Erich Kaestner

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Erich Kästner (1961)


Emil Erich Kästner (born February 23, 1899 in Dresden , † July 29, 1974 in Munich ) was a German writer , publicist , screenwriter and cabaret poet . Erich Kästner's journalistic career began during the Weimar Republic with socially critical and anti-militarist poems , glosses and essays in various renowned periodicals of the time.

After the start of the National Socialist dictatorship , he was one of the few intellectual and at the same time prominent opponents of National Socialism who remained in Germany, although his works were on the list of burned books that were defamed as “un-German” in May 1933 and were banned under the rule of the Nazi regime . Kästner was the only one of the authors to be present when his books were burned. Despite various repressions he could under pseudonym example script work for some comedic entertainment films or income from the publication of his works abroad to secure economically.

With the defeat of the Nazi regime in World War II , Kästner was again able to develop freely as a journalist from mid-1945. From 1951 to 1962 he was President of the West German PEN Center . As a pacifist , he took a public position against the policies of the Adenauer government on several occasions in the 1950s and 1960s, including in connection with remilitarization , the Spiegel affair and the anti-nuclear weapons movement .

Popular made him especially his children's books like Emil and the Detectives (1929), dots and Anton (1931), The Flying Classroom (1933) and Lottie and Lisa (1949) and his sometimes thoughtful, sometimes humorous, often satirical formulated corporate and time-critical poems , epigrams and aphorisms . One of his best-known collections of poetry was first published in 1936 by the Swiss Atrium Verlag under the title Doctor Erich Kästner's Lyrische Hausapotheke .


Dresden 1899-1919

Memorial sign on the birthplace of Erich Kästner - Dresden
Kästner's birthplace in Königsbrücker Strasse 66

Erich Kästner was born at Königsbrücker Straße 66 in Dresden. He grew up in a middle-class family on Koenigsbrücker Strasse in the Outer Neustadt district of Dresden. Nearby is the Erich Kästner Museum on Albertplatz on the ground floor of the villa of his uncle Franz Augustin .

His father Emil Richard Kästner (1867–1957) was a master saddler in a suitcase factory. The mother, Ida Kästner geb. Augustin (1871–1951), was a maid and home worker and became a hairdresser in her mid-thirties. Kästner had an extremely close relationship with his mother. Even as a child, he experienced her love as almost exclusively related to him - another person actually played no role in her life. During his time in Leipzig and Berlin, he wrote the most familiar letters and postcards to them every day. The mother motif can also be found again and again in his novels. Rumors that were never confirmed later emerged that the Jewish doctor Emil Zimmermann (1864–1953) - the family's general practitioner - was his biological father.

“[…] I come from a very small family, my father was a skilled worker and, of course, a social democrat. As a child I saw the workers go on strike and the mounted gendarmerie attacking the people with their plempe pulled out, who then smashed the lanterns with cobblestones, and I stood howling next to my mother at the window. My father was there with me - so we already have two crucial things. "

- Erich Kastner

From 1913 onwards, Kästner attended the Freiherrlich von Fletcher seminar in Marienallee in Dresden-Neustadt, but broke off training as a primary school teacher three years later shortly before the end of training. Many details from this school time can be found in the book The flying classroom . Kästner described his childhood in the autobiographical book When I Was a Little Boy, published in 1957 , where he comments on the beginning of the First World War with the words: "The world war had begun and my childhood was over."

For military service he was drafted in 1917 and was educated in a one-year volunteers - company of heavy artillery. The brutality of the training shaped Kästner and made him an anti-militarist; In addition, he suffered a lifelong heart failure due to the hard drill of his trainer Waurich. Waurich was given critical consideration for this in a poem by Kästner (Sergeant Waurich) . After the end of the First World War, Kästner took the final course at the Strehlen teachers' seminar. A year later he graduated from the König-Georg-Gymnasium with distinction and received the Golden Scholarship from the City of Dresden.

“The decisive experience was of course my occupation as a war participant. If you are drafted at the age of 17, and half the class is already dead, because it is well known that two years of age roughly overlap in one class, you are even less a militarist than ever before. And one of these animosities, one of these insults of a young person, one of the most important, was anger at the military, at armaments, at heavy industry. "

- Erich Kastner

Leipzig 1919–1927

In autumn 1919, Kästner began studying history , philosophy , German and theater studies at the University of Leipzig . As a student in 1922 he sublet in the Musikviertel (Leipzig) , Hohe Straße 51. As a result of the German inflation from 1914 to 1923 and because of his difficult financial situation, Kästner took on several sideline jobs; he sold perfume and collected stock market prices for a bookmaker. He submitted his German dissertation to Georg Witkowski in 1925 and was then awarded a Dr. phil. PhD . Kästner soon financed his studies from his own income as a journalist and theater critic for the feature section of the Neue Leipziger Zeitung .

