Ernst Wiechert

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Ernst Wiechert around 1949

Ernst Wiechert (born May 18, 1887 in Kleinort , Sensburg district , Masuria ; † August 24, 1950 in Uerikon in the canton of Zurich , Switzerland ) was a German-speaking teacher and writer . From the early 1930s until well into the 1950s, he was one of the most widely read German authors. He is one of the writers of Inner Emigration under National Socialism .


Ernst Wiechert grew up as the son of the forester Emil Martin Wiechert and Henriette Wiechert nee. Andreae in the forester's house in Kleinort (today Piersławek ) near Peitschendorf in the East Prussian district of Sensburg in the Masurian forests. After studying at the University of Königsberg he worked from 1911 as a teacher at the Royal College hooves in Königsberg . He began writing novels and short stories as early as the First World War .

In 1912 Wiechert married his fiancée Meta Mittelstädt (1890–1929). When the war began in 1914, he volunteered, but was discharged a little later because of a kidney disease. In 1915 he finally came to the front and was awarded EK II in the same year . Later he also received the Iron Cross . In 1916 he was trained as an officer and later wounded twice by shrapnel. During the war, Wiechert's only child, Ernst-Edgar, was born in 1917 and was only one day old.

Like Wiechert's mother in 1912, his wife Meta committed suicide in 1929. The following year Wiechert moved from Königsberg to Berlin , where he worked as a teacher at the Kaiserin-Augusta-Gymnasium. In 1932 he married Paula Marie "Lilje" Junker geb. Schlenther (1889–1972).

In April 1933 he gave up teaching, moved to Ambach in Upper Bavaria and worked as a freelance writer. His first fiction book publications came out by the Regensburg publishing house Habbel & Naumann. From 1936 to 1948 Wiechert and his wife lived in the newly built Gierter Hof in Wolfratshausen .

Wiechert had been secretly under Gestapo supervision since 1934 . During a stay in Switzerland in October 1937, Hermann Hesse and Max Picard advised him not to return to Germany. His readings were hindered by ordered troublemakers. At the end of 1937, he was finally banned from all public appearances. In December 1937 Wiechert wrote a letter to the Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels , who was also responsible for the Reichsschrifttumskammer , which was responsible for the “harmonization” of German authors: “I am convinced that the simplest herding boy from my homeland showed more tact and culture would as the officials of the higher cultural authority of the Third Reich. "

In 1938 he was banned from traveling. After a statement on behalf of the imprisoned Pastor Martin Niemöller , a leading representative of the Confessing Church , and the refusal to take part in the elections for the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, he was arrested on May 8, 1938. After several weeks in the Munich police prison, he was taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp on July 4th . On August 4, 1938, Goebbels wrote in his diary: “The interrogation protocol of the so-called. Poet Wiechert read. Such a piece of filth wants to rise up against the state. 3 months concentration camp. Then I'll buy it myself. ”But Wiechert was released at the end of August after protests at home and abroad and brought straight to Goebbels in Berlin. The Propaganda Minister noted the conversation in his diary on August 30, 1938:

“I have the writer Wiechert from the concentration camp presented to me and hold him a Philippica that has washed itself. I do not tolerate any confessional front in the area I look after. I am in the best of shape and mentally cut him off. One last warning! I leave no doubt about that either ... Behind a new offense there is only physical destruction. We both know that now. "

- Joseph Goebbels

Immediately after his release from the concentration camp, Wiechert, at Goebbels 'request, had to take part in the first Weimar Poets ' Meeting , a propaganda conference for the elite of the National Socialist literary industry, which took place in Weimar under the theme Poetry and the Reality of the People . Wiechert felt, as he later wrote in his autobiography, that he was being misused as a “poster” “that could be hung up so that everyone could see how magnanimous the Third Reich was.” Wiechert was allowed to publish on the condition that his work remained strictly apolitical.

Up until the end of the Nazi era , Wiechert was monitored by the Gestapo. He was not registered as an undesired author on one of the various prohibited literature lists . He was allowed to publish, but the publisher was forbidden to mention his name in the publisher's prospectus or to indicate the number of copies of his books. Bookstores were not allowed to display his works in shop windows. Regardless of this, he remained the most widely read German author of his time.

In June 1948 Wiechert moved to Switzerland, where he settled at the Rütihof in Uerikon- Stäfa on Lake Zurich; his wife stayed in Germany. He died of cancer on August 24, 1950 at the age of 63. He found his final resting place in Stäfa. Wiechert left 13 novels and around 50 short stories and short stories.


Novels and short stories before 1938

Wiechert's first novel Die Flucht was published in Berlin in 1916, initially under the pseudonym Ernst Barany Bjell. In the following novels Der Wald (1922) and Der Totenwolf (1924) Wiechert developed the leitmotifs that pervade his further work: the loneliness of the Masurian nature and the melancholy of the dark forests, his experiences at the front in World War I and his criticism of the city and civilization .

In Der Totenwolf Wiechert plays with distinctly anti-Christian, bloodthirsty-folkish ideas. The book reflects the state of mind of the national right in the early 1920s. For Wiechert, the novel marked a phase in the course of his personal development that was to solidify within a few years in a deeply rooted Christian humanism . In the farewell speech to the high school graduates in Königsberg in 1929, the refined writer of the mature years already showed himself. In his autobiography Years and Times , Wiechert later described the novels Der Wald and Der Totenwolf as "ominous intoxication" and as "mirror images of a life that [after the World War] had not yet found a new reason". Wiechert also decreed that his first five novels may no longer appear as individual editions. In a letter to Emil Stumpp dated November 4, 1940, he wrote: “ I don't want to let the escape hang up. The dead wolf seems to me as if it was written by a stranger. Well, it took me a long time to find the way to myself. "

After a series of anthologies with short stories and a few smaller novels, Jürgen Doskocil's maid gave him his literary breakthrough in 1932 and established his popularity. Productive years followed with the publication of novels, plays, and short stories, with the autobiography of his early years, Forests and People , published in 1936, standing out.

The legend of the white buffalo, or of the great justice , created in 1937 and repeatedly presented publicly by Wiechert, was only printed by the publishing house Langen Müller after the end of the war for fear of the censor. It forms the climax of Wiechert's literary resistance, a metaphor in the form of an Indian legend in which the idolatry and the claim to totality of the state as well as the disregard of the law are openly denounced. The refusal to salute the idol of the ruler, the execution of the “state criminals” who obey God more than men, and finally their victory over the king contained sufficient references to the conditions in the country.

After imprisonment and concentration camp

In the years after his two-month imprisonment in the Buchenwald camp in 1938, Wiechert's most important works were created, of which only The Simple Life (1939) was published before the end of the war. At the center of the novel is Corvette Captain Thomas v. Orla, who, in the early 1920s, inspired by a verse of the 90th Psalm (We spend our years like chatter) , left his family in the big city and hired himself out as a fisherman on a lonely island in the middle of the Masurian lake landscape . The simple life is Wiechert's apotheosis of his rejection of the city and modernity - a stylistically brilliant counter-model of escape from civilization and closeness to nature:

“Once you have left the phrase behind you, for you the plow or the oar or the rifle or the spade is no substitute, I believe, but the truth, a simple, unspoilt and great truth. But people are always angry when someone doesn't play along, just as drinkers are angry when someone stays sober. "

- Ernst Wiechert : The simple life

The simple life became a real bestseller . As early as 1942, 260,000 copies had been sold. The novel was only able to appear because of a misunderstanding, as the negative comments from the Nazi censorship authorities did not reach the publisher in time.

Except for The Simple Life , Wiechert did not publish any new works until the end of the war. There were only new editions of a few books.

The report written in 1939 about Wiechert's experiences in prison in the Munich police prison and in Buchenwald concentration camp, which he describes from the perspective of the fictional figure of Johannes, was buried in a tin box in the garden of the Gistorhof until the end of the war. The manuscript was published in Zurich in 1946 under the title Der Totenwald and is to this day Wiechert's best-known work. From the proceeds of the first edition, Wiechert donated three bells for the Catholic Church of St. Michael in Degerndorf .

The Jerominkinder (two volumes 1945 and 1947) follow the classic motif of the German educational novel . The young Jons Ehrenreich Jeromin is the first from the East Prussian forest village of Sowirog to ever attend a secondary school and a university. Wiechert describes his career as well as that of the village, which, despite its isolation, did not escape the upheavals of the 20th century. When Jons Jeromin turns down a promising medical career in the city and returns to Sowirog as a doctor for the poor, Wiechert's hope is fulfilled in him that people want to “bring justice to the field” ( Isaiah 32:16). But the residents of Sowirog are worried about a fateful future; the novel ends with a glimpse of the terrible ravages of war. Wiechert wrote the first volume of the novel as early as 1940/41. Like Der Totenwald , the manuscript survived Nazi rule buried in the Wolfratshausen garden.

