Norbert Schultze

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Norbert Schultze in the garden of Artur Beul and Lale Andersen in Zollikon

Norbert Arnold Wilhelm Richard Schultze (born January 26, 1911 in Braunschweig , † October 14, 2002 in Bad Tölz ) was a German composer and conductor . He also used the pseudonyms Frank Norbert , Peter Kornfeld and Henri Iversen in his compositions .

His most famous melody was that of the song Lili Marleen . Other works were the operas Schwarzer Peter and Das kalte Herz , the musical Käpt'n Bye-Bye , from which the evergreen Take me (us) with you, Kapitän, comes on a trip , as well as numerous film music , such as Die Mädels vom Immenhof (1955).


The son of the physician Walter Hans Schultze passed the Abitur at the secondary school in Braunschweig and studied piano, conducting, composing and musicology and theater studies in Cologne and Munich . In Munich he appeared as a composer in the early 1930s. Under the pseudonym Frank Norbert he was a composer for the student cabaret The Four Messages for a while . Engagements in Heidelberg and as Kapellmeister in Darmstadt , Munich and Leipzig followed from 1932 to 1934 . In 1932 he married his first wife, the actress Vera Spohr .

In the time of National Socialism

After several months as a unit manager at Telefunken GmbH, Schultze decided in 1936 to try his luck as a freelance composer for stage and film. During the time of National Socialism , Schultze delivered a series of compositions for soldiers and propaganda songs. In 1940 Schultze became a member of the NSDAP on the advice of not being drafted. In 1943 he married his second wife, the Bulgarian actress, singer and writer Iwa Wanja (1905–1991), who wrote her husband libretti for several of his stage works.

Commissioned by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels , he set pieces such as From Finland to the Black Sea (in the refrain of which the text “ Führer , befiehl, we follow you”), the song of the Kleist tank group , tanks roll forward in Africa or bombs on Engelland .

Because of his battle and soldier songs , Norbert Schultze was repeatedly denounced as a Nazi propagandist . The criticism was also directed towards the music for Veit Harlan's endurance film Kolberg, from which essential pieces, including the main theme, came from the war documentary baptism of fire , for which Schultze had also composed the music.

He later said: “You know, I was prime soldier at the time. Around 30. For me the alternative was: compose or die. So I decided on the former. "

In August 1944, Schultze was added to the God-gifted list, which saved him from military service, but obliged him to do cultural propaganda.

During the denazification process, Schultze was classified as a fellow traveler , and after paying a procedural fee of 3,000 D-Marks, he was given immediate work permits. The songs mentioned are subject to the GEMA fee schedule to this day . In his will, Schultze decreed that all royalties for his works created between 1933 and 1945 (including those of his fairytale opera Black Peter ) go to the German Red Cross . This continues to the present day.

Lili Marleen

In 1938 Schultze wrote a melody for the poem Lili Marleen from the volume Die kleine Hafenorgel by Hans Leip . Recordings, initially with a male singer, and in 1939 with Lale Andersen , were initially rarely sold. But when the German soldier broadcaster Belgrade put the recording with the singer on several times at the end of the program in 1941, responses from the listeners showed lively demand. The text introduced by the military signal Zapfenstreich and presented at the march about compulsory orders, farewell and grave hit the inner mood of millions of soldiers of all armies fighting at the time on both sides of the fronts and became a worldwide cultural "leitmotif" of the Second World War in around fifty languages.

post war period

Schultze was initially on a blacklist of the Information Control Division (propaganda and censorship department of the American zone of occupation in Germany). From 1953 to 1968 he ran his own music publishing house and stage sales. Schultze stayed true to his profession and continued to write numerous operas, operettas (e.g. Rain in Paris ), musicals, ballets (including Struwwelpeter and Max and Moritz [film adaptation 1956]), film music and songs.

Schultze was elected President of the Association of German Stage Writers and Composers in 1961; from 1973 to 1991 he was a board member of the German Composers Association . Until 1996 he held positions on the GEMA supervisory board, on the board of trustees of the GEMA social insurance fund and at the pension foundation for German composers. Schultze spent his old age with his third wife Brigitt Salvatori mainly in Mallorca and often commuted to Bavaria . His grave is located in the main cemetery in Braunschweig .

In 1992 the documentary kissed the devil on the buttocks was released.

Overview of his work

Title of the composer (selection)

Stage works (selection)

  • Schwarzer Peter , fairy tale opera, premiered in Hamburg in 1936
  • The cold heart , fairy tale opera, 1943
  • Struwwelpeter , ballet, 1937
  • Max and Moritz , ballet, 1938, played at the Hamburg State Opera
  • Maria im Walde , Opera, 1940
  • Peter the Third , Opera, 1964
  • Princess and the pea , fairy tales with music
  • The brave little tailor , opera, 1980
  • Snow queen , fairy tale with music
  • Snow White , Opera, 1981
  • Rain in Paris , Operetta, 1957
  • Captain Bye-Bye , musical, 1950

Film music (selection)


honors and awards


Web links

Individual evidence

  2. From: The 100 largest Braunschweiger , Braunschweiger Zeitung Spezial, Issue 1, 2005
  3. Viktor Reimann: Dr. Joseph Goebbels . Molden, Vienna, Munich 1976, ISBN 3-217-05018-5 , p. 217
  5. ^ Fred K. Prieberg : Handbook of German Musicians 1933–1945. CD-Rom-Lexikon, Kiel 2004, p. 6386.