The more critical Kästner was fired in 1927 after his erotic poem Nachtgesang des Kammervirtuosen, illustrated by Erich Ohser , was accused of frivolity . In the same year Kästner moved to Berlin , from where he continued to work as a freelance cultural correspondent for the Neue Leipziger Zeitung under the pseudonym “Berthold Bürger” . Kästner later published under many other pseudonyms (e.g. "Melchior Kurtz", "Peter Flint" or "Robert Neuner").

In the children's supplement of the family magazine Beyers für Alle (since 1928 children's newspaper by Klaus and Kläre ) published by Leipzig Verlag Otto Beyer , almost 200 articles - stories, poems, puzzles and small feature articles - were published from 1926 to 1932 under the pseudonyms "Klaus" and "Kläre" - written, which, according to the current state of research, are largely made by Kästner. He designed his first larger work, Klaus in the closet or Das ver verkehrte Weihnachtsfest , in July 1927. In the same year he sent the final version to several publishers, who rejected the piece as too modern.

Berlin 1927–1933

Erich Kästner (around 1930)

Kästner's Berlin years from 1927 to the end of the Weimar Republic in 1933 are considered his most productive. In a few years he rose to become one of the most important intellectual figures in Berlin. He published his poems, glosses, reports and reviews in various Berlin periodicals. He wrote regularly as a freelancer for various daily newspapers , such as the Berliner Tageblatt and the Vossische Zeitung as well as for the magazine Die Weltbühne . From 1928 he was supported by his private secretary Elfriede Mechnig , who remained loyal to him for 45 years.

Hans Sarkowicz and Franz Josef Görtz , the editors of the complete edition from 1998, name more than 350 verifiable articles from 1923 to 1933 in the afterword of the volume dedicated to Kästner's journalism; the actual number is likely to be higher. The fact that so much is lost today may have something to do with the fact that Kästner's apartment burned down completely in February 1944.

In 1928 Kästner published his first book, Heart on Taille , a collection of poems from his time in Leipzig. Three more volumes of poetry followed by 1933. With his useful poetry, Kästner advanced to become an important voice of the New Objectivity .

On October 15, 1929, Kästner's first children's book, Emil and the Detectives , was published . The detective story was created at the suggestion of Edith Jacobsohn . The book has been sold over two million times in Germany alone and has been translated into 59 languages ​​to date. For children's literature of the time with its “aseptic” fairy tale worlds, it was extremely unusual for the novel to be set in the present day of the city of Berlin. With Pünktchen and Anton (1931) and The Flying Classroom (1933), Kästner wrote two further contemporary children's books in the following years. The illustrations by Walter Trier played a major role in the success of the books .

Gerhard Lamprecht's film adaptation of Emil and the Detectives was a great success in 1931. Kästner, however, was dissatisfied with the script that Lamprecht and Billy Wilder had written. He then worked as a screenwriter for the Babelsberg studios .

Kästner's novel Fabian - The Story of a Moralist , published in 1931, is written in an almost cinematic technique: quick cuts and montages are important stylistic devices. It is set in Berlin in the early 1930s. Using the example of the unemployed Germanist Jakob Fabian, Kästner describes the pace and hustle and bustle of the time as well as the decline of the Weimar Republic. His own activity as a copywriter in Berlin is also reflected in the figure of Fabian.

From 1927 to 1929 Kästner lived at Prager Strasse 17 (today about 12) in Berlin-Wilmersdorf , then until February 1944 at Roscherstrasse 16 in Berlin-Charlottenburg .

Berlin 1933–1945

Berlin memorial plaque on the house at Prager Strasse 6 near the Wilmersdorfer apartment

In contrast to almost all of his colleagues who were critical of the regime , Kästner did not emigrate after the National Socialists came to power on January 30, 1933. Immediately afterwards he went to Merano and Switzerland for a short time , where he also met colleagues who had already emigrated; but then he returned to Berlin. Kästner justified this step by stating that he wanted to be a chronicler of the events on site. In fact, he collected material from the time and made extensive notes in Gabelsberger shorthand in a secret diary for a future novel about the “Third Reich” . He hid this blue-bound book in his library, but during the war he took it with him to the air raid shelter when the bomb went off, which is why it - unlike his four thousand books - has been preserved. But it should be just as important that he didn't want to leave his mother alone. With the epigram Necessary Answers to Superfluous Questions (from: In a nutshell ), he also provided an answer himself, so to speak:

“I am a German from Dresden in Saxony.
Home won't let me go.
I'm like a tree that - grown in Germany -
withers in Germany if need be. "

The National Socialist leadership hated Kästner as a popular, cosmopolitan, metropolitan " asphalt literary ". He was questioned several times by the Gestapo and expelled from the Writers' Union. His works were burned in the public book burning on May 10, 1933 as "against the German spirit" (Goebbels was the third to mention Kästner's name), which he himself observed at close range. Kästner's application for admission to the Reichsschrifttumskammer was rejected because of his “ cultural Bolshevik stance in literature before 1933”, which mainly relates to his signing of the “ Urgent Appeal ” of the International Socialist Combat League in June 1932. This was tantamount to a publication ban in the German Reich . Kästner's friend, the publisher Kurt Leo Maschler, took over the rights from the Berlin publisher Williams & Co. Kästner's books were now published in Switzerland by the Atrium Verlag, which Maschler had founded .

