Franz Josef Degenhardt

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Franz Josef Degenhardt (1987)

Franz Josef Degenhardt (born December 3, 1931 in Schwelm ; † November 14, 2011 in Quickborn ), also called "Karratsch", was a German songwriter , writer and doctor of law and attorney .


Franz Josef Degenhardt, born on the south-eastern edge of the Ruhr area , grew up in a Catholic family. As a high school student he received his ideological stamping after 1945 from the reform pedagogue Fritz Helling , who taught as director of the boys' high school until 1952 . After studying law in Cologne and Freiburg from 1952 to 1956 and taking the first state examination in law in 1956 and the second state examination in 1960, he worked from 1961 for the Institute for European Law at Saarland University . He received his doctorate in 1966 with a study on the interpretation and correction of judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Communities . In 1968, as a lawyer, Degenhardt defended social democrats and communists accused of actions by the APO in several trials . In 1972/73 he defended members of the Baader Meinhof Group .

In 1961 Degenhardt joined the SPD , but was excluded in 1971 because he had called for the election of the DKP in Schleswig-Holstein . In 1978 he joined the DKP. As a songwriter he was a voice of the 1968 movement , was involved in the Easter march movement , the protests against the Vietnam War , the emergency laws and the radical decree . He made his first appearances at the Burg Waldeck Festival . In 1963 his first album was released between zero o'clock and midnight - Baenkel-Songs , 1965 Don't play with the dirty kids, the theme song of which made him famous.

In 1967, in a quartet with Hanns Dieter Hüsch , Wolfgang Neuss and Dieter Süverkrüp, he produced the song book Da haben sie es! . The album Franz Josef Degenhardt Live from 1968 took up three current political issues: For Mikis Theodorakis condemns the Greek military dictatorship , Zu Prag refers to the Prague Spring , The God of the Pill takes a stand for contraception . On the album Suede Coat Man (1977) he criticized the socially liberal attitude of many of his former comrades in arms. He also wrote a German version of the song Here's to You about Sacco and Vanzetti .

Degenhardt appeared at the UZ press festivals of the DKP as well as at numerous concerts of the West German peace movement . In several songs he dealt with the Second World War , the Vietnam War and the danger of a nuclear war . The songwriters Konstantin Wecker and Prince Chaos II wrote in their obituary for Degenhardt: "Playing Degenhardt's songs in public broadcasters was banned from the end of the 1970s."

He wrote several novels , some of them autobiographical , in which lawyers or songwriters are mostly the protagonists, including Brandstellen , For Eternal and Three Days and The Songwriter . His first novel, Zündschnüren (1973), tells the story of everyday life and the adventures of working-class children in the town of Schwelm at the end of World War II . It was a great success and was made into a film for television by Reinhard Hauff in 1974 . His second novel Brandstellen tells of the resistance of a citizens' initiative against a NATO military training area . The unsuccessful fight of the municipality of Klausheide against the NATO bombing site in the Nordhorn Range from 1971 to 1973 served as a literary impetus. The novel was filmed in 1977 by DEFA (GDR) (screenplay Gerhard Bengsch , director Horst E. Brandt ). In the cultural machinery Publishing House a ten volumes since 2011 appears Werkausgabe his literary work.

Degenhardt was from 1983 until the end of the GDR corresponding member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR . He has performed several times at the Festival of Political Song since the 1970s . His two sons Jan Degenhardt and Kai Degenhardt also published solo albums as songwriters. Degenhardt was a cousin of the Paderborn Cardinal Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, who died in 2002, and was brother-in-law of the illustrator Gertrude Degenhardt , who illustrated several record covers for him. Franz Josef Degenhardt lived in Quickborn in the Pinneberg district . He died there in November 2011 with his family.


The interpretation and correction of judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Communities. In: Series of publications by the Institute for European Law at the Saarland University , Volume 8, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Librairie encyclopédique, Bruxelles [Brussels] 1969, DNB 456320636 (Dissertation University of Saarbrücken).


