Arthur Nikolaus Witt

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Arthur Nikolaus Witt , also Klaus Witt , Klaas achter de Möhl (born October 10, 1890 in Damp , Province of Schleswig-Holstein , Kingdom of Prussia ; † April 26, 1964 in Flensburg ) was a German teacher, Low German writer and local researcher.


Witt came from a family based in fishing and swansen . One of the ancestors named Everinus Witte came from Eckernförde and worked as vice principal at the cathedral school in Schleswig and from 1641 as pastor in Nübel . The other ancestors of both parents were farmers and petty bourgeois.

Witt was a son of the teacher Nicolaus Johann Witt (born June 20, 1853 in Bellig ; † February 11, 1924 in Arnis ) and his wife Meta Maria, née Ewald (born May 22, 1856 in Scheggerott ; † December 14, 1919 in Arnis ). He grew up in Damp and attended the old high school in Flensburg , which he left in 1910 with the Abitur. He then studied German, history and geography in Munich and Kiel. From the winter semester 1912/13 he worked as a research assistant on the Schleswig-Holstein dictionary with Otto Mensing .

In 1913, Witt took the Reich Sports Badge and passed the examination for gymnastics teachers. In 1914 he was in Kiel with one of Felix Rachfahl supervised dissertation on The Verlehnten from Lubeck to Dr. phil. PhD; at the same time he passed the state examination. In the same year he was called up for military service. He suffered a life-threatening skull injury, due to which he was discharged from the army in 1918.

From 1920 he taught in Aabenraa . After Aabenraa became Danish as a result of the referendum in Schleswig , he moved to Flensburg, where he worked as a teacher from 1921 to 1942. From 1941 to 1945 he worked as a press officer for the city of Flensburg.

Witt was married to Dorothea Anna Auguste Nehls (born August 26, 1895 in Plön ), with whom he had two sons.

Cultural work

Witt wrote extensively, mostly on local history, family research, Low German poetry and Low German theater. His son Ernst created a bibliography that lists 244 works without the many theater and book reviews. He was also co-editor of several Low German magazines. He also wrote poetry. His poetry collection Kinnerhöög up Dörpen found a larger readership. In terms of form and content, he worked like Klaus Groth , but linguistically oriented himself to the southern Schleswig dialect. He also wrote plays for schoolchildren and children.

Witt also made a name for himself as an organizer and initiator. In 1920, together with Paul Cruse, he brought the "Flensborger Speeldeel" into being, which after his idea was soon renamed the Niederdeutsche Bühne Flensburg and for which he ran the business for many years. In 1924 he founded the Low German Stage Association and took over the management of numerous stage days in other Low German cities. Until his forced resignation in 1934, he was the elected chairman of the Bühnenbund. His successor, appointed by the NSDAP district culture warden , was Ivo Braak . Witt saw the Low German as a weapon of "Germanness" in the "border struggle" in the spirit of the Low German movement .

Witt collected and thus laid the basis for the “Theater and Music Archive of the City of Flensburg”. The city archive took over this in 1942 as a special department with Witt as honorary director. The systematically organized archive contained posters, photos, newspaper clippings, programs, bequests from individual artists and book excerpts prepared by Witt for the period from around 1890 to 1960.


Digitized , HathiTrust
The laureates in Lübeck. Part two and three. In: Zeitschrift des Verein für Lübeckische Geschichte und Altertumskunde 19 (1918) ( digitized version ), pp. 39 ff. / 191 ff.


  • Ernst Witt: Bibliography Klaus Witt. In: Yearbook of the home community of the Eckernförde district 23 (1965), pp. 25–35.


  • Paul Kruse: Witt, Arthur Nikolaus . in: Schleswig-Holstein Biographical Lexicon . Volume 1. Karl Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1970, pp. 281–282.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Verlehnten were porters .
  2. See Kay Dohnke, Norbert Hopster, Jan Wirrer: Low German in National Socialism. Hildesheim: Olmas 1994, ISBN 9783487098098 , p. 104
  3. ^ Klaus Witt: An important champion of Germanness in border countries. The importance of the dialects in border fighting. In: Moderspraak 22 (1935), pp. 108-112