However, Kästner (in contrast to what he and his biographers report about his work during the time of National Socialism ) worked a lot and very successfully under pseudonyms. According to Hermann Kurzke, Kästner was at the height of his productivity and provided the entertainment industry of the “Third Reich” with theater texts and various film scripts (partly as a co-author). The lifelong child was particularly successful ; Marketed abroad and in the post-war period as a book or film under the name Drei Men im Schnee .

With a special permit, Kästner delivered the script for Münchhausen , Ufa's prestigious anniversary film, under the pseudonym “Berthold Bürger” in 1942 . Kästner's share in the script for the Heinz Rühmann film I trust you my wife , written with Bobby E. Lüthge and Helmut Weiss , can no longer be estimated today.

In 1943 Kästner had to leave his city apartment in Berlin because of the evacuation of the civilian population as a result of the air raids . He stayed with friends in Neubabelsberg . Kästner's apartment in Charlottenburg was destroyed by bombs in 1944.

On March 7, 1945, he managed to travel to Mayrhofen in Tyrol with a 60-strong film team to allegedly filming and wait there for the war to end. He recorded this time in a diary published in 1961 under the title Notabene 45 .

Munich 1945–1974

Erich Kästner (3rd from left, seated) at the first conference of the newly founded PEN Center Germany in Hamburg in 1949

After the end of the Second World War , Kästner moved to Munich , where he headed the feature section of the Neue Zeitung until 1948 and was an observer of the opening of the Nuremberg Trials . In Munich he also published the children's and youth magazine Pinguin . At the same time he devoted himself increasingly to literary cabaret . He worked for “ Die Schaubude ” (1945–1948) and “ Die Kleine Freiheit ” (from 1951) and for radio . During this time, numerous numbers, songs, radio plays , speeches and essays were written that dealt with National Socialism, the war and the reality in destroyed Germany. a. the Marching Song 1945 , the German Ringelspiel and the children's book The Conference of Animals .

Kästner's optimism in the immediate post-war period gave way to resignation all the more, as the West Germans tried to get back to business with currency reform and the economic miracle . In addition, there were soon growing voices for remilitarization . Kästner remained true to his anti-militarism - he appeared as a speaker at Easter marches and later also turned decisively against the Vietnam War . His commitment was also directed against government measures, which he saw as a restriction of the freedom of the press . In 1952, for example, he protested against the “law on the distribution of writings harmful to minors” and in 1962 was one of the first intellectuals to oppose the searches and arrests during the Spiegel affair . In 1954, Kästner gave a speech commemorating the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 in the Münchner Kammerspiele , which was published in the magazine Merkur in the same year under the title “Von der deutschen Vergesslichkeit” . In it he described the assassin as a role model for the youth of 1954.

However, he published less and less, to which his increasing alcoholism also contributed. Kästner found no connection with post-war literature and in the 1950s and 1960s was mainly perceived and appreciated as a children's book author. The rediscovery of his literary work from the time of the Weimar Republic did not begin until the 1970s; Fabian was z. B. filmed only in 1980.

Erich Kästner (left) in 1968 while filming in Munich

Nevertheless, Kästner was very successful. His children's books have been translated into numerous languages ​​and made into films, and he has received numerous awards. Kästner became President of the West German PEN Center in 1951 and held this office until 1962; In 1965 he was elected honorary chairman. He was also one of the founders of the International Youth Library in Munich.

Kästner remained unmarried for life; however, in some cases he had long-term love relationships and affairs. In 1957 his son Thomas was born. From 1964 to 1969, Kästner lived with his girlfriend Friedel Siebert (1926–1986) and their son in a villa in Parkstrasse 3a in Berlin-Hermsdorf am Waldsee . Kästner commuted between his girlfriend in Berlin and his partner Luiselotte Enderle in Munich. He also spent a lot of time in sanatoriums.

In 1969, Kästner celebrated his 70th birthday at Waldsee in Berlin-Hermsdorf. In the same year Friedel Siebert separated from Kästner and moved to Switzerland with Thomas. In 1977 the collection of letters from Ticino that Kästner had written to his son and his mother in the 1960s was published. For Thomas he also wrote his two last children's books The Little Man and The Little Man and Little Miss .

