Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag

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The Gustav Kiepenheuer publishing house was from 1909 to 2010 existing German book publisher.


Share over 1000 marks in Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag AG from October 1, 1922

The bookseller Gustav Kiepenheuer , a classmate of Ernst Rowohlt and Kurt Wolff , took over the court, book, art and music business from Ludwig Thelemann in Weimar in 1909 and at the same time founded a publishing house under his name. The first publisher titles tied in with the Weimar Classic , such as Back then in Weimar (1910) and Das Leben in Alt-Weimar by Wilhelm Bode (1912), or the two-volume work Das nachklassische Weimar by Adelheid von Schorn (1911–12). The publisher gained a reputation among book lovers through the bibliophile book series “ Lovers' Library” . In the following years works and magazines on the fine arts were published and the series Deutsche Orient-Bücherei (1915) was launched.

The magazine Das Kunstblatt first appeared in 1917 . 1918 began the publication of the series of "graphic books", with the illustrations of young artists to texts of the literary heritage as original graphics should be made available to a larger group of readers. In 1919 the publishing house moved to Potsdam . André Gide , Bert Brecht , George Bernard Shaw , Lion Feuchtwanger , Hans Henny Jahnn , Arnold Zweig and Anna Seghers joined as authors , who stood for a left-wing bourgeois program. Zweig's dispute over Sergeant Grisha (1927) was the most successful book in early publishing history. Hermann Kesten became a publisher's editor and in-house author in 1928.

After moving to Berlin again in 1929, Gottfried Benn , Marieluise Fleißer and Joseph Roth could also be won; with this, a large part of the fiction writers elite published their works with Kiepenheuer between the world wars.

When the National Socialists took power in 1933, 75% of publishing production in Germany was banned, Kesten and co-owner and managing director Fritz Helmut Landshoff continued the publishing work in the Amsterdam exile publishers Allert de Lange and Querido . In 1936 the Kiepenheuer library collection was created , containing travel descriptions, philosophical texts as well as letters and statements by ancient and modern poets. The Kiepenheuer Verlag in Leipzig later re-established the series. The Berlin headquarters was completely closed in 1944 by order of the Reich Chamber of Literature.

A year after the end of the war, the publishing house was re-established in Weimar, and Joseph Caspar Witsch became a partner and managing director in 1948. Gustav Kiepenheuer died in 1949 after a long illness, his widow Noa Kiepenheuer initially continued the publishing house. In 1951, following a change in the majority, there was a split: In the west, Witsch founded the Kiepenheuer & Witsch publishing house, initially located in Hagen and later in Cologne. In 1969 the publisher Reinhold Neven DuMont , Witsch's son-in-law, acquired the company.

In the east, Kiepenheuer Verlag was continued by Noa Kiepenheuer until her death in 1971, then by Friedemann Berger in Weimar. In 1977 he was sold to the children's book publisher . This was followed by a merger with Insel Verlag Leipzig, Dieterich'schen Verlagsbuchhandlung and Paul List Verlag to form the Kiepenheuer publishing group based in Leipzig. The editorial activity moved almost exclusively in the area of ​​classical world literature , cultural history, the European avant-garde of the beginning of the century as well as oriental philosophy and literature.

The turning point in 1989, after a long period of back and forth, led to the fact that the publishing house was incorporated into the Berlin construction publishing group of the publisher Bernd F. Lunkewitz in 1994 . The publishing house initially remained in Leipzig, but was gradually transferred to Berlin by the end of 2003. The program focus was initially (again) contemporary literature; thereafter, the publisher was positioned primarily in the categories of entertainment literature , popular non-fiction and gift books . In 2010 the Kiepenheuer publishing house was stopped by the construction group.


The archive of the Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag in Leipzig and the Leipzig part of the Dieterich'schen Verlagbuchhandlung , consisting of “Annual reports (n); Meeting minutes; Author correspondence with Lion Feuchtwanger , Hermann Hesse , Victor Klemperer , Oskar Kokoschka , Joachim Ringelnatz , Carl Zuckmayer , Stefan Heym , among others ; Proofreading reports; Publishing contract (s); Publishing history; Kiepenheuer family records (and) photos ”, was placed as a nationally valuable archive under the protection of cultural property in accordance with the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict . The archive material has been on deposit in the Saxon State Archives in Leipzig since 1996 .


  • Noa Kiepenheuer (Ed.): Forty Years of Kiepenheuer 1910–1950. An almanac . Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Weimar 1951
  • Theme - style - shape. 1917-1932. 15 years of literature and art in the mirror of a publishing house . Catalog for the exhibition on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag. Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1984
  • Cornelia C. Funke: The publisher embodies the face of his time. Management and program design at Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag 1909 to 1944 (= publications of the Leipzig study group on the history of the book industry 11). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1999, ISBN 978-3-447-04167-6
  • Ernst Fischer: Publishing à fonds perdu: Gustav Kiepenheuer as an entrepreneurial personality . In: Günther Schulz (Hrsg.): Business with words and opinions. Media entrepreneur since the 18th century ( Büdinger research on social history ). Boldt / Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, pp. 129-145
  • “The audience wants more than dry rinds”. 90 years of Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag . With a lecture by Bernd F. Lunkewitz. ( Library of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels ). Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig 2000, ISBN 3-378-01046-0
  • Reinhard Würffel: Encyclopedia German publishers from A-Z . Verlag Grotesk, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-9803147-1-5 , pp. 425-427.
  • Siegfried Lokatis , Ingrid Sonntag (Ed.): 100 Years of Kiepenheuer Publishing. Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86153-635-2 .

Web links


  1. Nationally valuable archives in Saxony ( Memento of the original dated February 11, 2014 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. ; State Archives Leipzig, inventory 21097 Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag and Dieterich'sche Verlagbuchhandlung Leipzig .  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /