The well-known author and illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans was the nephew of Hans Bemelmans, the man who made the former Post-Hotel on the Ritten a meeting place for aristocrats and intellectuals.
Ludwig Bemelmans. Hans Bemelmans' rebellious nephew.
Hans Bemelmans was the Flemish hotelier who acquired the Post Hotel in Klobenstein shortly after 1900 and turned it into a sought-after holiday domicile for aristocrats, statesmen and thinkers. Hans Bemelmans was also the uncle of Ludwig Bemelmans, the famous writer and illustrator who was born in Merano in 1898 and was considered a rebel in his youth. After difficult years in which the young Ludwig was unsuccessfully supposed to "learn something decent" in the hotels of his uncle Hans, he finally made his fortune in America. To this day, his "Madeline books" are among the classics of children's literature.
Ludwig Bemelmans was considered rebellious and undisciplined in his youth. Without a school diploma and without any great career goals, he started an apprenticeship in the hotels of his uncle Hans. However, the story did not end well: in a quarrel, the rebellious Ludwig injured a hotel employee with a firearm. As a result, he was sent to live with his father in the USA, where he spent the following years working in various hotels and restaurants. In 1917, he joined the army and did most of his military service in a military hospital.
Artistic success in the USA.
Ludwig Bemelmans made his first artistic attempts after his military service - initially unsuccessfully. His first book, "Hansi", was published in 1934 and describes his childhood in South Tyrol. He finally achieved his breakthrough in the USA with the Madeline books. Ludwig published a total of 50 titles during his lifetime, including travelogues and novels in which he takes a critical look at the Nazi regime. He also wrote screenplays and films. Ludwig Bemelmans died in New York in 1962. He found his final resting place at Arlington Military Cemetery in the state of Virginia.