  • 1963: Rumpelstiltskin (originally: between zero o'clock and midnight )
  • 1965: Don't play with the dirty kids
  • 1966: Father Franz
  • 1968: When the Senator tells
  • 1968: Live 68 (Live)
  • 1969: In the year of the pigs
  • 1971: Pilgrimage to the Big Zeppelin (Live)
  • 1972: Mother Mathilde
  • 1973: Comes to the table under the plum trees (with the ballad about Joß Fritz )
  • 1975: Walking upright
  • 1977: Suede coat man
  • 1978: Songbook (Live, double LP)
  • 1980: The wind has turned in the country
  • 1982: You are different from the others
  • 1983: Lullaby between the wars
  • 1985: Beware of the Gorilla!
  • 1986: Young couples on benches (songs by Georges Brassens )
  • 1987: We have to go through that
  • 1987: This time I won't go with you - peace songs by and with Franz Josef Degenhardt
  • 1988: Seasons
  • 1989: My songs are from this country (Live, double CD)
  • 1990: Who doesn't dance now
  • 1992: And live again in the end
  • 1993: Nocturn
  • 1994: From the lowlands
  • 1996: Continue in the text
  • 1998: They're all coming back - right? (Live)
  • 2000: Cafe after the fall
  • 2002: quantum leap
  • 2006: dawn
  • 2008: Thirteen Arches

Samplers, singles, EPs, miscellaneous

  • 1964: Midnight Bänkel Songs (10 "LP) Polydor J73 551
  • 1965: Don't play with the dirty kids (LP) Polydor 2428 121
  • 1965: Wolves in the middle of May (or August the Shepherd) (LP)
  • 1967: You freeze with cosiness (LP) Polydor H 840
  • 1968: Adieu Kumpanen (LP) Polydor H872 / 4
  • 1969: Vatis Arguments / PT from Arizona (single) Polydor 53 026
  • 1969: Portrait (double LP) Polydor 2638 009
  • 1970: Degenhardt, Schütt & Wandrey LIVE Rote Rille
  • 1971: Degenhardt, Schütt & Wandrey
  • 1971: Franz Josef Degenhardt (3-LP) Polydor 827 972–1
  • 1972: Sacco and Vanzetti / Interviewing a conscientious objector (single) Polydor 2041 252
  • 1974: My Favorite Songs (LP) Polydor 2371 466
  • 1974: Portugal / Chile (single) Polydor 2041 568
  • 1977: The early Degenhardt (4-LP) Polydor 2630 089
  • 1978: Star lessons - Father Franz (LP) Polydor 2416 185
  • 1981: The whole Degenhardt (12-LP + Maxi in one box) Polydor 2630 126
  • 1981: Through the Years (LP) Polydor 2459 242
  • 1985: Seasons (Maxi) Polydor 835 628–2
  • 1987: I'll let you ... / At the spy (single) Polydor 887 150–7
  • 1988: Stations (double CD)
  • 1989: From then and then (double CD)
  • 1996: Quartet 67 (Live) , (double CD with Dieter Süverkrüp , Wolfgang Neuss , Hanns Dieter Hüsch , previously unpublished recordings from 1967)
  • 2003: War on War CD
  • 2011: Do our dreams go through my song: Selected songs (4-CD retrospective)


  • 1973: fuses
  • 1974: fire spots.
  • 1976: Petroleum and seal oil or how Mayak the Eskimo came and my crazy father got well again.
  • 1979: The mistreatment or the hands-free walk over the railing of the S-Bahn bridge.
  • 1982: The songwriter.
  • 1985: The deforestation.
  • 1991: August Heinrich Hoffmann, named von Fallersleben.
  • 1998: Forever and three days.
  • 1999: Petroleum and Seal Oil. (Audio book)

Associate Editor

  • Law firm Groenewold , Degenhardt, Reinhard (Ed.): Political Justice. Documentation about the terrorist deportation of Palestinians . Association, Hamburg 1972, DNB 730217558 .