Of the works created after the end of the war, the second part of the autobiography ( Years and Times, 1948) and the novel Missa sine nomine (1950) should be emphasized. In Missa sine nomine , three brothers from the Memelland , members of a baronial family, meet on a family property in the Hohe Rhön after being expelled and losing their home . One of them, Baron Amadeus, comes straight from the concentration camp. With a coachman he moves into a remote sheepfold, not the family castle. The hatred of the American occupation forces and the resentment of the losers in the war glimmer among the villagers. The novel is about overcoming National Socialism, dealing with evil and guilt and the search for an ethically sound new beginning for a defeated Germany.

Speeches to the German youth

On July 6, 1933, Wiechert gave the first of his much-noticed speeches to German youth in the Auditorium Maximum of Munich University : The Poet and Youth . The criticism of the new conditions in the country was still veiled, and the rulers let him speak again less than two years later, on April 16, 1935, in the same place, this time under the title The Poet and Time :

"Yes, it may well be that a people ceases to differentiate between right and wrong and that every fight is in the 'right', but this people is already on a level that is suddenly declining, and the law of its downfall has already been written for it. It can also be that a people ceases to distinguish good and bad. It may then win gladiatorial fame and establish an ethos in fights that we shall call a boxer ethos. But the scales have already been lifted over this people and on that wall the hand will appear that writes letters with fire. "

- Ernst Wiechert : The poet and time

The speech to the German youth on November 11, 1945 in the Munich Schauspielhaus was Wiechert's reckoning with the demon of National Socialism:

“We were not an illiterate nation. The story of our minds was a proud story, and it was honored in the books of mankind. Not only our knowledge, but also our judgment, our ability to differentiate between being and appearing. And the story of our soul also seemed to us an honorable story. ,Let man be noble, helpful and good.' […] Humanitas, Amor Dei, protection and tolerance, they seemed to be no less at home with us than in other countries. [...] And now they saw. They saw a new cross, and in its beams the old message was not engraved: 'Come to me, all of you who are troublesome and burdened.' But the new message: 'Judah mad!' "

- Ernst Wiechert : Speech to the German youth


Until 1945

Wiechert's impact among the general public well into the post-war years is undisputed. Since the early 1930s he has been one of the most widely read authors in the German language, and his works have circulated millions. In 1940 alone 200,000 books were published by him, and for many years his works were part of the German school book canon.

The response from fellow writers and reviewers was more divided . As early as the 1920s, a deep rift separated the national conservative authors - to whom Wiechert was ideologically close - and the authors of urban modernism, who were reviled as " asphalt literati " by their opponents .

The National Socialists had courted Wiechert intensely. Some of his statements after the seizure of power in 1933 make it clear that he was initially quite ready to compromise. For example, on a reading trip to Scandinavia in December 1933, where he referred to the positive sides of National Socialism and vehemently denied that Germany was working towards a war: "And if you tell something different abroad, that's wrong and tendentious."

Wiechert wasn't exactly a resistance, but he quickly turned into a resistance. At the latest after his second speech to the German youth in the spring of 1935, it was clear to the rulers that they could not win him over. Wiechert's talent for mobilizing the displeasure of the many people who remained silent in the country without entering into open opposition was even more unpleasant for them. A reading of The White Buffalo in Cologne on November 18, 1937 was demonstratively applauded and then interrupted by the Gestapo (other readings by the White Buffalo were also violently disrupted). The Kölnische Zeitung later wrote that there was “uneasy tension” in the hall. She called Wiechert a poet who

“Throughout his life he has bowed to a law that commands him to obey God more, because man [and] tried to give nothing else than the possible answer to the question that will constantly move us all: How shall we live? "

- Kölnische Zeitung v. November 21, 1937

A government opinion on the manuscript of the novel The Simple Life from 1939 states:

“Where do we find the reality of life in any of these people, where something constructive and a glimpse into the brightness of our existence? All of Wiechert's characters are overloaded with thoughts, inwardly pounded and tormented by severe suffering. They don't suit us, so they live naturally in the seclusion of the woods, where they can look after their ailing species. They are and remain remote all their lives. The overemphasis on certain Christian moments is a clear sign of the completely different world in which these people live. [...] The novel cannot be recommended. "

- Reich Office for the Promotion of German Literature at the Fuhrer's representative for the entire intellectual and ideological education of the NSDAP

In the years before 1945, Wiechert's career was largely assessed positively by the writers in exile, despite his remaining in his homeland. His speech to German youth from 1935 found its way to Moscow, baked in a loaf of bread, and was published there in 1937 in the exile magazine Das Wort . In 1943, his children's crusade was printed in the Deutsche Blätter published in Santiago de Chile .

