Friedrich Wolf

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Friedrich Wolf (1952)

Friedrich Wolf (born December 23, 1888 in Neuwied , Rhine Province ; † October 5, 1953 in Lehnitz , Oranienburg district , GDR ) was a German doctor and naturopath , writer , playwright and communist politician. He became known, among other things, for his public rejection of the abortion paragraph 218 since 1929 .


Childhood, adolescence and education

Friedrich Wolf was born the son of the Jewish businessman Max Wolf and his wife Ida. From 1895 to 1899 he attended the Israelite elementary school, then the grammar school in Neuwied . From 1907 to 1912 he studied medicine , philosophy and art history in Heidelberg , Munich , Tübingen , Bonn and Berlin . In Tübingen he founded a local group of the Alt-Wandervogel and as a Wandervogel he also took part in the First Free German Youth Day on the Hoher Meissner . In 1912, he put the medical state examination in Bonn and was in the following year after a successful defense of his work Multiple sclerosis in childhood doctorate . After internships in Meißen , Bonn and Dresden , Wolf drove as a ship doctor on the Canada - Greenland - USA route in 1914 . In the same year he became a troop doctor on the Western Front and later on the Eastern Front at the start of the war . Wounded several times, he became a staunch opponent of the war from 1916. In 1917 he published the first prose pieces , such as The Jump in Death . In 1918 he refused military service and instead worked as a hospital doctor at home.

First World War and post-war years

In November 1918, Wolf became a member of the workers 'and soldiers' council in Dresden . From February 1, 1920 to May 31, 1921 he worked as a city doctor in Remscheid . After the lost Ruhr struggle , which Wolf had actively supported as the “red general von Remscheid”, and which ended in a fragmentation of the Popular Front, he first went to the Barkenhoff in Worpswede for a short time , which Heinrich Vogeler handed over to a settlement cooperative of the unemployed was. He evaluated the Barkenhoff experiment in his play Column Dog in 1926 .

From 1921 to 1928 Wolf worked in Hechingen and in the hamlet of Höllsteig near Billafingen, initially as a private doctor and later as a health insurance doctor. Then 1928–1933 also in Stuttgart. At Zeppelinstrasse 43 in Stuttgart, Wolf had Richard Döcker build a house in the Bauhaus style that corresponded to his ideas about healthy living. After Wolf's escape, the house was expropriated, auctioned for below value and redesigned.

In 1928 his naturopathic people's book with the title Nature as a Doctor and Helper was printed. 2nd edition in 1929, 3rd edition in 1931 and 4th edition in 1933, when Wolf was already in exile in Switzerland. It was not until 1935 that the book was indexed “because the author u. a. recommend the nude culture, trial marriage and the elimination of § 218. ”In the same year a new edition of the book appeared under an imprint predated to 1922, organized by the head of the Racial Politics Office in Main-Franconia, Heinrich Will, in which wide passages up to the complete Reversal of the standpoint represented by Wolf were shortened to National Socialist understanding. The publisher Heinrich Will was then prosecuted in a party court case. He was accused of having learned during the negotiations with the publisher that "Wolf was a Jew and, as a communist and fighter under Section 218, was fought by the National Socialist movement even before it came to power."

Wolf had been a member of the KPD and the Association of Proletarian Revolutionary Writers (BPRS) since 1928, and in that year he wrote the polemic Art is Weapon .

In 1929, Wolf's drama Cyankali initiated an extensive discussion of Section 218 of the Abortion Paragraph. As a successor, Erich Kästner , Kurt Tucholsky and Bertolt Brecht also attacked the regulation on abortion in literary terms. Alfred Döblin , Wolf's two-time colleague as a doctor and author, also expressed his solidarity, but criticized the importance of life. Döblin and Wolf were members of the Association of Socialist Doctors . In February 1931, Wolf was even briefly imprisoned with the Stuttgart doctor Else Kienle because they were accused of commercial abortion. He was released after mass protests and payment of bail. On April 15, 1931, Kienle and Wolf gave a mass rally organized by the KPD in the Berlin Sports Palace . In this context, the party organ of the NSDAP Völkischer Beobachter describes Wolf on February 27, 1931 as one of the “most dangerous representatives of Eastern Jewish Bolshevism”. In 1931 Wolf and Kienle toured the Soviet Union at the invitation of the People's Commissar for Health Care . The drama Cyankali was u. a. performed in New York, Tokyo, Moscow and Paris.

