Where a few thousand cars once roared through the town - which would have included more trucks today than ever before - there is now Bad Birnbach's Gute Stube. This is the Hofmark, the historically-grown core of the rural spa, which has been able to preserve much of its originality and yet underwent so many changes in the 1980s. Because the war memorial is something which must not be forgotten, it was not only placed in a very prominent position. It also acquired a special counterpart. It had to be a Christian reference, merely because of its proximity to the parish church. A fountain of Mary was the obvious choice. However, Josef Neustifter chose a special form of representation. Josef Neustifter remained true to himself and once again added many references to his work of art. Among other things, there are references to the three most important pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary in the old diocese of Passau: to the Lady of Love in Altötting, to the famous picture of grace on the Gartlberg and to Our Lady, Help of Christians in Passau. "Each of these pictures has its own issue, its own aura," explains Josef Neustifter. But he has not only incorporated Christian references. The lettering "Nukem" refers to the 1987 nuclear scandal in the "Transnuklear Hanau". Many even think they see references to the reactor accident in Chernobyl. Perhaps it was these themes which made the artist handle the water with extreme caution. One can see it through the openings in the lower area upon closer inspection, otherwise one only hears the noise of the water. The water here is represented like a spring, encased and protected - because water means life and without water nothing can exist. You should always be appreciative if you fall into the well basin.
The Neustifter catalogue of works can be borrowed from our Mamertus library.
(Josef Neustifter 1988, catalogue of works II/30, illustrated book "Neustifter" page 155)