Legendary artist draws for SECUMAR

Wilhelm Hartung – the creator of Willi SECUMAAT

No-one was safe from his sharp pencil, least of all the politicians: whether it was Helmut Kohl or Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt or Franz-Josef Strauss – over a period of more than 40 years, the caricaturist Wilhelm Hartung captured them all on paper. His drawings about the Bonn scenario amount to some thousands and were published in many well-known newspapers making him famous all over Germany. The legendary artist from Reinbek has close ties with SECUMAR. Wilhelm Hartung is the „father“ of Willi SECUMAAT.

It was an idea by the company founder, Jost Bernhardt, to give the theme „safety“, a theme which at first glance seems very dry, an amusing side to it, and so bring it closer to the hearts of all kinds of seamen in a nice kind of way. This is why the comic strip on Willi SECUMAAT appeared in the year of 1972. Hartung presented an easy-going sailor who seems to be cunning – even in the most impossible situations Willi SECUMAAT remains absolutely cool and puffs his pipe. And just incidentally the viewer is instructed in the basic principles of flotation physics…

Hartung, who was born in Cuxhaven, proved his talent again and again in various ways after taking up his artist’s pen during his teaching studies, never again to toss it aside. His critics described him as someone who depicts his „view of this world with its imperfect inhabitants in a witty way, but showing forgiving, a keen insight and understanding“. A little anecdote by the by: at the end of the Seventies he drew a German card game scene depicting politicians which is said to have annoyed the German Chancellor of the time, Helmut Schmidt. Whereas Schmidt represented a jack of hearts, the Bavarian rival Strauss was a jack of club’s, and that is well known to be the highest trump in the game…

But Hartung also turned to writing; in fact in low German dialect. „Jägerslüüd un Burn“ and „Tühnkrom un Wohrheit“ were two of this works in which he cannot hide his great role model: Wilhelm Busch, the creator of Max and Moritz. Wilhelm Hartung, born in 1920, has withdrawn from daily political caricature, yet he cannot stop drawing completely. Every day he sits down to classical music at his desk and puts his ideas on paper. As a result, he comes up with illustrations for whole house facades such as for the company premises of the Kravag Insurance company in Hamburg – or the Christmas cards for SECUMAR, too. One could not imagine the New Year without the best wishes in co-ordination with the many sea creatures which Hartung and his “son” Will SECUMAAT provide for friends of the company.