Work edition

Song books

  • 1967: there you have it! Pieces and songs for a German quartet , with Wolfgang Neuss, Hanns Dieter Hüsch, and Dieter Süverkrüp (the texts for the CD “Quartet 67”); Illustrations: Eduard Prüssen . Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg
  • 1969: Don't play with the dirty kids ; Illustrations: Eduard Prüssen.
    • 1969: Don't play with the dirty kids. Ballads, chansons, grotesques, songs with 28 illustrations and cover design by Horst Janssen . Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 3-499-11168-3 .
  • 1970: In the year of the pigs .
  • 1974: Don't let the red taps flutter .
  • 1978: Comes to the table under plum trees , all songs with notes up to 1975, rororo 5774, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 3-499-15774-8 (1984 also published as Ala Kumpanen - Sangesbrüder at Reclam in Leipzig).
  • 1979: Comes to the table under plum trees. All songs by Franz Josef Degenhardt. With drawings by Gertrude Degenhardt. Edition of the Gutenberg Book Guild. C. Bertelsmann Verlag GmbH, Munich 1979, ISBN 3 7632 2369 X .
  • 1987: Reiter at the black wall again.
  • 2006: The songs.


Script template

  • 1974: Fuses (based on his novel of the same name)
  • 1978: Brandstellen (based on his novel of the same name)

OFF speaker

  • 1987: Tango du Midi (speaking role)


  • 1974: Fuses (original music)

Further appearances



  • Heinz Ludwig Arnold : Father Franz. Franz Josef Degenhardt and his political songs. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1975, ISBN 3-499-11797-5 ; New edition: Father Franz and I: companions write about Franz Josef Degenhardt . Culture machines, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-940274-56-4 .
  • Diether Dehm : Franz Josef Degenhardt, 1931–2011. Obituary. In: Das Argument - magazine for philosophy and social sciences. 295, vol. 53, H. 6/2011, pp. 914-916.
  • Ulla Hahn : Literature in Action. On the development of operative forms of literature in the Federal Republic (= Athenaion literature studies , Volume 9). Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden 1978, ISBN 3-7997-0689-5 (At the same time dissertation at the University of Hamburg , Department of Linguistics 1978, under the title: Development tendencies in West German democratic and socialist literature of the sixties ).
  • Adelheid Maske, Ulrich Maske : We'll change that. Franz Josef Degenhardt and his songs. Weltkreis, Dortmund 1977, ISBN 3-88142-180-7 .
  • Karl Riha: Moritat, Bänkelsang, protest ballad. To the history of the dedicated song. Sachse & Pohl, Göttingen 1965; Athenäum-Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1975, ISBN 3-8072-2100-X
  • Thomas Rothschild : Franz Josef Degenhardt turns 75. Answers to the contradictions of the system. In: Folker. 6/2006.
  • Ingar Solty : Chronicler of the dirty children. Franz Josef Degenhardt on his 75th birthday. In: Das Argument - magazine for philosophy and social sciences. 268, Volume 48, H. 5/2006, pp. 448-451.
  • Ingar Solty: Franz Josef Degenhardt. In: Killy Literature Lexicon. 2. completely revised Edition in 13 volumes, Volume 2 (Boa-Den).
  • Ingar Solty: Franz Josef Degenhardt - A classic of post-war literature. Part 1: The rejection of petty bourgeoisie / Part 2: Proletarian partisanship . In: young world . 3rd / 5th December 2011, pp. 10-11.
  • Marc Sygalski: The “political song” in the Federal Republic of Germany between 1964 and 1989 using the example of Franz Josef Degenhardt, Hannes Wader and Reinhard Mey. Master's thesis, published in the Seminar for German Philology, Göttingen 2011, Das “Politik Lied”, free download (PDF; 1 MB).
  • Hannes Wader : Karratsch. On the death of Franz Josef Degenhardt. In: Forward . December 13, 2011.
  • Walter Gödden (Ed.) Reader Franz Josef Degenhardt. Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2017, ISBN 978-3-8498-1254-6 .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Announcement on the death of Franz Josef Degenhardt ( Memento of the original from October 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) 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. at his publishing house Kulturmaschinen . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Press release by twelve lawyers, including Degenhardt, of January 22, 1973 on the hunger strike of 17 prisoners, there called "political prisoners". In: Kritische Justiz , 6 (1973), p. 63. After Georg Fülberth : History of the Federal Republic in Sources and Documents . Cologne 1983, p. 364.
  3. a b c Illustrated history of German literature in six volumes , v. Anselm Salzer u. Eduard von Tunk, revised. v. Claus Heinrich u. Jutta Münster-Holzlar, Vol. VI, Cologne undated, p. 292.
  4. ^ Obituary for FJD by Konstantin Wecker and Prince Chaos II on Friday November 15, 2011