Kästner was also a frequent reciter of his works. As early as the 1920s he was discussing shellac records with his time-critical poems. In the film adaptations of his children's books he was the narrator several times , for example in the film adaptation of his book Das doppelte Lottchen in 1950 and in the first radio play adaptation by Pünktchen and Anton from 1963. He also spoke a selection for the literary archive of Deutsche Grammophon of his poems, including epigrams , and recorded his Till Eulenspiegel adaptation for the speech record. Last but not least, Kästner played various literary solo evenings, including at the Cuvilliés Theater in Munich , and read from his work for the radio, such as When I Was a Little Boy .

From 1965 onwards, Kästner withdrew almost entirely from the literary business. Shortly before his death he gave the permission to name the Erich Kästner Children's Village after him. Kaestner died on 29 July 1974 Neuperlach Clinic of esophageal cancer and was on after his cremation Bogenhausener cemetery buried in Munich.

Memorial sites

Erich Kästner Museum with Kästner sculpture on Albertplatz

The Erich Kästner Museum is located in the Villa Augustin in Dresden-Neustadt (Antonstrasse 1 on Albertplatz ) and is supported by a support association. A bronze sculpture was also placed on a wall there, depicting Kästner as a seated boy: “I preferred to sit on the garden wall and watch the goings on on Albertplatz. The trams (...) stopped right in front of my eyes as if they were doing it for my sake. ”The Kästner sculpture was created by the Hungarian sculptor and painter Mátyás Varga, a son of Imre Varga . A commemorative plaque is attached to the house where he was born in the nearby Königsbrücker Straße 66. Berlin is currently honoring Kästner with two memorial plaques on his former apartments: at Parkstrasse 3a in Berlin-Hermsdorf and in today's Prager Strasse 6-10 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf . At Kästner's long-term residence in Berlin-Charlottenburg , Roscherstraße 16, (1929–1944) no commemorative plaque was put up. A monument, symbolizing some of Kästner's books, plus a hat and an ashtray, stands in Dresden on Albertplatz .


Dozens of Erich Kästner schools are named after Kästner. These use the freedom of proper names of the spelling rules for coupling and use the spelling "Erich Kästner-Schule" or "Erich Kästner Schule". In doing so, they are following an express wish of Kästner.


The Erich Kästner Kinderdorf in Oberschwarzach in Schweinfurt preserved by the desire Erich Kaestner and Luise Lotte Enderles since the early 1990s, the estate Kaestner, including 8,200 books from his private library and numerous items from his everyday life.

Kästner's written estate is in the German Literature Archive in Marbach . Parts of it can be seen in the permanent exhibition in the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, including the typescripts of his novels Emil and the Detectives and Fabian .

Work and reception

Kästner's view of the world shows a dichotomy that runs through his work. The mockingly and negatively portrayed world of adults contrasts with the opposing sphere of children, a division that, according to Andreas Drouves , can be illustrated with the polarities of evil and good . While his satirical verses reveal a pessimistic and cyclical worldview, the children's books reveal the hope for a progressive development of humanity . According to Drouve, Kästner finds himself in the literarily contradictory situation of presenting the children with a world in which he himself cannot believe, while for adults one in which internal development seems impossible. This dualism characterizes his difficulty in constructing reality in the way he needs it to be successful as a writer, which distinguishes him from “real enlighteners” like Lessing or Kurt Tucholsky .

The children's book author Fred Rodrian wrote that Kästner had divided the world into a “bad, hopelessly real world for adults” on the one hand and a “world of integrity, only good for children” on the other. He directed his satirical arrows against the evil world of Fabian ; in the children's books, on the other hand, evil only exists to show the good. Emil is “Fabian's childhood. As Fabian, Emil will probably drown. ”The division of the world into two parts was Kästner's big mistake.

If one orientates oneself on Kästner's remarks, as a satirist he wanted to improve people morally through insight. The consistently pessimistic and nihilistic background of his satirical writings is connected with the attitude that despite technical and scientific developments there has been and will not be any progress . This perspective can be seen in the poem The Development of Mankind , in which the people “lured out of the jungle” and blessed with the achievements of civilization and science are “seen in the light ... still the old apes” . The mocking verses are related to the moral maturation process of man, which does not yet correspond to his external development. With his primal instincts he remained on the old level even in the centrally heated skyscrapers and only differs from his ancestors through technical innovations, a view that can also be found in the poem The Revolutionary Jesus on his birthday .

In addition to society and culture , war and militarism are among the goals of the satirical tips. Kästner's anti-militarist verses show his position as “admonisher and warner” most clearly, for example in his well-known poem Do you know the land where the cannons bloom? , in which he traces the causes of the war back to human stupidity and which he added to the beginning of his selection volume, Auf Durchsicht mein Bücher , which was published in 1946 by Atrium Verlag .

