Bruno H. Bürgel

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Bruno Hans Bürgel (born November 14, 1875 in Berlin , † July 8, 1948 in Potsdam-Babelsberg ) was a well-known German writer and science journalist , whose services lie primarily in the dissemination of astronomical knowledge.


The mother of Bruno H. Bürgels, the seamstress Luise Emilie Sommer, died in 1884. Since his father, the archaeologist Adolf Trendelenburg , did not want to acknowledge his son, the child was adopted by the shoemaker Gustav Bürgel and his wife. From 1886 the Bürgels lived in Weißensee near Berlin . In 1889 Bürgel began an apprenticeship as a shoemaker in the workshop of his adoptive father. He then became a lithographer and later a factory worker. In 1895 he lost his job.

Despite economic hardship, Bürgel acquired extensive scientific knowledge. He was particularly interested in astronomy. So he managed to get a job as an observer at the Urania observatory , whose director at that time was the well-known astronomer Max Wilhelm Meyer . Here too, Bürgel completed his knowledge.

A first article in a Russian magazine, another in Vorwärts , where Wilhelm Liebknecht was editor, soon showed Bruno H. Buergel's talent for writing. In 1899 Bürgel became a freelance writer. In 1903 and 1904 Bürgel was able to attend lectures at the Berlin University on the recommendation of Wilhelm Foerster . At the same time he worked for various publishing houses. His first book: From Distant Worlds was published in 1910 and was a great success.

Bürgel spent the First World War as a reporter on the Western Front. In 1919 his second important book was published: From Worker to Astronomer . As a socialist, Bürgel was against the terror emanating from the October Revolution in Russia and feared it would spread to Germany.

In the following years, Bürgel's popularity peaked. In doing so, he expanded his field of work from astronomy to other natural sciences , but also to philosophy , history and education . His fairy tale about Doctor Ulebuhle , an odd old scholar whose house is decorated with mysterious objects, was a great success in the 1920s. In addition to many books, he wrote articles for various magazines, gave lectures and spoke on the then emerging radio . His work fell on fertile ground. Like other scholars of the time, he spoke at events organized by the then popular workers' education associations, where he felt at home as a social democrat . He was known to many important people. He was close friends, for example, with the writer Ehm Welk , who gave him suggestions for some of his books.

During the National Socialist era , some of his publications fell victim to censorship. With the invasion of the Red Army in 1945, Bürgel, like many Germans, feared the victor's revenge. The protection of his person and property immediately ordered by the Soviet military administration gave him hope for a better future. After the Second World War he continued his work as a science journalist and was a co-founder of the Kulturbund . He turned down a professorship at the Humboldt University in Berlin that was offered to him. He was active as a journalist until his death in 1948.

Memorial plaque in Berlin-Zehlendorf , Beerenstrasse 39


Advertisement for writings by Bruno H. Bürgel in the Berliner Morgenpost from 14 Sep. 1930
  • Celestial science . Library of general and practical knowledge , Berlin 1907
  • Halley Comet . Berlin 1910
  • From distant worlds - a popular celestial science . Berlin 1910
  • From worker to astronomer - the life story of a worker . Berlin 1919
  • The strange stories of Doctor Ulebuhle - a youth and folk book . Berlin 1920
  • Doctor Ulebuhles Adventure Book - Tales for Youth and People . Berlin 1928
  • The Star of Africa - A novel from the year 3000 . Berlin 1921
  • Ghosts - A Spiritist Novel . Berlin 1921
  • People to one another - A guide on the pilgrimage of life . Berlin 1922
  • The time without a soul - ethics in everyday life . Leipzig 1922
  • You and the universe . Berlin 1923
  • In God's garden - days of hiking and chatting with a nature lover . Berlin 1924
  • Universe and world feeling . Berlin 1925
  • The worldview of modern man . Berlin 1932, later editions under the title: The worldview of modern man
  • The little joys - a contemplative book about happiness in everyday life . Berlin 1934
  • Stars over the streets - novel . Berlin 1936
  • The worldview of modern man - the universe, the earth, man, the meaning of life . Berlin 1937
  • Hundred Days of Sunshine - A book from Sunday and everyday life . Berlin 1940
  • On Daily Trouble - A reading book for the angry, the hurried, huddling through and laughing philosophers . Leipzig 1941
  • Seed and Harvest - Reflections on Life and Death . Berlin 1942, later editions under the title: Beginning and End - The Book of Life and Death . Construction Publishing House Berlin 1947
  • The way of humanity . Hall 1946
  • Man and the stars . Berlin 1946
  • The torchbearers . Berlin 1947
  • Pilgrimage through dear life . Berlin 1948



  • “And if man had advanced so far in practical thinking, he would be unworthy of his culture if he had nothing to say about the riddles that the starry firmament poses to him every evening. Those who never set their eyes to the starry sky, be it out of admiration or curiosity, are missing an important link in the chain that connects them to their environment. "
  • “Man dies twice! The first time he separates from the circle of the living, that is, if one has lived a long time and got to know everything in the world, so to speak, no further misfortune. But the second time, and to a certain extent finally, you die when you have disappeared from the memory of your relatives, your friends, the public, as if you had never lived. It is bitter for one who has always been righteous with people. "
  • "Man is indeed a tragic figure because he has to oscillate between light and darkness, between longing for the stars and being earthbound."
  • “The genius is always way ahead of its time and will therefore never be understood by the mass of those who lived around it. Later, after a hundred years, statues of the crucified, the burned and the exiled are erected and poor beer bellies hold ceremonial speeches on anniversary days. "
  • "If I were the comet, I would be more afraid of humans than humans would have cause to fear myself."
  • “Basically, it's the little everyday trouble, the little everyday worry that wears us down in the change of times, and it's the little harmless joys that the moment brings that make us happy and forgiving. You have to harvest the tiny field with the sickle of humility and not forget that all things only shine in the light that comes from within ourselves. "
  • "The art of life consists in seeing, finding and feeling the little joys at all."
  • “When people of all zones and all strata have deeply grasped cosmic thinking, the book of the history of peoples, which tells of robbery and servitude, of blood and annihilation, of the eternal struggle for scraps of this grain of sand in space, will be completed humanity will shut it up ashamed and put it in the chamber of horrors, which tell of torture tools and witch trials. Learn to think cosmically, filled with the size of the universe, and the distant stars will be close to you! "


Web links

Commons : Bruno H. Bürgel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas W. Daum: Science popularization in the 19th century. Civil culture, scientific education and the German public, 1848–1914 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2002, p. 182, 479 .
  2. ^ Arnold Zenkert: Bruno Hans Bürgel. Leben und Werk 1982, p. 30 (accessed on May 29, 2011).