Otto's Early Years

Otto was born in Ohio in 1924 to Eugene and Goldie Hahn. Eugene was a boxer and Goldie a housewife and artist. Otto (whose birth name is Eugene W. Hahn, Jr., but I shall refer to him as Otto) remembers watching his mother's face as she painted trees, flowers and birds. He never forgot the look of love and peace that radiated from her tender eyes. He described his mothers slightly buck-toothed mouth as looking as if her lips were always ready to be kissed. The family was poor and troubled. Otto's father would frequently come home drunk; he brought other women to their small house, causing much suffering for all the family, including Otto's brother, Jimmy, and his sister, _______.

Goldie Hahn died early and Eugene Hahn, in a drunken stupor, drove through a light and killed a man for which he went to jail, leaving Otto and his siblings to be cared for by the state. The children were put into an orphanage and taken out by farmers on 'trial adoptions’, only to be returned to the orphanage when the farm work was completed. So he went from farm to farm, family to family never really belonging anywhere. In his loneliness Otto remembered his mother's face. And he began to draw pictures to ease the pain. When he drew, it was like dreaming. He could be anything he wanted. Drawing eased his sorrow, much like it did for his mother.

One day Otto told how he witnessed his sister being abused by the village priest and how he got into trouble for attacking the man. He saw many things which he felt were wrong but he was just a child and had no way to makes things right. So he ran away.

Later he would be caught by the authorities and returned. But Otto kept running away until one day they just couldn't find him. He became a vagabond at a very young age.

Otto's Early Years World War II NewYork City Marriage Latter Years
About his artwork