Heinz Kahlau

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Heinz Kahlau (seated) with the author Michael Tschesno-Hell (1952)Signature of Heinz Kahlau.jpg

Heinz Kahlau (born February 6, 1931 in Drewitz , Teltow district , † April 6, 2012 in Greifswald ) was a German poet .


After attending school, Heinz Kahlau initially worked as an unskilled worker in various professions. In 1949 he went to Berlin . Here he studied from 1953 to 1956 at the Akademie der Künste , where he was taught, among other things, as a master student of Bertolt Brecht . From 1956 he worked as a freelancer. He published poetry , prose and songs . He also worked as a screenwriter.

After he was threatened with imprisonment for critical verses in connection with the Hungarian uprising in 1956, he became an unofficial employee of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR between 1956 and 1964 , which he voluntarily confessed in 1990. He had hoped to avoid being persecuted by the Stasi. During his time as IM, he also wrote poems that affirmed the building of the Berlin Wall .

From 1970 to 1980 he headed the PEN section of the GDR as President . He was also involved in the GDR writers' association and worked with the rock group Karat . Kahlau was a member of the Free German Youth , the SED and later the Left Party . From 1990 to 1992 he was a district councilor for the PDS in Berlin-Pankow .

About twenty volumes of poetry by Heinz Kahlau were published during his lifetime. His best-known work is the volume Du , a collection of love poems. On his 75th birthday, he retired from Berlin to the island of Usedom , where he continued to work as an author.

Kahlau was married several times, including a short marriage to the writer Gisela Steineckert .


An obituary by Oliver Junge appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, describing that Kahlaus' work is based on an archetype of poetry, panegyric : “Since the epidemic of genius, it has been forgotten that the true root of poetry was utility poetry: more panegyric Singing, memorizing historical fates, political persuasion. The new ideal is called subjectivity - and thus insignificance. But one of them is reluctant to use empty virtuosity: the German poet with the highest circulation today is a brave rhetorician among poets. "Kahlau has always remained devoted to the ideal of socialism:" In the GDR he wrote without false shame what had to be written: soldiers' songs, Tractorist poems , FDJ anthems, committed scripts, a laudatory poem about the construction of the wall, agitprop poetry in general, but also critical comments and longing love poems. (...) Kahlau's poetry is understandable, but not artless: The form always helps to bring an idea to bear instead of puzzling over the irrelevant as is so often the case. "


Works (selection)

  • Hope lives in the branches of the caiba . New life, Berlin 1954
  • Poems . People and the world, Berlin 1956
  • The most beautiful . (Script parts of the censorship version). 1957
  • The corn primer . People and World, Berlin 1960
  • Stone Age ballad . 1961 (lyrics).
  • Jones' family . A grotesque with singing. Henschel, Berlin 1962
  • On the sunny side . 1962 (screenplay).
  • The flow of things . Poems from 10 years. Structure, Berlin 1964
  • Microscope and lyre . Bechtle, Munich 1964
  • A pitcher of olives . Parabolic piece. Henschel, Berlin 1966
  • You . Love poems. Structure, Berlin 1971
  • Ballads . Structure, Berlin 1971
  • The delphinium blooms blue in the grain . Children's book publisher. Berlin 1972
  • Flight board for angels . Poems. Structure, Berlin 1974
  • The verse, the rhyme, the line . How I write poetry. New life, Berlin 1974
  • The hammer book . Young World, Berlin 1975
  • How did Fritz find straight, crooked and pointed . (Children's book) Drawings: Éva Gaál. Corvina Verlag, 1976
  • Konrad's tractor . (Picture book. Drawings by Rudolf Platzer). Berlin, Young World, 1976.
  • Tasso and the galoshes . 2 pieces. Structure, Berlin 1980
  • That you exist makes me happy . Love poems. Eremiten-Presse, Düsseldorf 1982, ISBN 3-87365-183-1
  • Lost property . Poems. Construction publishing house. Berlin and Weimar 1984
  • I love you . Hand press Gutsch. Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-924993-47-5
  • Any day . Selected poems. Tribüne, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-7303-0435-6
  • Poems of meaning and nonsense . Structure, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-351-01513-5
  • The drunk river . Ballads. Structure, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-351-01834-7
  • One way or another . Poems 1950–1990. Structure, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-7466-0182-7
  • Kasper's scales . Poems. Structure, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-351-02193-3
  • Together . Love poems. Structure, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-7466-1569-0
  • Lutz Görner (ed.): Complete poems and other works (1950–2005) . Structure, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-351-03062-2




Web links

Commons : Heinz Kahlau  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Poet Heinz Kahlau is dead , Zeit online, April 9, 2012
  2. a b Oliver Junge: Common Swift. On the death of the German poet Heinz Kahlau . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung April 11, 2012, p. 27.
  3. ^ In: Berliner Zeitung of October 16, 1960, p. 12
  4. See Parkaue, Berlin (archive)