In the spring of 1932 founded Wolf in Stuttgart the game squad Southwest , a communist agitprop -Spielgruppe of amateur actors, the agitation pieces on current issues aufführte. Because of the artistic quality of his pieces and performances, he was important beyond Württemberg .


After the Nazis came to power in 1933, Friedrich Wolf emigrated with his family via Austria, Switzerland and France to the Soviet Union, where he a. a. worked for Radio Moscow . In 1935 he took part in the 1st US Writers' Congress in New York.

On April 22, 1937, the expatriation of the entire Wolf family from Germany was recorded on expatriation list no. 13. In addition, there was a search warrant from the Gestapo dated May 11, 1937, pertaining to kin detention and immediate arrest of the family.

Under the influence of the Stalinist terror ( "I do not wait until they arrest me here."), And because of his free spirit , Friedrich Wolf in 1937 made their way to Spain to there in the civil war against Franco as a doctor in the International Brigades to work. However, due to the unsafe situation, he stayed in France in 1938.

Production design from the drama Beaumarchais

At the beginning of the war in 1939 , Wolf was arrested in Paris and taken to the Le Vernet internment camp. In this camp he wrote the drama Beaumarchais . With Soviet help and a false passport, he managed to leave the country in 1941. Wolf received Soviet citizenship and returned to Moscow, where he co-founded the National Committee for Free Germany in July 1943 . Photos taken together with the fighter pilot and great-grandson of Bismarck , Heinrich Graf von Einsiedel, date from this time . In 1944 Wolf taught at the Antifa school for German prisoners of war in Krasnogorsk .

In 1942, part of his family who remained in Germany was gassed or shot.

Return to the GDR

After the end of the Second World War , Wolf returned to Germany from emigration in 1945 and belonged to the GDR generation. Here he was primarily active as a writer and in cultural policy and was involved in the founding of DEFA . In 1947 he succeeded in bringing the dancer and choreographer Jean Weidt back from his French exile to Berlin. In 1948 he was one of the co-founders of the German section of the international writers' association PEN , was the editor of the magazine Kunst und Volk and became first chairman of the Bund Deutscher Volksbühnen .

From 1949 to 1951 he was the GDR's first ambassador to Poland . In 1950 Wolf was one of the founding members of the German Academy of the Arts in East Berlin.

Grave of Friedrich Wolf in the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery in Berlin

On October 5, 1953, Friedrich Wolf died of a heart attack in his study in Lehnitz . His urn was buried in the memorial of the socialists in the central cemetery Friedrichsfelde in Berlin-Lichtenberg .

Marriages and offspring

Wolf married Käthe Gumpold (1888–1961) on November 30, 1914. They had two children, Johanna Marie (* April 7, 1915) and Lukas (* 1919).

After the divorce from his first wife, Wolf married the Remscheid kindergarten teacher Else (Eva) Dreibholz (1898–1973) on April 15, 1922. They had the sons Markus (1923–2006; from 1952 to 1986 head of the Enlightenment Headquarters in the GDR) and Konrad (1925–1982; film director).

The Swiss-born daughter Lena came from the relationship with the student Lotte Rayss and was sent to a Soviet orphanage in 1938. Lotte Rayss spent 16 years in the Gulag without Wolf advocating her. The daughter Catherine (born 1940), who committed suicide in 1988, comes from the relationship with Ruth Hermann from Berlin. His youngest son, the physicist Thomas Naumann (* 1953), comes from his relationship with dance teacher Irmgard Schaaf . He is the deputy chairman of the Friedrich Wolf Society.

honors and awards

State awards

Further appreciations

In addition to Neuwied, the town of his birth, settlements, streets, paths and buildings in more than twenty cities and communities bear the name of Friedrich Wolf. Schools, several theaters , a choir in Dresden, as well as a literary society founded in 1992 in the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) honor the writer with their choice of name.