The manifest political stance of his poetry is shaped by an idealistic moralism . Kästner's social criticism is rather intuitive and moral and does not penetrate into the analysis of the circumstances, so that his texts are mostly limited to appealing to goodwill. The perceived powerlessness in the face of the criticized world often leads to resigned words, as can be clearly seen in the anthology Gesang Between the Chairs . Kästner took up the demand for positive statements in his poem And where is the positive, Mr. Kästner? in which he was expressly addressed by his readers.

Walter Benjamin, 1928

Kästner's attitude was severely criticized by some contemporaries. In his influential article Linke Melancholie , Walter Benjamin characterized the attitude as political radicalism, which is positional, leads to fatalism and can even be welcomed by those criticized.

Benjamin saw the author's melancholy as a routine method and subjected the poems, which would “flit like a fish in water” through daily newspapers, to an ideology-critical consideration. Kästner produces lyrical mass-produced goods and is in a comfortable position, which is far from any responsibility and denies the social problems. With routine comments he gave his "painted children's balls the reputation of rugby balls".

While Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht saw both utility poetry and utility literature in connection with political functions and changes, Kästner's definition was more limited to verses that can be consumed quickly. In the article Ringelnatz und Gedichte generally , which was written for the Neue Leipziger Zeitung at the beginning of 1930 , he wrote that there was “no shame in writing verses that the contemporaries could understand.” Leave the 'pure' poet “canned poetry” for eternity that you can keep and use for “later doctoral theses”, the popular lyricist wrote “for today, for immediate eating”. Presumably his products do not have a long shelf life and would spoil quickly. This approach differs from Brecht's instructions on his in- house postil , which was "intended for the use of the reader" and should not be "devoured pointlessly".

According to Marcel Reich-Ranicki , Kästner loved “playing with reversed roles.” He saw the readers of his essays as children and the readers of his children's books as adults. Those who have common sense in his books are the children and adolescents. They pursue and catch the thief, and order is thereby restored ( Emil and the detectives ). It is not the parents who raise their children - the educators are the children who bring their parents to reason ( Das doppelte Lottchen ). Children found most of his children's books to be true because they often showed the milieu with which they were familiar. Be it the courtyards of Berlin or simply “ watching the people in the mouth. “He fixed the everyday language in his books and thus integrated the children's novel Emil and the detectives into the New Objectivity .


Further honors

Numerous streets in Germany have been named after Kästner. The asteroid (12318) Kastner received the ( anglicized ) name of Erich Kästner.

On the occasion of Kästner's 100th birthday, Deutsche Post issued a special postage stamp in the 1999 stamp year with a motif of Emil and the detectives and a face value of 3 Deutsche Mark (Michel no. 2035).

Since 2004 one of the stars of the satire - Walk of Fame of the cabaret has been named Kästner.

One of the first new Intercity Express trains ( ICE 4 ) was named after Erich Kästner in October 2017 .

Kästner's name is also borne by the Erich Kästner Prize for Literature from the Erich Kästner Society , the Erich Kästner Prize from the Dresden Press Club and the Erich Kästner Library .

Works (selection)

Original editions

Collective editions

  • Christian Strich (Ed.): The Erich Kästner Reading Book , Diogenes Verlag, Zurich 1978 ISBN 3-257-20515-5 .
  • Volker Ladenthin (Ed.): Erich Kästner Gedichte , Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-15-008373-7 .
  • Sylvia List (ed.): The great Erich Kästner book. With a foreword by Hermann Kesten . Atrium Verlag, Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-85535-945-8 .
  • When looking through my books. A selection from four volumes. Atrium, Zurich 1946/1985, ISBN 3-85535-912-1 .
  • How so. Why. Selected poems. 1928-1955. Construction, Berlin 1965.
  • The Kästner cassette. Collected Writings for Adults. 8 volumes. Knaur (= Knaur pocket books. Volume 200.)
  • Erich Kästner: Letters from Ticino . Die Arche, Zurich 1977, ISBN 3-7160-1591-1 . Reissued as: Erich Kästner: Letters to the Double Treasures . Die Arche, Zurich 1995, ISBN 3-7160-2192-X .
  • Poems. With an afterword and ed. by Volker Ladenthin . Reclam, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-15-008373-7 .
  • Mixed feelings. Literary journalism from the "Neue Leipziger Zeitung" 1923–1933 . Editor: Alfred Klein. 2 volumes, Atrium Verlag, Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-85535-998-9 .
  • Works in nine volumes. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-446-19563-7 .
  • Well, if you didn't have that! Selected letters from 1909–1972, ed. by Sven Hanuschek. Atrium, Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-85535-944-X .
  • The poems. All poems from the first volume “Heart on Waist” to the last “The Thirteen Months”. Haffmans Verlag bei Zweausendeins, Frankfurt a. M. 2010, ISBN 978-3-942048-20-0 .
  • The gentleman of glass . Stories. Edited by Sven Hanuschek. Atrium Verlag, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-85535-411-5 .