First post-war years

Today it is forgotten that most Germans in the first post-war period blamed the Hitler regime for the defeat at best. Wiechert's frankly admitted joy that the Third Reich had lost the war offended many of his contemporaries. We once had a father country called Germany - with this phrase began his speech to the German youth in November 1945. For his conservative listeners for a nationalist or at least patriotic attitude was, of course, presented Wiechert settlement with the traditional heroes term one Affront:

“The heroes and martyrs of those years are not those who returned from the conquered lands with the praise of war. They are the ones who died and perished behind bars and barbed wire in honor of the German name. To his sole credit, because there was no other up and down the country. "

- Ernst Wiechert : Speech to the German youth

Hardly any other public statement in those first months after the zero hour aroused as strong opposition as Wiechert's speech in November 1945 in front of the fully occupied Munich theater. The politically right-wing part of the war generation did not find themselves in Wiechert's language and his moral-religious style. On the part of the left, on the other hand, one criticized Wiechert's refusal to discuss economic and political factors and thus to a socially critical analysis of fascism . In an unpublished manuscript, Erika Mann criticized the fact that Wiechert made “the human kind” and not the Germans responsible for the crimes in the concentration camps.

While Wiechert enjoyed cult status among the reading public , many of the authors kept their distance. The writer August Scholtis glossed in March 1946: “This poet torments himself with humility and penance. Sure, I think. Let us all be humble with one another and atone, we need it. ”The rejection was particularly pronounced in the later group 47 . In August 1946, the literary magazine Der Ruf , edited by Alfred Andersch and a pioneer of German post-war literature , printed the anonymous parody 500th Speech to German Youth ... loosely based on Ernst Wiechert . And in May 1947, under the pseudonym Alexander Parlach, again in Der Ruf , another parody followed: the first and only speech by German youth to their poet . The real author was Erich Kuby , who dismissed Wiechert as a vain, talkative and tearful old man in the article.

Oskar Maria Graf formulated in a letter to Hans Brandenburg in the spring of 1949: With the best will in the world, I cannot find the steadfast Wiechert to be something extraordinary, I always get the impression of terrible egocentricity and mannerism in him! Immediately after its publication in 1946, The Totenwald had also become the subject of the dispute. The Swiss Max Frisch judged the book that it was an “escape into pathos” in the “self-enjoyment of grief”. The appreciation of the Totenwald by the Soviet German scholar Ilja Fradkin as a description of the common people in the concentration camp is interesting :

“Wiechert was a rather conservative writer according to his social views, but he witnessed the heroism of his fellow prisoners, communist workers, and his moving report on Josef Biesel, Hans Becker, Walter Husemann and other anti-fascist anti-fascist who were unreservedly devoted to their ideas in the face of death Resistance fighter was a striking example of a writer's honesty triumphing over political prejudice. "

- Ilya Fradkin

How much the audience and large parts of the artistic celebrities were still fond of Wiechert is shown by a report by the news magazine Der Spiegel on his 60th birthday in 1947:

“The poet, whose path began in the Masurian forester's lodge Kleinort, in the loneliness of East Prussian forests, was celebrated as one of the 'most essential callers against the threatened demolition of the human race'. He was celebrated as a 'strong and deep poetic spirit', an 'epic poet with an eminent feeling for nature' and 'poetic portrayal of experience', as a 'God-seeker of seriousness and passion'. [...] And remembered how great consolation was for many of the poets, who, under Gestapo surveillance, had to bury his manuscripts in the garden. […] That interview was also mentioned in which he told Swedish journalists in 1947 that he had lost faith in the future of the German people. […] In memories and appreciations, poems and greetings, poets and scholars, well-known and unknown people, youth and old age profess their support for Ernst Wiechert. Ricarda Huch , Johannes R. Becher , Hermann Hesse, Otto Flake , Max Picard, Werner Bergengruen , Eduard Spranger , Reinhold Schneider , Hans Carossa and Kasimir Edschmid are among them. [...] In him they greet people and poets, they are grateful to him for what they received and received from him. "