A Friedrich Wolf memorial was created in Lehnitz. However, it is due to be closed at the end of 2019 due to a lack of funds. The Friedrich Wolf Society hopes that the city, the district and the state will cover the maintenance costs of the venue used for discussions, film screenings, readings and guided tours, as the director, Tatjana Trögel, explained.

In the Lichtenberg district of Berlin-Fennpfuhl , the polyclinic , which was opened here in 1977, was given the honorary name of Friedrich Wolf and in 1988 a bronze bust by the sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt . After 1990, when the polyclinic was closed and it became a medical center, the name of the facility disappeared. The bust was taken into custody because of multiple vandalism by an employee of the environmental agency. In 2008 a new operating company took over the medical center and wants to continue the old tradition of outpatient central treatment options with the name POLIKUM . At the same time, the earlier bust in the entrance area of ​​the house was re-erected and ceremoniously unveiled. In the summer of 2014, the property management secured the sculpture again because the renovation of the entrance area is on the agenda.

A multimedia exhibition entitled The Poet and Conscience of Time: Friedrich Wolf - Life, Family and Work was presented in 2008 in Berlin's Schöneberg Town Hall .

Commemorative plaque, donated to Wolf's birthplace in Neuwied for the hundredth birthday


The literary archive of the Akademie der Künste looks after Wolf's extensive archive, consisting of 2,290 volumes of manuscripts, drafts, notes, working material, correspondence, etc.


  • 1917: Mohammed (drama), Langemarck (story)
  • 1919: That's You (Drama), The Unconditional (Drama)
  • 1921: The Black Sun (drama)
  • 1922: Tamar (drama)
  • 1923: The closet comedy (drama), The poor Konrad . (Drama)
  • 1924: The heroic epic of the old covenant (Jewish folk epic )
  • 1925: Kreatur (novel), Der Bücherkreis , Berlin.
  • 1926: Column dog (drama), ether (radio play), nature as a doctor and helper (socio-critical medical house book), follow-up. Mitteldeutscher Verlag 2003
  • 1927: Koritke (drama), The fight in the coal pot (novella)
  • 1928: Nature as a doctor and helper. Stuttgart 1928; Reprint Halle / S. 1988
  • 1928: SOS… rao rao… Foyn - “Krassin” saves “Italia” (radio play), art is a weapon (essay), follow-up. Philipp Reclam jun. 1969
  • 1929: Cyankali (drama)
  • 1930: The Sailors of Cattaro (drama),
  • 1930: Tai Yang Awakens (drama)
  • 1930: John D. conquers the world (radio play)
  • 1931: The Boys of Mons (comedy)
  • 1933: Professor Mamlock (drama)
  • 1934: Floridsdorf (drama)
  • 1935: The Trojan Horse (drama)
  • 1935: Writers and Politics Address at the 1st American Writers' Congress in New York
  • 1938: Two at the border (novel)
  • 1938: The Ship on the Danube (drama) Premiere 1955 Maxim-Gorki-Theater
  • 1940: Beaumarchais or The Birth of Figaro (drama)
  • 1942: The Russian Fur (Novella)
  • 1944: The return of the sons (novel), Dr. Lilli Wanner (Drama)
  • 1945: Poor Konrad (radio play), Professor Mamlock (radio play)
  • 1945: What man sows (drama)
  • 1946: The Last Rehearsal (Drama)
  • 1946: fairy tales for children big and small
  • 1947: Like Animals of the Forest (Drama)
  • 1948: Die Nachtschwalbe (Libretto for the opera by Boris Blacher )
  • 1949: The Council of Gods (film scenario), Mayor Anna (comedy)
  • 1952: Lilo Hermann: Die Studentin von Stuttgart , (Poem), VVN-Verlag, 1952/53 by Paul Dessau as (melodrama) set to music and recorded on record (NOVA 880 059)
  • 1952: Menetekel (novel), Thomas Müntzer (drama, film expose)
  • 1956: Thomas Müntzer - A film of German history (scenario or script)
  • 1960–1968: Collected works in sixteen volumes. Berlin u. a. (Collection)
  • 1975: The lieutenant given away (collection)
  • 1988: Fairy tales and animal stories for big and small children (in it: The Christmas goose Auguste )

Journal and anthology articles (selection)

