Karl-Heinz Wirzberger

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Karl-Heinz Wirzberger on March 21, 1969 in Berlin in conversation with Inge Keller

Karl-Heinz Wirzberger (born June 2, 1925 in Grüneberg , today Löwenberger Land , † April 23, 1976 in Berlin ) was a German Americanist . The professor of English was rector of the Humboldt University in Berlin from 1967 to 1976 and a member of the People's Chamber of the GDR .


The son of an employee joined the NSDAP on April 20, 1943 after graduating from the Dorotheenstädtische Realschule in Berlin . From 1943 until the end of the war, Wirzberger served in the Navy .

In the first post-war semester in January 1946, he began studying American and Slavic and German at the Berlin Humboldt University . He then worked from 1951 as an assistant to Georg Kartzke and did his doctorate on the development of American short-story. Rise and form dissolution . In 1951 he became a member of the FDGB . 1954 followed the habilitation on Theodore Dreiser's prose work. From 1958 professor, Wirzberger took over the chair of American studies after the death of Georg Kartzke. From 1960 to 1963 he was chairman of the union management and member of the academic senate of the Humboldt University in Berlin. From 1964 he was a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Science Union.

In 1966 he became dean of the Philosophical Faculty for Languages, Linguistics and Classical Philology. In 1967, as the successor to Heinz Sanke , Wirzberger became rector of the Humboldt University. From 1969 he was deputy chairman of the Berlin District Committee and a member of the Presidium of the National Council of the National Front of the GDR . In the same year he became a member of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR . From November 1971 he was a member of the FDGB parliamentary group in Berlin as a representative in the People's Chamber of the GDR, deputy chairman of the GDR Interparliamentary Group and a member of the People's Chamber Committee for Culture. Wirzberger became a candidate in 1971 and a member of the SED the following year .


Sick, he handed over the rector's office to Helmut Klein on March 30, 1976 . Karl-Keinz Wirzberger died at the age of 50 and found his final resting place in the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery in Berlin.


Works (selection)

  • Theodore Dreiser's novels. German Science Publishing House, Berlin 1955
  • Outline of the History of American Literature from the First World War to the Present . Potsdam University of Education 1966
  • Problems of the civil rights movement in contemporary American prose literature . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1967
  • together with Karl-Heinz Schönfelder : An overview of US literature . From the beginning to the present . Reclam, Leipzig 1977. 552 pages
  • From Cooper to O'Neill . Contributions to USA literature. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1979. 246 pages


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Berliner Zeitung , March 12, 1976, p. 2.
  2. Neues Deutschland , February 28, 1974, p. 2.