Hermann Bossdorf

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Birthplace in Wiesenburg

Hermann Boßdorf (born October 29, 1877 in Wiesenburg , Zauch-Belzig district , † September 24, 1921 in Hamburg ) was a German playwright and ballad poet .


Bossdorf came from a middle-class background. He first attended the elementary school in his hometown and after his parents moved to a school in Hamburg. After graduation, he completed training as a telegraph assistant. He learned Danish and Swedish. This enabled him to read works by Nordic authors in the original languages. Because his job was very demanding on him, his health deteriorated. In 1917 he retired.

In 1899, Boßdorf met his wife, who was interested in supernatural phenomena. Under their influence, he studied astrology and telepathy. In his early youth he had already written high German dramas that revolved around biblical motifs. Then around 1900 he wrote his first poems. The "discussion about the 'inheritance' of Fritz Stavenhangens" initiated by Adolf Bartels aroused his interest in Low German as a literary language. At the same time he became a militant actor for the Low German movement .

Hermann Bossdorf tomb , Ohlsdorf cemetery

Contemporaries report the "tremendously shocking effect" that Boßdorf's drama De Fährkrog, premiered in 1918, had. The Hamburg Society for Dramatic Art used this effect for its cultural-political goals. The amateur theater led by Richard Ohnsorg was henceforth called Low German Stage and dedicated itself to the task of publicly promoting Low German drama. In quick succession, Boßdorf - inspired and dramaturgically supported by Ohnsorg - wrote his stage works for the Niederdeutsche Bühne Hamburg . In addition to Fritz Stavenhagen , Boßdorf has paved the way for the special cultural mission of the Low German Theater.

Boßdorf's literary work has four main motifs, the lost youthful lover, the longing for the child, adultery and death. In his choice of dramatic material, Boßdorf was certainly influenced by August Strindberg . The estate contains a number of unpublished drafts and fragments.

Boßdorf wrote in the Low German dialect. His works are still occasionally performed today, including in the Hamburg Ohnsorg Theater . He died at the age of 43 and was buried in Hamburg, Ohlsdorf cemetery , grid square B 14 (south of Chapel 4); the “ Seeler / Ohnsorg Theater ” sponsorship exists .

Boßdorf's collected works were published posthumously by Willy Krogmann .


  • A main street is named after him in his place of birth and there is a memorial stone in front of the house where he was born.
  • The Hermann-Boßdorf-Weg in Kiel-Pries is named after him.
  • The Boßdorfstrasse in Bremen - Neustadt , district Huckelriede, was named after him.
  • In 1922 Boßdorfstrasse was named in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel .


  • Willy Krogmann: Hermann Boßdorf. Collected Works. 11 volumes, Hamburg 1952–1957
  • Eekboom , Low German ballad, 1911
  • De Fährkrog , Low German Mystery, 1919
  • Bahnmeester Dod , Low German tragedy, 1919
  • Ole Klocken , Low German ballads, 1919
  • Oaks in the Storm , High German Ballads, 1919
  • Dehexte Karnickelbuck , funny Low German stories, 1919
  • The Post Inspector , High German Humoresken, 1920
  • The Grasbrook Skull , Curious Scary Tales, 1920
  • Kramer Kray , Low German comedy, 1920
  • Samson and the Philistines , a Biblical Tragedy
  • Dat Schattenspel. Plattdütsche Comedy in one act
  • De rode Ünnerrock , Low German comedy , 1921
  • Rode Ucht un anner stories , psychic stories, 1921
  • Last harvest (songs, ballads, prose), published posthumously, 1922


  • Bernd Beseke , tragedy, 1923
  • Schane Hagenah , play, 1925
  • Störtebeker , tragedy, 1928


Radio plays


  • Carl Budich : Bossdorf as a poet and ballad poet. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 1927
  • Heinrich Detjen: Hermann Boßdorf as a playwright. Pröpper, Hamburg 1936
  • Albrecht Janssen: Hermann Boßdorf. The man, the work, the poet (= Low German Library. 111). Hermes, Hamburg 1927
  • Willy Krogmann: The youthful lover. An overlooked motif in the work of Hermann Boßdorf (= Niederdeutsche Bücherei. 207). Hermes, Hamburg 1948
  • Ulf-Thomas Lesle : Stations of the struggle. In: The Low German Theater. From 'völkischer Not' to literary comfort. Hamburg 1986, pp. 104-116.
  • Friedrich W. Michelsen (Ed.): Hermann Boßdorf. 1877-1921. Working group Niederdt. Days in Hamburg e. V., Hamburg 1977.
  • Walther Niekerken:  Boßdorf, Hermann. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 483 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Johann Tietjen: The poetic use of the new Low German language in drama based on the Low German dramas by Stavenhagen and Boßdorf. Dissertation, University of Hamburg 1949.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ulf-Thomas Lesle: Stations of the fight. In: The Low German Theater. Hamburg 1986, p. 104.
  2. GHJ Scholz: The Low German Thought. Ms. undedr. Archive of the Ohnsorg Theater.
  3. ^ Directory of Ohlsdorf portraits at fof-ohlsdorf.
  4. Hans-G. Hilscher, Dietrich Bleihöfer: Hermann-Boßdorf-Weg. In: Kiel Street Lexicon. Continued since 2005 by the Office for Building Regulations, Surveying and Geoinformation of the State Capital Kiel, as of February 2017 ( kiel.de ).