- The mirror v. May 24, 1947

A fitting assessment comes from the Hungarian philosopher and literary scholar Georg Lukács , who wrote in 1956 in a contemplation of Prussia:

“Wiechert's old Prussian pietism, for example, could only offer dull resistance to Hitler. As a fighting association against Hitler's barbarism it was not without value, but it could not lead to a renewal of Germany on its own. "

- Georg Lukács

Wiechert's move to Switzerland in the early summer of 1948 was ultimately also an admission that he had no prospects in the literary business and in the intellectual landscape of the emerging two German states. In the years that followed, his texts gradually disappeared from school books. Since then it has become quiet about the author.


In a review of the Süddeutsche Zeitung on the occasion of the new edition of the Totenwald , the accusation that Wiechert stuck to a positive image of Germany despite all personal experiences is still at the center of attention:

“Because Wiechert had somehow imagined the triumph of German nationalism over the Weimar democracy, which he despised, differently, aesthetically more satisfying on the one hand, and more moral on the other. Johannes is concerned with the question of why his compatriots do not act better, although they are Germans. 'His people, thought John, his own people!' Johannes' question why Germans of all people ensure that 'German people were nailed to the cross' does not go unanswered. It reads: Something foreign, deeply un-German must have taken hold of it. […] The same circumstance that horrifies Johannes also comforts him. Because in the end he triumphs over Germany and the West. The disappointed nationalist, at bottom of his heart, remains a non-disappointing one. Wiechert's Totenwald is a stupid book by a good person. "

Neither Wiechert's motifs nor his hopes match today's zeitgeist , in which the two antitheses to his work and his thinking, urbanity and modernity , occupy the central place. Neither his philosophical insights nor his language skills, the beauty of the descriptions of nature or the powerful word images seem to matter to the present. The critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki recalled in 2007: We found this literature to be sentimental, wistful and unworldly. Even Wiechert's later books could not seriously interest me.

Wiechert continues to find supporters among the skeptics of modernity and the cultural pessimists of Western civilization. The author of a tribute to Wiechert's 125th birthday in 2012 asked whether the writer could also be interpreted into a tomorrow :

“Perhaps one day this will become a concern of a young generation when the belief in the progress of time slips away from under your fingers. Also because it is important to break out radically, to break out radically from entrenched thinking. But whoever dares the bold volte may fall from his eyes like scales, and with the forgotten writer he will perhaps recognize that the whole of modernity, this immense fall of the Enlightenment, was probably nothing but a dead end. A dead end with no turning circle. "

- Thomas Fasbender

Wiechert is present in Poland with numerous translations of his works and, as a Masurian author who brings people together, is now part of the Polish cultural heritage. In addition to the house where he was born, there are Wiechert museums in the town hall of Mrągowo (Sensburg) and in Kaliningrad (Königsberg) in Russia in the city museum and in the former Hufengymnasium.

International Ernst Wiechert Society

Since 1989 the International Ernst Wiechert Society eV (IEWG) has been researching the writer's work. The cooperation of Polish and Russian Germanists now plays an important role. The IEWG publishes various scientific publications at regular intervals. It organizes conferences, lectures, readings, excursions and exhibitions.


