Heinrich (called Heinz) Mellmann was born November 10th, 1913, in Osnabrück Germany. He was the second of three sons born to carpenter Josef Mellmann and seamstress Wilhelmine Magdalena Lobe genannt Laube.
When he had finished middle school in 1929 he began an apprenticeship as a decorateur and poster painter in the department store M. Conitzer & Sons in his hometown of Osnabrück. On July 1st, 1929, the business was sold and the staff and apprentices were altogether taken over by the byer, S. Alsberg & Co. After his final examination on April 10th, 1932, Mellmann continued working in his master's firm as a volunteer, then as a regular employee. He received an additional qualification as a bookbinder and took part in several public courses to train himself in drawing and applied photography. In 1935 the Jewish firm S. Alsberg & Co. was ›aryanized‹ and taken over by Lengermann & Trieschmann.
In 1939 Mellmann moved to Stuttgart and got married to Else Lebküchner. He worked for the photo and art products merchant Schaller both in the photo laboratory and in the shop. He not only did diverse graphics for Schaller, his employer, but also some works of his own. The most important ones among them were the original gouaches which his later fairytale illustrations were based on. It was in these years that Heinz Mellmann and his wife became the parents of a son and two daughters.
In 1943 Heinz Mellmann left Schaller's and founded a company with his brother-in-law Wilhelm Hessenauer. They called this venture »Hessenauer & Mellmann, Slides and Projecting Devices«. They duplicated his fairytale pictures as slides and sold them in Germany under the title of Heimel-Slides. When Heinz Mellmann, in 1943, moved his family to Arnbach in Germany's Black Forest in an attempt to keep them safe from the bombing going on in the war, production of Heimel-Slides continued.
In December 1944, Heinz Mellmann was drafted into the military and was killed in action May 5th, 1945 in Beelitz, near Potsdam.
Back to Homepage