Leopold Kretzenbacher

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Leopold Kretzenbacher (born November 13, 1912 in Leibnitz ; † June 21, 2007 in Lebring ) was an Austrian folklorist and cultural historian .

Live and act

Kretzenbacher first studied Indo-European Studies , Classical Philology , German Philology , Slavic Studies , German Archeology and Balkan Studies at the University of Graz and received his doctorate in 1936 with a dissertation on Styrian folk drama . In 1939 his habilitation followed : Germanic myths in the epic folk poetry of the Slovenes . Between 1940 and 1943 he was a lecturer in folklore at the University of Graz, 1943/44 visiting professor in Agram ( Zagreb ). In 1950 he became professor for folklore in Graz, in 1961 he followed the call of the University of Kiel and taught here as full professor from 1962. Four years later he took over the management of the Institute for German and Comparative Folklore at the University of Munich . He was retired in 1977 .

He was a member of the State Historical Commission for Styria (since 1967), a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (since 1969), an honorary member of the Royal Gustav Adolfs Academy in Uppsala , a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Slovenian Academy of Sciences as well active member of the New York Academy of Sciences .

Kretzenbacher was friends with the folklorist and politician Hanns Koren , to whom he dedicated his book Protective and Pleading Gestures of the Mother of God .

Prizes and awards


  • Early baroque Christmas game in Carinthia and Styria. Klagenfurt and Graz Christmas play texts from the early 17th century as cultural and historical monuments of the Counter Reformation in Inner Austria. Klagenfurt 1952 (Archive for Patriotic History and Topography 40).
  • The chains around the Leonhard churches in the Eastern Alps. Cultural-historical contributions to the question of the girding of cultural objects in the religious folk culture of Europe. In: Leopold Schmidt (ed.): Culture and people. Contributions to folklore from Austria, Bavaria and Switzerland. Festschrift for Gustav Gugitz on his 80th birthday (= publications by the Austrian Museum of Folklore; Vol. 5). Self-published by the Austrian Museum of Folklore, Vienna 1954, pp. 164–202.
  • Kynocephalic demons of Southeast European folk poetry. Comparative studies of myths, legends, mask customs around Kynokephaloi, werewolves and South Slavic Pesoglavci. Munich 1968 (Contributions on Knowledge of Southeast Europe and the Middle East, Volume V)
  • Devil covenants and Faust figures in the West. Verlag des Geschichtsverein für Kärnten: Klagenfurt, 1968 ( book series of the Landesmuseum für Kärnten 23).
  • Pictures and legends. Hiked and experienced picture-thinking and picture-telling between Byzantium and the West. Klagenfurt 1971 (From Research and Art 13).
  • Windradl and Klapotetz , a natural symbol of the homeland in the Lower Styrian wine country, Verlag Dr. Dr. Rudolf Trofenik , Munich 1975.
  • Black becomes white. To a sign of grace as a legend topos. Vienna 1978.
  • Ethnologia Europaea . Study hikes and experiences in folklore field research on your own. Munich 1986 (Contributions to Knowledge of Southeast Europe and the Near East 39).
  • Hallowed Right. Essays on comparative legal folklore in Central and Southeastern Europe. Vienna u. a. 1988 (Research on European and Comparative Legal History 3).
  • Image thoughts of the late medieval Holy Blood mysticism and their continued existence in Central and Southeast European folk traditions. Presented at the meeting on January 10, 1997. Munich 1997 (Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich / Philosophical-Historical Class: [Treatises / New Series] 114).
  • Mystical unicorn hunt - German and Slavic visual and verbal testimony to a spiritual symbolic structure. Bavarian Academy of Sciences; Meeting reports, Munich, year 1978, issue 6; ISBN 3-7696-1493-3


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