Leopold Reitz

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Leopold Reitz (born June 24, 1889 in Böbingen (Palatinate) ; † August 19, 1972 in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse ) was a German teacher , writer and local poet in the Palatinate who dealt a lot with the cultural aspects of wine and viticulture . He became known as a co-founder of the Palatinate Wine Brotherhood and as their first master of the order , he was controversial because of his activities during the time of National Socialism .


Leopold Reitz was born into a family of winemakers in the southern Palatinate. Besides being a primary school teacher in various places Palatine he wrote numerous local history works and festivals for German Wine Harvest Festival in Neustadt on the Wine Route and Hörfolgen about wine for the radio .

In the National Socialist German Reich , Reitz 'texts were printed in newspapers and magazines loyal to the regime, e. B. by the National Socialist newspaper Rheinfront , the Palatinate Citizen Newspaper - the National Daily Newspaper , the Palatinate Rundschau or Die Westmark .

From 1918 to 1933 Reitz was a member of the “ Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten ”, from 1933 to 1945 a member of the “Volksbildungsverband der Pfalz-Saar, Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur in der Westmark”, a member of the NSDAP , a member of the SA and a local group leader of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse . During this period he was appointed cultural advisor of the city of Neustadt by the mayor Karl Schlee.

In 1946 he was dismissed from school as part of the denazification process and his pension entitlements were declared forfeited. In 1948 this decision was mitigated, Reitz was sentenced to a fine for his activities under National Socialism. In 1949 he was allowed to return to school, but with a reduced salary. In 1954, when he reached the age limit, he retired. In the same year he was named "Knight of the German Wine Route" and an honorary citizen of the municipality of Böbingen. In 1954/55 he was a co-founder of the Palatinate Wine Brotherhood, of which he was the first master of the order from 1955 until his death in 1972.


  • The shepherd arch . In: Heimaterde, 1924
  • The wine pastor of Wachenheim. The adventurous novel of wine . Verlag Hausen, Saarlouis 1937; 5th edition: Verlag Meininger, Neustadt ad W. 1950
  • The great autumn of 1947 . Meininger publishing house, Neustadt ad W. 1949
  • Illustrated guide to Neustadt an der Weinstrasse . Meininger publishing house, Neustadt ad W. 1953
  • Palatine wine cantata . 1955 (setting by Ernst Kochan )
  • German wine cantata . 1957
  • Years in the dark . Meininger publishing house, Neustadt ad W. 1959
  • The wine route book . 1960
  • The Latin Mayor . Palatinate publishing house, Landau in der Pfalz 1963


  • 1954 honorary citizen of the municipality of Böbingen
  • 1954 "Knight of the German Wine Route" (Wine Brotherhood of the Palatinate)
  • 1959 Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class (for his 70th birthday)
  • 1963 Palatinate Prize for Literature ( District Association Palatinate )
  • 1966 Golden Citizen Medal of the City of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse
  • 1969 German Wine Culture Award (80th birthday), dedication “Leopold-Reitz-Weg” in Neustadt
  • 1994 Memorial stone (by sculptor and painter Norbert Mayer) and dedication “Leopold-Reitz-Platz” in Böbingen


Literary classification

Reitz's position as a writer is most evident in the period from 1933 to 1945. Typical of Reitz's poetry and prose is what is described by critics as "homeland tummy". Social reality remains hidden; Instead, the homeland is sung about, its fruits, the landscape, motherhood, faith and the like. The representative of this genre receives praise only from his peers, from those who stylize themselves artistically and pretend to live the true aesthetics of being in the interweaving of clod and spirit. The publication in which Reitz published his text Der Schäferkarch in 1924 was tellingly called "Heimaterde".

Contemporary claim

Roland Betsch , head of the national education association and friend of Reitz, formulated the cultural goals as follows:

“What we are looking for is the poetic precipitate of blood and experience, of wandering imagination, of combative zeitgeist, of deeply rooted love for the people and the brothers of the same earth. Perfection cannot be demanded - who would now decide on the degree of perfection ?! - Not perfect, but lively and idiosyncratic from the poetic flapping of the wings, to which, despite all the flaws, still adheres, hidden, glowing, that ultimately defines every work of art: that is the fight. "

According to a self-representation of the magazine Die Westmark , in which Reitz published, this

“Support the tough struggle of the areas advanced against Western liberalism by reflecting on the German spirit and Nordic blood heritage and, in particular, provide valuable help to the people of Saarland in the coming times of voting battles. It is supposed to present the young writings of the Westmark as well as the young Palatinate and Saarland artists in words and pictures in front of the face of the nation and to work out the face of our landscape in connection with the great intellectual problems with time more and more clearly and consciously. "


Ulrike Haß illuminates this way of writing as follows:

“The anti-modern movement seems to be fed by many rivers, for which one generally claims conservative , ethnic , philosophical , nationalistic or heroic-existentialist sources. But the movement cannot be understood with these terms. It experienced a unique expansion in the Weimar Republic . In accordance with the peculiarity of anti-modernism, however, it is not a reflexive exaggeration, but a radical reduction to a few common motifs. Finally, three large and empty words: Heimat, Blut and Boden outline the motive of the ethnic opposition, while the vehicles of identification in the warlike anti-modern era are named Nation and Germany. "

At the end of the war in 1945, such literature hardly found any resonance in the feature pages. Uwe K. Ketelsen writes:

“The fact that many authors still developed extensive activity below the level of the official literary discussion was acknowledged and also perceived as a latent political threat, but with their old and new works they were not part of the literary life of post-war Germany and exercised on the development of literature no influence. "


  • Oskar Bischoff, Karl Heinz and Alf Rapp: The great Palatinate book . Pfälzische Verlagsanstalt, Landau in der Pfalz 1976, 5th edition
  • Ulrike Haß: From the "uprising of the landscape against Berlin" , in: Hanser: Social history of German literature , Vol. 8: Literature of the Weimar Republic 1918–1933 . Munich 1995
  • Uwe K. Ketelsen: Völkisch-National and National Socialist Literature in Germany 1890-1945 , 2 volumes. Frankfurt am Main 1978

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Pfälzische Bürgerzeitung - Die Nationale Zeitung, May 4, 1933
  2. ^ Pfälzische Bürgerzeitung - Die Nationale Zeitung, July 28, 1933
  3. Ulrike Haß: On the "uprising of the landscape against Berlin" (see  literature )
  4. Uwe K. Ketelsen: Völkisch-national and National Socialist literature in Germany 1890-1945 (see  literature )