Novels and short stories

  • Escape , novel (pseudonym: Ernst Barany Bjell), 1916
  • The forest , novel, 1922
  • The Dead Wolf , novel, 1924
  • The blue wings , novel, 1925
  • The Servant of God Andreas Nyland , novel, 1926
  • The silver chariot , stories, 1928 (the silver chariot; story of a boy; the legend of the last forest; the sorrows; the children's crusade; the wolf and his brother; the flight into eternity)
  • The little passion . Story of a Child , 1929
  • The Flute of Pan , Tales, 1930 (with Der Hauptmann von Kapernaum )
  • Jedermann , Roman, 1931 (Literature Prize)
  • Jürgen Doskocil's maid , novel, 1932 (translated into Braille )
  • Das Spiel vom Deutschen Bettelmann , radio play, 1933
  • The Major , Roman, 1934
  • The death row inmate . Drei Erzählungen , Munich 1934 ( The death row inmate; The father; La Ferme Morte - translated into Braille)
  • The Dead Marshal , radio play 1934
  • A German Christmas play, radio play, 1934
  • The Prodigal Son , play, 1935
  • The golden city , play, 1935
  • Hirtennovelle , short story, 1935
  • Forests and people , memories of youth, 1936
  • The holy year . Five short stories , 1936 (Regina Amstetten ( filmed in 1954); Veronika; The simple death; The Whitsun of the musketeer Wiedegang; The maid)
  • Build a wall around us , thought essay, 1937
  • From the faithful companions , poetry interpretations, 1938
  • Atli, the best man . Two stories , 1938 (Atli, der Bestmann; Tobias)
  • The Simple Life , novel, 1939
  • The Jeromin Children , novel, 1945/7 (translated into Braille)
  • The funeral mass , narrative, 1945/7 (set to music by Paul Zoll as "Requiem")
  • The burning bush , story, 1945
  • Demetrius , short story, 1945
  • The forest of the dead . A report , Zurich 1946
  • Fairy tale , 1946/7
  • The white buffalo or Of the Great Justice , 1946 (written 1937)
  • Poor Children's Christmas , drama, 1946
  • Okay or the Immortals , drama, 1946
  • The Gesture , two stories, 1947 (The Gesture; The Stranger)
  • The judge , narration, 1948
  • Years and Times , Memories, 1949
  • The mother , story 1948
  • Missa sine nomine , novel, 1950
  • Der Exote , Roman, 1951 (written 1932)
  • The last songs , poems, 1951
  • A plowman walks across the country , stories, 1951 (selected by Lilje Wiechert)
  • Inmate No. 7188 , diary notes and letters, 1966


  • Christmas address to German youth , without date or place
  • Talk to the young team , without date or place
  • Farewell speech to the high school graduates , given on March 16, 1929 in Königsberg
  • The Poet and Youth , held on July 6, 1933 in Munich
  • The Poet and Time , held in Munich on April 16, 1935
  • Speech to the German Youth in 1945 , given on November 11, 1945 in Munich
  • About art and artists , unspoken speech, Hamburg 1946
  • Commemoration of the dead , speech at the first Dachau memorial rally on May 17, 1947
  • To the Swiss friends , speech at the 19th International PEN Congress in Zurich on June 4, 1947
  • The destroyed human face , speech at the Goethe celebration in the church in Stäfa / Switzerland on September 22, 1947


  • 1929 Literature Prize of the European Magazines for The Captain of Capernaum
  • 1930 Schünemann Prize for everyone
  • 1932 People's Prize for Poetry from the Wilhelm Raabe Foundation, Braunschweig, for Jürgen Doskocil's maid
  • 1947 Confession to Ernst Wiechert - A memorial book for the 60th birthday of the poet. Munich 1947
  • 1950 Unveiling of a plaque in Polish at the birthplace in Kleinort near Peitschendorf / Piecki
  • 1954 (April 25) Inauguration and naming of the Ernst Wiechert Elementary School, Berlin
  • 1968 The Ernst Wiechert memorial corner is set up in the Museum Haus Königsberg , Duisburg
  • 1971 Inauguration and naming of the Ernst Wiechert secondary school in Espelkamp
  • 1975 Ernst Wiechert memorial (death board) at the gate of the G packerhof, Wolfratshausen
  • 1983 Ernst Wiechert monument (natural stone with portrait relief and text) at the Loisach-Halle, Wolfratshausen
  • 1987 Foundation of the Ernst Wiechert Prize of the City of Königsberg
  • 1987 Foundation of the Ernst-Wiechert-Förderkreis Deutschland 1987 , Krefeld, on the occasion of Wiechert 100th birthday
  • 1987 Publication of the Polish Ernst Wiechert Medal in bronze for his 100th birthday
  • 1988 (May 24th) Foundation of Ernst Wiechert-Freundeskreis Braunschweig
  • 1989 (May 25th) Foundation of the International Ernst Wiechert-Gesellschaft e. V. (IEWG)
  • 1989 (October 26th) Foundation of the Masurian Association of Friends of the Work of the poet Ernst Wiechert , Poland
  • 1995 Ernst-Wiechert memorial stone at the former Hufen-Gymnasium (building school / state building college) in Kaliningrad / Königsberg
  • 1996 Establishment of the Ernst Wiechert Museum in the birthplace in Kleinort
  • 1997 Ernst Wiechert memorial plaque in German on the birthplace
  • 2000 German commemorative stamp on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of death
  • 2000 permanent exhibition in the library in Piecki / Peitschendorf
  • 2005 Ernst Wiechert Memorial Cabinet at the former Hufengymnasium in Königsberg / Kaliningrad
  • 2006 Name given to Ernst Wiechert Library in Piecki / Peitschendorf
  • 2007 Ernst Wiechert Museum in Sensburg / Mrągowo (old town hall)


  • Hans Ebeling : Ernst Wiechert. The poet's work. Berlin 1937.
  • Carol Petersen: Ernst Wiechert. Man of silence. Hansischer Gildenverlag, Hamburg 1947.
  • Ernst Wiechert. Man and his work. An anthology. Kurt Desch publishing house, Munich 1951.
  • Helmut Ollesch: Ernst Wiechert. E. Müller Verlag, Wuppertal-Barmen 1956.
  • Guido Reiner: Ernst Wiechert Bibliography , 3 parts. Paris 1972, 1974, 1976.
  • Guido Reiner: Ernst Wiechert in the judgment of his time. Paris 1976.
  • Jürgen Fangmeier : Ernst Wiechert. A theological conversation with the poet. , Theological Publishing House, Zurich 1976, ISBN 3-290-17117-5 .
  • Jörg Hattwig: The Third Reich in Ernst Wiechert's work. Historical thinking, self-understanding and literary practice. Lang, Frankfurt / Main a. a. 1984, ISBN 3-8204-5157-9 .
  • Arnfried Thomas: Ernst Wiechert. In: Ostdeutsche Gedenktage 1987. Bonn 1986, p. 72ff.
  • Leonore Krenzlin : Looking for a changed way of life. Ernst Wiechert: "The simple life". In: Sigrid Bock (Hrsg.), Manfred Hahn (Hrsg.): Experience Nazideutschland. Novels in Germany 1933–1945. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin / Weimar 1987.
  • Hugh Alexander Boag: Ernst Wiechert: The Prose Works in Relation to his Life and Times. Stuttgart 1987.
  • William Niven: Ernst Wiechert and his role between 1933 and 1945. New German Studies, 16 (1990), pp. 1-20. , reproduced on the homepage.
  • Guido Reiner, Klaus Weigelt (eds.): Ernst Wiechert today. Verlag RG Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-89406-677-6 .
  • Jurgita Katauskiene: Country and people of the Lithuanians in the work of German writers of the 19th and 20th centuries Century (H. Sudermann, E. Wiechert, A. Miegel and J. Bobrowski). Matrica Publishing House, Vilnius 1997, ISBN 9986-645-04-2 .
  • Leonore Krenzlin : Education behind barbed wire. The value and dilemma of Ernst Wiechert's conservative opposition. In: Lothar Ehrlich (Hrsg.), Jürgen John (Hrsg.), Justus H. Ulbricht (Hrsg.): The Third Weimar. Classics and Culture in National Socialism. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 1999.
  • Annette Schmollinger: Intra muros et extra. German literature in exile and in internal emigration. An exemplary comparison. Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-8253-0954-1 .
  • Hans-Martin Pleßke, Klaus Weigelt (ed.): Encouragement and consolation. Articles about Ernst Wiechert and his work. For the tenth anniversary of the International Ernst Wiechert Society (IEWG). Publisher RG Fischer, Frankfurt a. M. 1999, ISBN 3-89501-784-1 .
  • Franz H. Schrage: Weimar - Buchenwald. Traces of National Socialist violence in the works of Ernst Wiechert, Eugen Kogon, Jorge Semprun. Grupello-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1999, ISBN 3-933749-08-5 .
  • Leonore Krenzlin: Between all chairs. Ernst Wiechert in the political public 1933–1947. In: Lothar Bluhm (Ed.): Search for traces. Alfred Döblin - Ernst Wiechert - Johannes Urzidil ​​- Jochen Klepper: German-Polish-Czech encounters with a forgotten modern classic. Publishing house Dr. Korvac, Hamburg 2000.
  • Bärbel Beutner, Hans-Martin Pleßke (ed.): Of lasting things. About Ernst Wiechert and his work. Publisher RG Fischer, Frankfurt a. M. 2002, ISBN 3-8301-0402-2 .
  • Manfred Franke: Beyond the woods. The writer Ernst Wiechert as a political speaker and author. SH-Verlag, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-89498-126-1 .
  • Jürgen Manthey : Don't become a city dweller (Ernst Wiechert) , in that: Königsberg. History of a world citizenship republic . Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-423-34318-3 , pp. 568-575.
  • Ernst Klee : Ernst Wiechert. Entry in: The cultural lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 .
  • Leonore Krenzlin, Klaus Weigelt (eds.): Ernst Wiechert in conversation. Encounters and insights into his work. De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-020062-1 .
  • Hans Sarkowicz , Alf Mentzer: writers under National Socialism. A lexicon. Insel, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-458-17504-9 , pp. 624-630.
  • Burkard KrugWiechert, Ernst. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 13, Bautz, Herzberg 1998, ISBN 3-88309-072-7 , Sp. 1059-1060.