Film adaptations (selection)

More than 40 films have been made in many countries based on Kästner's works or with scripts designed by him, the most famous of which are:

Stage processing (selection)

About Kästner

  • 2017: Kästner's watchword! Director: Jan-Christoph Gockel, using original texts, sound documents and the like. a., Premiere: November 26th, 2017 at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden , Kleines Haus 1.
  • 2019: Erich Kästner - Get out of here! A train trip to Warnemünde with songs, poems and texts by Erich Kästner. Director: Sonja Hilberger , using original texts, premiere: December 14, 2019 at the Rostock Volkstheater , Kleine Komödie Warnemünde.



Further literature

Audio books

Exhibitions (selection)

  • Erich Kästner: Life and Work. Goethe Institute in the International Youth Library , Munich, 1964. The exhibition then went to Stockholm and Copenhagen, among others.
  • “Time drives the car.” Erich Kästner on his 100th birthday. Deutsches Historisches Museum , Berlin, February 24, 1999 - June 1, 1999 and Münchner Stadtmuseum , July 2, 1999 - September 26, 1999.
  • "I was born and still live on". Heimatmuseum Reinickendorf, Alt-Hermsdorf, Berlin, April 29, 2014 - September 7, 2014.
  • “Permit, Kästner!” Literaturhaus Munich , September 24, 2015 - February 14, 2016 and Dresden Motor Hall. Project Center for Contemporary Art, March 10, 2016 - July 10, 2016.
  • The double Erich. Erich Ohser illustrates Erich Kästner. Sommerpalais Greiz , Satiricum , October 12, 2019 - February 2, 2020.

Support association

In 2015 the Förderverein Erich Kästner Research e. V. based in Munich, which was published under the series title Erich Kästner Studies [ sic! ] Publishes about Kästner. The association promotes scientific and cultural activities on Kästner's life, work and impact, including conferences, lectures, workshops and cultural events.

