Order  (‘Löwenorden’ or more correctly the ‘Kolonialauszeichnung’) was instituted by the German Colonial Veterans League (‘Deutschen Kolonialkriegerbund’) in 1922. It came in two classes, silver or white metal (to all veterans of the Schutztruppe, East Asian army and Imperial navy who had served in the colonies) and bronze (to Germans who had done valuable work for the colonies back home). The award was an eight pointed star badge worn on the left breast showing a lion and palm tree over a Sudwester hat and crossed swords over oak leaves. Above the lion was the script ‘Für Verdienste um die Kolonien‘.

Karl Möbius, most important sculptor of German Colonial Memorials
Karl Möbius (1876 – 1953), born in the city of Borna as son of a butcher, was a German sculptor. After he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden he became teacher in drawing and decorative sculptor at the Fachschule für Machinebau in Iserlohn. Two years later he went to the Königlichen Hochschule für die bildenden Künste in Berlin where he studied unter professor Peter Breuer. In 1914 Möbius married Anni Reh, daughter of the Kaiserliche Geheime Baurat Philpp Reh. They moved to the Offenbacherstrasse 5 in Berlin-Friedenau, not far away from foundry Noack, who cast several of the bronzes by Möbius. Inspired by the mobilization since 1904 of German Troops to South West Africa, Möbius -member of the Verein Berliner Künstler- created numerous works based on the ‘colonial theme’. His first work which brought him into publicity was ‘Südwestafrikakrieger zu Pferde auf Patrouille‘ (‘Horse Riding South West African Soldier on Patrol‘), displayed in 1907 at the ‘Deutschen Armee-, Marine- und Kolonialausstellung‘ in Berlin; there awarded the Silver Medal. Möbius also created smaller bronze versions of this figure, which were i.a. used as Offiziersgeschenk der Schutztruppe (Gifts to Officers of German Troops in Africa). Also in 1907 he displayed, for the first time at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition, the work ‘Feind in Sicht‘ (‘Enemy in Sight’, likely the same figure).  A cast of ‘Südwestafrikakrieger zu Pferde auf Patrouille’ (also named ‘Schutztruppler auf Patrouille‘) is in the possession of the Museum of Schwakopmund in Namibia. Möbius developed close contacts with the colonial military sector and soon became the number one sculptor of German colonial monuments. His first major public work was the Memorial to German colonial officer of the Schutztruppe, long-time commander of the Jaunde (Yaoundé) military station in Cameroon, Hans Dominik (1870 – 1910). The monument was revealed in 1912 in Kribi, Cameroon, in the presence of Karl Möbius. Other prominent colonial memorials followed.
In 1913 Möbius displayed his life size ‘Speerwerfer’ (‘Javelin Thrower’) at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition 1913. The sculpture was awarded with the State Medal and placed in Berlin in the Stadtpark an der Kaiser-Allee (now called Volkspark Wilmersdorf respectively Bundesallee). In 1944 it was melted down for ammunition. In 1954 an aftercast was created and replaced at the same location. Another original, pre-war cast of ‘Speerwerfer’ from 1931 is located in the Allianz-Stadion in Berlin-Mariendorf.‘
Another cutting edge work by Möbius was the ‘Kolonial Denkmal‘ (‘Memorial to the Lost Colonies’), located in  Döbritz, Thuringia. Revealed at 21 June 1931, destructed after WWII. The text on the base read: ‘Deutsches Land in Fremder Hand’ (‘German Land in Foreign Hands’).
During the 20th century, almost all memorials by Karl Möbius were destroyed during an iconoclastic fury (Bilderstorm) by the British and French after WWI, by the Nazis who melted them down for ammunition, by the Russians and the DDR, and finally by German students in the 1960s. A striking example is the Memorial to Carl Peters (1856 – 1918) which Möbius created in 1914. The memorial was planned for and transported to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). However, Germany lost in 1918 all of its colonies and the memorial was never erected. The British shipped it back to Germany in 1921. It was revealed at 03 July 1931 on Helgoland. During WWII the memorial was melted down for ammunition by the Nazis, but the bronze head survived. The head of this monument was then again restored and erected in 1966 at Helgoland. Since 1997 the torn off bronze head of Carl Peters is on display in the Museum Helgoland. A similar fate struck Möbius second memorial to ‘Hans Dominik Memorial’, 1913. After completion the statue was transported to Jaunde, but while WWI had broken out, it was never erected. In 1930 the statue was send back to Germany, and in 1935 it was placed in front of the University in Hamburg. In 1968 the memorial was torn down by German students. Until now it is stored in a depot (it might be the only existing colonial memorial by Karl Möbius).
Apart from colonial memorials, Möbius created the medals of the ‘Elefantenorden’ and the ‘Löwenorden’. The Elephant Order (‘Elefantenorden’) was instituted by the Minister for Reconstruction in 1921 for all veterans of active service in the colonies in the First World War 1914-18. Later issued by the German Foreign Office, and from 1936 to 1945 by the Reichskanzler. The Lion Order  (‘Löwenorden’) was instituted by the German Colonial Veterans League (‘Deutschen Kolonialkriegerbund’) in 1922. It came in two classes, silver or white metal (to all veterans of the Schutztruppe, East Asian army and Imperial navy who had served in the colonies) and bronze (to Germans who had done valuable work for the colonies back home).
In 1936/37 Möbius created the ‘Lieder Brunnen‘ (‘Fountain of Songs’), located on the grounds of the Hermann Göring Kaserne in Berlin (now called Julius Leber Kaserne). In the art magazine ‘das Bild’, January 1938, we read that Möbius also created  for a military barrack a ‘Christophorus Brunnen’ and a three meters high ‘Relief of a Soldier’. Likely this Christophorus Brunnen was located in a courtyard of the Hermann Göring Kaserne (depicted in ‘Baugilde, Zeitschrift für die Deutschen Architekten‘, 1940, book 4/5).
Möbius entered the NSDAP in May 1932, and the SA in November 1933. In 1939 he was promoted to the rank of Obergruppenführer (‘Senior Group Leader’, a paramilitary rank in the Third Reich’). These memberships and his activities in the Nazi party must have brought him into trouble after the war. In the Third Reich period he was also the Secretary of the Verein Berliner Künstler.
Karl Möbius died lonely in Berlin in 1953. His wife predeceased him, they had no children. Practically all his works were destroyed. A year later, in 1954, the city of Berlin decided to create an after cast of Speerwerfer by Möbius, and placed it at the same location.