Web links

Commons : Ernst Wiechert  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Hans Ebeling: Ernst Wiechert - The work of the poet. Wiesbaden 1947
  2. Erika Kip, Deutscher Ostdienst (DOD), Volume 47, No. 5, 2005
  3. ^ The Nazi era in Wolfratshausen. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 9, 2013 ; Retrieved July 8, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ The diaries of Joseph Goebbels. Ed. Elke Fröhlich , Part I, Vol. 6, Munich 1998, p. 32
  5. A few months after the international reactions to Carl von Ossietzky's death in May 1938, the Nazi government did not want to risk that another prominent man of letters would die in the concentration camp.
  6. ^ The diaries of Joseph Goebbels. Ed. Elke Fröhlich, Part I, Vol. 6, Munich 1998, p. 64.
  7. Hans Sarkowicz , Alf Mentzer: Literature in Nazi Germany. A biographical lexicon. Extended new edition. Europa-Verlag, Hamburg / Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-203-82030-7 , p. 22.
  8. Hans-Martin Pleßke: Ernst Wiechert and his folkish novel "The Dead Wolf"
  9. ibid., P. 2
  10. cit. from the lecture by Michael Stumpp on June 28, 2013 in Mülheim / Ruhr
  11. ^ The simple life , Collected Works Volume 2, Verlag Langen Müller 1980, p. 284
  12. Hans-Martin Pleßke: Who moves the heart. Hamburg 2003
  13. The Poet and Time , 1935
  14. a b Speech to German Youth , 1945
  15. cf. Sabina Becker: Berlin Alexanderplatz. Alfred Döblin's epic of urban modernity. In: Marily Martínez-Richter (Ed.): Modernism in the metropolises. Wuerzburg 2007
  16. cit. according to Guido Reiner: Ernst Wiechert in the judgment of his time , p. 31
  17. cit. n. Leonore Krenzlin: Ernst Wiechert and the Thomas Mann family. On the problem of a relationship between animosities , 2005
  18. Anselm Salzer, Eduard v. Tunk: History of German Literature. Zurich 1955
  19. cit. According to reports on Germany by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sopade) 1934–1940 , fourth year 1937, poetry and theater in the Third Reich , Petra Nettelbeck publishing house, Salzhausen 1979
  20. ^ Opinion for the Langen Müller publishing house, July 7, 1939
  21. See H. Heine's poem 1832: I once had a beautiful fatherland
  22. ^ A b Leonore Krenzlin : Between all chairs. Ernst Wiechert in the political public 1933–1947
  23. cf. Erika Mann: The Inner Emigration. Manuscripts collection, Munich City Library, quoted. n. Leonore Krenzlin: Between all stools. Ernst Wiechert in the political public 1933–1947
  24. ^ Leonore Krenzlin: Between all chairs. Ernst Wiechert in the political public 1933–1947 , p. 15
  25. cit. n. Guido Reiner: Ernst Wiechert Bibliography , Part 3, p. 73
  26. Der Ruf , vol. 1, no. August 15, 1946
  27. Der Ruf, Vol. 2, No. 10 v. May 15, 1947
  28. Gerhard Bauer (ed.), Helmut F. Pfanner (ed.): Oskar Maria Graf in his letters. Munich 1984, p. 222
  29. cit. in Joachim Eberhardt: zero point and “clear cut”. On the self-image of young authors after 1945 , lecture by May 3, 2000
  30. Soviet Studies : Art and Literature, Volume 21, Verlag Kultur und Progress, 1971, p. 491
  31. Der Spiegel 21/1947 v. May 24, 1947
  32. Georg Lukács: turning point , 2nd edition Berlin 1956, p. 66
  33. Der Totenwald , Suhrkamp Verlag, 2008, with an essay by Klaus Briegleb , ISBN 978-3-518-22425-0
  34. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 1, 2008
  35. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 14, 2007.
  36. Junge Freiheit , May 18, 2012.