Films about Kästner

Web links

Commons : Erich Kästner  - Collection of images, videos and audio files







  1. Uwe-Jens Schumann: Erich Kästner and the burning of books: "It was disgusting". In: one day , May 8, 2013, conversations with Kästner's partner Luiselotte Enderle in Munich 1991.
  2. In a style that is primarily intended to appeal to children, Kästner describes this love in When I Was a Little Boy , Chapter Eleventh: “A child has sorrow”, see: When I was a little boy. In: .
  3. This thesis was first represented in the literature by Werner Schneyder ( Kästner: a useful author. Munich 1982, limited preview in the Google book search). Likewise Franz Josef Görtz and Hans Sarkowicz ( Erich Kästner. A biography. Munich 1998, limited preview in the Google book search). Sven Hanuschek rejects the thesis because of a lack of written evidence: "Nobody looks behind your face." The life of Erich Kästner. Munich / Vienna 1999, limited preview in the Google book search.
    Critical to Hanuschek, Rudolf Walter Leonhardt : children, women, detectives. What's new for the 100th birthday? Three more Kästner biographies. ( Memento from February 18, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In: Die Zeit , January 14, 1999.
  4. a b Erich Kästner: Anger at the military, at armaments, at heavy industry. ( Memento from February 6, 2013 in the web archive ). In: Deutschlandfunk , Sendezeichen , interview of February 23, 1969; also as a podcast from April 14, 2012 , (currently inactive).
  5. Hartmut Conrad: The Fletcher Teachers' Seminar in Dresden , May 9, 1999.
  6. Petra Ernst : Kästner, Erich , in: Dietz-Rüdiger Moser , Hermann Kunisch (Hrsg.), New Handbook of German-Language Contemporary Literature since 1945 , dtv, Munich 1993, 605–608, p. 605, limited preview in Google book search .
  7. ^ Johannes Forner et al .: Residential and town houses in Leipzig's music district. Published by the Musikviertel e. V. Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2007, ISBN 978-3-86729-010-4 , p. 72.
  8. Erich Kästner: Frederick the Great and German Literature. The replies to his work “De la litterature allemande”. Dissertation from the University of Leipzig , 1925. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1972, ISBN 3-17-087238-9 , table of contents . In the Erich Kästner Archive (Marbach) EKA: 0962; see. Secondary literature on Kästner's dissertation in: .
  9. ^ Thomas Kramar: Dresden: premiere of a piece by Erich Kästner. In: The press . November 5, 2013, accessed January 6, 2018 .
  10. Rossella Zanni: “Do you want to help me become famous?” Elfriede Mechnig and her literary office . In: Inge Stephan (Hrsg.): Journal for German Studies . New episode . tape XII , no. 1 (2002) . Peter Lang. European Science Publishing House, 2002, ISSN  0323-7982 , p. 132-136 . Start of article: JSTOR 23976607 , the rest of the article is subject to registration.
  11. Sven Hanuschek: “Nobody looks behind your face.” The life of Erich Kästner. dtv, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-30871-0 , p. 143 f., limited preview in the Google book search.
  12. a b Simone Hamm: Erich Kästner. A biography. In: Deutschlandfunk , February 23, 1999, collective discussion of Kästner biographies on his 100th birthday.
  13. Michael Bienert : Kästner and the detective. In: Der Tagesspiegel , November 26, 2014.
  14. a b c Peter von Becker pointed out in 2019 that “curiously” both memorial plaques contain factual errors. Kästner did not live on Prager Straße from 1927 to 1931, as stated, but only until 1929. “The second plaque, this time at Parkstraße 3a in Hermsdorf in northern Berlin, also bears an incorrect year in the almost illegible subline for Kästner's residence the 1960s, which of course only his son and his mother, a lover of Erich Kästner, owned. ”In: “ Everybody gets too stupid! ” Erich Kästner celebrates his 120th birthday today in the sky over Berlin. On earth there is no reference to his former address in Charlottenburg - and anything else wrong. In: Der Tagesspiegel , February 23, 2019, p. 10.
  15. Kästner's Secret War Diary 1941–1945 was only published on February 9, 2018 under the title “Das Blaue Buch” in the Swiss Atrium Verlag , edited and commented on by Sven Hanuschek.
  16. ^ Sven Felix Kellerhoff : Kulturbarbarei. Those who burn books also burn people. In: Die Welt , May 10, 2013.
    cf. Erich Kästner, foreword , in: ders., When looking through my books: A selection from four volumes. Atrium, Zurich 2012, ISBN 978-3-03792-016-9 , limited preview in the Google book search.
  17. Hermann Kurzke , review of Stefan Neuhaus: The silent work. Erich Kästner's collaboration on plays under a pseudonym. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-8260-1765-X , ( limited preview in the Google book search), in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , January 3, 2001, reprint of the review. In: .
  18. ^ Ingo Tornow: Erich Kästner and the film . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-423-12611-6 , pp. 19-20 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  19. ^ The Federal President: 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials., November 20, 2020, accessed on November 21, 2020 .
  20. see table of contents of “Merkur” in: de.wikisource , Heft 77 (1954). Full text online: About German forgetfulness. In: , accessed on February 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Rudolf Walter Leonhardt : Children, women, detectives. What's new for the 100th birthday? Three more Kästner biographies. ( Memento from February 18, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In: Die Zeit , January 14, 1999, No. 3.
  22. See Oliver Ohmann: Erich Kästner's double household. In: BZ , February 11, 2016, with photos: "Until the 70-year-old Kästner separated from Friedel Siebert in 1969, or rather they separated from him ..."
  23. Data from German literature - Erich Kästner , 2002.
  24. Photo: Erich Kästner's grave. In: , Klaus Nerger.
  25. Heinz Gebhardt : Sedlmayr, Kästner, Fassbinder & Co. - Munich residents in heaven: where our great artists are buried. In: tz , November 1, 2016, with photo series.