Exhibitions in which Möbius took part:

The ‘Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellungen’
1907, ‘Weibliche Studienkopf‘ (‘Female Head-study‘, marble; ‘Pferdestudy‘(‘Horse-study‘), bronze; ‘Feind in Sicht‘ (‘Enemy in Sight‘), bronze; 1908, ‘Männliche Studienkopf‘ (‘Man Head-study‘); ‘Weibliche Studienkopf‘‘ (‘Female Head-study‘); 1912, ‘Speerwerfer‘ (‘Javelin Thrower‘), plaster; 1926, ‘Pferd‘ (‘Horse‘), plaster, life size; ‘Negerin mit Kindern‘ (‘Negress with Children‘), bronze.

The ‘Kunstaustellung Hilfswerk für Deutsche Bildende Kunst in der NS-Volkswohlfahrt‘
‘November-December 1938‘, ‘Trabender Hengst‘ (‘Running Horse‘), bronze; ‘November-December 1939‘, ‘Pferdestudie‘ (‘Horse-study‘), bronze.

Exibitions organised by the ‘Verein Berliner Künstler‘
‘Hundert Jahre Berliner Kunst‘, 1929; ‘Negerin (Jaundefrau) mit Kindern‘ (‘Negress, Woman von Yaoundé with Children‘), bronze , height 42 cm; ‘Herbstaustellung 1939‘, Verein Berliner Künstler: ‘Junger Krieger‘ (‘Young Warrior‘), plaster; ‘Herbstausstellung 1940‘, Verein Berliner Künstler: ‘Junger Krieger‘ (‘Young Warrior‘), bronze; ‘100 Jahre Verein Berliner Künstler‘, 1941: ‘Kamelreiter der Schutztruppe‘ (‘Camel Rider of the German Troops‘), bronze, 1935, height 37 cm, ‘Ritter mit Drachen‘ (‘Knight with Dragons‘), Hartmasse (ceram, hard paste), signiert 1941, height 58 cm.