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Operation Eidelwiess. Oil and Dolomitic Limestone on board. 24X32cm.  2018

Operation Edelwiess (detail)

Operation Eidelwiess (detail)

Operation Eidelwiess (detail)

The text on the lower frame is difficult but possible to read due to it's small size. It reads;

 

‘The Tyrolean mountain guide Hans Meiners died at 92. In 1942 the 20 year old Meiners joined the 4th German Mountain Division and went to fight soviet forces in the Caucasus region of Russia in a campaign codenamed Operation Edelweiss. He left his regiment for a week during this time to make an unconfirmed, solo first ascent of Mt Diklosmta, a 4200m peak on the Chechen, Dagestan and Georgian border. The night before the climb, the local villagers warned him that climbing Diklosmta will insult the mountain spirits (budaadals) who live on the summit and who routinely threw avalanches and rockfalls down on people. On the descent from his alleged successful climb Meiners was caught in an avalanche but was rescued by the Dagestani family who he had stayed with and who were watching his progress from below. He returned to his regiment and was later part of the team that climbed Elbrus (Europe’s highest summit) to plant the Nazi German flag on it’s summit.  After the war he became a respected Tyrolean mountain guide making many important first ascents in the Dolomites and Alps. He died in 2014 of heart failure whilst staying at the farmhouse of an old climbing friend in the Italian Dolomites. The day after he died a huge boulder rolled down from the mountain above and smashed through the part of the house he was staying in.’

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