  26. a b c Roland Mischke: Through Erich Kästner's childhood. ( Memento from April 28, 2018 in the web archive ). In: Berliner Morgenpost , April 18, 2004.
  27. ^ Mátyás Varga: Vita. In: , accessed April 28, 2018.
  28. Erich Kästner School. Realschule and Hauptschule in Wiesbaden-Schierstein , with a Kästner letter; see. Erich Kästner School Wiesbaden-Schierstein. ( Memento from February 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  29. ^ Daniel Staffen-Quandt ( epd ): At home with Erich Kästner. How a children's village in Lower Franconia deals with the children's book author's estate. In: Neues Deutschland , March 9, 2013.
  30. ^ Holdings : Marbach Erich Kästner Archive. Partial discount. In: Marbach Literature Archive , accessed on February 7, 2020.
  31. Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, ISBN 3-8288-8038-X , pp. 51, 63
  32. Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 80
  33. Quoted from: Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 52
  34. ^ So Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 53
  35. Erich Kästner: The development of mankind. In: The poems. Haffmans Verlag bei Zweausendeins, Berlin 2010, pp. 228–229
  36. Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 54
  37. Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Worldview and understanding of history. Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 85
  38. ^ So Peter J. Brenner : Erich Kästner. The lyric work. In: Kindlers Neues Literatur Lexikon Volume 9, Munich 1990, p. 17
  39. Sven Hanuschek: Nobody looks behind your face. The life of Erich Kästner . Carl Hanser Verlag, Vienna 1999, p. 158
  40. Peter J. Brenner: Erich Kästner. The lyric work. In: Kindlers Neues Literatur Lexikon Volume 9, Munich 1990, p. 17
  41. Quoted from: Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with double bottom. Time Critic and Time Prophet? Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 136
  42. ^ So Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with a double bottom. Time Critic and Time Prophet? Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 114
  43. Quoted from: Andreas Drouve: Erich Kästner, moralist with double bottom. Time Critic and Time Prophet? Tectum, Marburg 1999, p. 115
  44. Marcel Reich-Ranicki : My history of German literature. From the Middle Ages to the present. Edited by Thomas Anz . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-421-04663-5 , pp. 321–322, limited preview in the Google book search.
  45. (12318) Kastner at
  46. Postage stamp illustration. ( Memento from April 20, 2020 in the web archive ). In: Sü .
    Boris M. Hillmann: The secret screenwriter. In: Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung , July 29, 2014, with illustration.
  47. The ICE 4 names have been determined. The jury selected the top 25 names for the upcoming train baptisms. ( Memento from October 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ). In: DB Inside Bahn , October 27, 2017.
  48. a b Klaus in the closet or The wrong Christmas party. ( Memento from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: Staatsschauspiel Dresden , 2013.
  49. With this brochure, 115,000 copies of which were distributed through the book trade, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels introduced the “Buchschenkdienst”, the predecessor of today's “Buchschenkservice”, in 1956.
  50. Berliner Zeitung of March 15, 1947, p. 3.
  51. Emil and the detectives (musical). In: , September 23, 2001, accessed on January 13, 2018.
  52. Don't let childhood be stolen from you. Musical Theater Berlin: Emil and the detectives. In: Berliner Zeitung , November 30, 2001.
  53. Walter Sittler plays Erich Kästner: When I was a little boy. In: Theaterhaus Stuttgart , accessed on January 13, 2018
  54. Armin Friedl: Walter Sittler: "The most beautiful thing in my theater life". In: Stuttgarter Nachrichten , December 20, 2013, interview with Sittler.
  55. Fabian - The walk to the dogs. In: Berliner Schaubühne , January 14, 2015, accessed on January 13, 2018.
  56. Kästner PUR - premiere. Your feet will be cold in the future. In: City of Münster , February 3, 2017, accessed on February 6, 2020.
  57. Fabian or The Walk to the Dogs, based on the novel by Erich Kästner. In: D'haus - Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus , Junge Schauspiel, Bürgerbühne, accessed on January 13, 2018.
  58. Fabian. In: Deutsches Theater Berlin , 2020.
  59. ^ Slogan Kästner! In: Staatsschauspiel Dresden , 2017, accessed on January 8, 2018.
  60. ^ Maria Pistor: Premiere in Warnemünde: A slightly different approach to the writer. ( Memento from February 9, 2020 in the Internet Archive ). In: North German Latest News , December 15, 2019.
  61. ↑ Play : Erich Kästner - Get away from here! In: Volkstheater Rostock , 2019, with production images, accessed on February 11, 2020.
  62. Exhibition book: DNB 452286883
  63. Irmgard Zündorf, Anja Tschierschke: Erich Kästner. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG )
  64. Exhibition: Time drives a car. In: German Historical Museum ( DHM ), 1999; Exhibition book: ISBN 3-86102-106-4 .
  65. Exhibition photos and dates: “I was born and still live on”. In: Kirschendieb & Perlensucher Kulturprojekte , 2014, accessed on January 6, 2018.
  66. Looking for friends: Exclusive tour of the Erich Kästner exhibition. In: Literaturhaus Munich , October 7, 2015.
  67. Exhibition: “Gestatten, Kästner!” In: Deutschlandfunk , September 24, 2015, curator Karolina Kühn in conversation with Beatrix Novy, accessed on December 31, 2016.
  68. Exhibition: “Gestatten, Kästner” • Reflections, contradictions, doppelgangers. In: Riesa Efau, Kultur Forum Dresden , March 2016, accessed on April 2, 2020; Exhibition book: ISBN 978-3-9807388-8-0 .
  69. Tobias Schubert: Two exhibitions will be opened in the Greizer Summer Palace today. In: Ostthüringer Zeitung , October 12, 2019.
    Exhibition: The double Erich. Erich Ohser illustrates Erich Kästner. In: Sommerpalais (Greiz) , accessed on February 7, 2020.
  70. ^ Förderverein Erich Kästner Research e. V. In: International Youth Library Munich ( IJB ), 2015, (PDF; 2 p., 40 kB).