In: The Socialist Doctor

  • Jungborne for health insurance companies. Preliminary draft for the establishment of natural healing parks for health insurance members. Volume II (1927), Issue 4 (March), pp. 24-26, digitized
  • Against the abortion law. Volume VII (1931), Issue 3 (March), pp. 66-67, digitized
  • Seventeen breads , short story in Volume 1 or the publication "Seventy-five storytellers of the GDR" (pp. 9-16), Aufbau Verlag Berlin and Weimar, 1981, on the 25th anniversary of the GDR

Film adaptations

Radio plays


  • Christel Berger: Friedrich Wolf in the second half of this century. In: Berlin Reading Signs. 1/99, Edition Luisenstadt , 1999.
  • Christel Berger: Friedrich Wolf 1953: An incomplete biography backwards. Edition Schwarzdruck , Berlin 2006.
  • Daniel Halft: The scene becomes a tribunal! A study on the relationship between law and literature using the example of the play 'Cyankali' by Friedrich Wolf. Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-8305-1420-6 .
  • Klaus Hammer : The ideological development and aesthetic conception of Friedrich Wolf from the beginnings to 1929. Jena University 1984.
  • Stefan Gotthelf Hoffmann: The other wolf. Foreign insights into the life and work of Friedrich Wolf (1888–1953). Edition Schwarzdruck, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-935194-44-0 .
  • Stefan Gotthelf Hoffmann: The rest is silence! Conceived conversations with Friedrich Wolf (1888–1953). Edition Schwarzdruck, Gransee 2013, ISBN 978-3-935194-63-1 .
  • Lew Homann (Ed.): Friedrich Wolf. Pictures from a German biography. Henschel, Berlin 1988.
  • Friedrich Wolf. The years in Stuttgart 1927–1933, an example. Accompanying exhibition to the seizure of power, from the republican to the brown city. Catalog and exhibition: Michael Kienzle and Dirk Mende. Project management: Karlheinz Fuchs. Contemporary history project in the Cultural Office (exhibition series Stuttgart in the Third Reich). Stuttgart 1983.
  • Simon Loidl: “We were free for two and a half days.” On the literary and political reception of the sailors' uprising at Cattaro in Austria. In: Year Book for Research on the History of the Labor Movement . 2014, Volume III, pp. 131–152.
  • Henning Müller: Who was Wolf? Friedrich Wolf (1888–1953) in personal testimonies, photo documents and memories. Röderberg, Cologne 1988, ISBN 3-8768-2844-9 .
  • Henning Müller: Friedrich Wolf: 1888–1953. German Jew, writer, socialist. (= Jewish miniatures ; Vol. 78) Hentrich & Hentrich, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-938485-90-3 .
  • Reinhard Müller : What is a person? From Friedrich Wolf's Moscow cadre file. In: Objection. Series of publications by the Friedrich Wolf Society. Exile in the Soviet Union. Edited by Hermann Haarmann and Christoph Hesse. Marburg 2010, pp. 23-52.
  • Walther Pollatschek : Friedrich Wolf. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 1963.
  • Lotte Strub-Rayß: Damned and disenfranchised. Stuttgart - Basel - Moscow ... 16 years of Gulag and exile. Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86465-049-9 .
  • Wolf, Friedrich . In: Lexicon of socialist German writers. Leipzig 1964, pp. 544-550 ( with bibliography, p. 550 ).
  • Bernd-Rainer BarthWolf, Friedrich . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Emmi Wolf and Brigitte Struzyk : How many horses I rode ... The young Friedrich Wolf, a documentary . Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin and Weimar 1988, ISBN 978-3-351-01181-9 (previously: ISBN 3-351-01181-4 ).
  • Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German communists. Biographisches Handbuch 1918 to 1945. 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition. Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .


Web links

Commons : Friedrich Wolf  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


About wolf

Individual evidence

  1. Susanne Ruess: Stuttgart Jewish Doctors during National Socialism . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2009, p. 316 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  2. a b c d e f Thomas Naumann (Wolf's son): Original documents (photos) on Friedrich Wolf. (PDF; 6.8 MB) In: Particle Physics DESY , Zeuthen. May 26, 2008, accessed June 15, 2018 .
  3. Michael Kienzle, Dirk Mende: "Bring your bright, healthy, comfortable home!" Dr. Friedrich Wolf Stuttgart Zeppelinstraße 43 (=  tracks . No. 2 ). 2nd Edition. German Schiller Society, Marbach 1992, ISBN 3-928882-50-3 .
  4. Walther Pollatschek . Friedrich Wolf. His life in pictures. Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1960, p. 22.
  5. Walter Wuttke-Groneberg. National Socialist Medicine: Folk and naturopathy on “new paths”. In: Alternative Medicine . Argument -Special volume AS 77. Argument-Verlag, Berlin 1983, p. 37.
  6. ^ Michael Kienzle and Dirk Mende: Exhibition series Stuttgart in the Third Reich. Friedrich Wolf. The years in Stuttgart 1927–1933. An example. Chr. Scheufele, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 24–29: Facsimile curriculum vitae of F. Wolf, June 1951; Pp. 75–100: Dr. med. Wolf .
  7. ^ Friedrich Wolf: Art is a weapon. A statement in 1928. In: Hans Jörg Schmidt, Petra Tallafuss (Hrsg.): Totalitarianism and literature: German literature in the 20th century. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2007, pp. 61–64 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  8. Ernst Simmel, Ewald Fabian: The Socialist Doctor. Monthly magazine of the Association of Socialist Doctors. VII year. Number March 3, 1931 March 1931 ( [accessed February 6, 2020]).
  9. a b Verena Steinecke: I had to become a rebel first. Despite the threat and danger. The good and wonderful life of the doctor Else Kienle . Butterfly, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-926369-16-7 .
  10. ↑ In 1929 the agitation piece Cyankali was premiered by Friedrich Wolf. In: Museum of Contraception & Abortion (
  11. Valentina Choschewa: Voice of Russia celebrates its 85th anniversary. ( Memento from October 29, 2014 in the web archive ). In: Voice of Russia , October 28, 2014.
  12. Life data on Friedrich Wolf. In: Friedrich-Wolf-Gesellschaft , accessed on June 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Hans-Jürgen Bracker: Käthe Wolf-Gumpold (biography). In: Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls , Goetheanum Dornach, accessed on June 15, 2018.
  14. ^ SBZ biography , Bonn 1964, p. 389.
  15. ^ Sergej Lochthofen : Black Ice . Reinbek near Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-499-62683-8 , pp. 16 and 199.
  16. ^ Gudrun Driesen: son of Friedrich Wolf at the premiere in Luckau. In: Lausitzer Rundschau , January 30, 2009.
  17. Friedrich Wolf Society e. V.
  18. ^ Friedrich Wolf Elementary School Lehnitz
  19. ^ Choir "Friedrich Wolf" Dresden
  20. A house that lives! The Friedrich Wolf Memorial in Lehnitz. In: Friedrich Wolf Society .
  21. ^ Andreas Fritsche: Friedrich Wolf Memorial in Great Need. House in Lehnitz is closed because the state shows little interest in the author's legacy. In: Neues Deutschland from December 6, 2019, p. 13
  22. Deutschlandfunk Kultur , Conclusion series Friedrich Wolf Memorial Center is threatened with closure , broadcast on January 6, 2020
  23. Friedrich Wolf revealed. In: Lichtenberg-Hohenschönhausener , 2008, edition 7A; Inventory records. In: Journal Database (ZDB) of the DNB .
  24. Press release: The poet and the conscience of time: Friedrich Wolf - "Life, Family and Work". Multimedia exhibition in Schöneberg Town Hall. In: District Office Tempelhof-Schöneberg , January 16, 2008.
  25. ^ Friedrich Wolf Archive in the Archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
  26. Cf. Simon Loidl: “We were free for two and a half days.” On the literary and political reception of the sailors' uprising at Cattaro in Austria . In: Year Book for Research on the History of the Labor Movement , 2014, Volume III, pp. 131–152.
  27. ^ On the founding of the League of American Writers on December 26-27. April 1935; his speech in: Banishment. Records of German writers in exile. Wegner, Hamburg 1964, pp. 256-259.
  28. Neue Zeit of February 8, 1955; P. 4.