Otto Heinrich Kühner

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Otto Heinrich Kühner (born March 10, 1921 in Nimburg , † October 18, 1996 in Kassel ) was a German writer , editor and painter .

Live and act

Otto Heinrich Kühner was born as the youngest of four sons of the pastor and later theology professor Gustav Kühner and his wife Luise in Nimburg am Kaiserstuhl. He attended elementary school in Pforzheim and the Kurfürst-Friedrich-Gymnasium in Heidelberg until he graduated from high school in 1939. This was followed by labor service and a short (war) study of law in Erlangen and Heidelberg. He was then a soldier in World War II . Most recently, as a lieutenant, he commanded a Cossack squadron in the Soviet Union and was captured by the Soviets at the end of the war . After his release and return he studied philosophy , literature and musicology in Heidelberg and Marburg from 1947 .

He then worked from 1950 to 1965 at Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR) as an audio game editor and dramaturge. He wrote numerous radio plays ; the best known was " The Practice Cartridge " (1950).

His broad and varied oeuvre includes novels, short stories and poetry. Kühner's debut novel Nikolskoje (1953), which, like other works by the author, was based on war experiences (the basis was a diary already written in Soviet captivity ), was a great success, as was the life of an assassin (1975). As a lyricist, he particularly followed the tradition of humorous verse art.

His comic fictional character Pummerer drove poetic mischief in the Süddeutsche Zeitung , the Zeit , the Frankfurter Rundschau and other newspapers as "Randspaltenlyrik" for decades . From his first marriage in Stuttgart from 1955 to 1965 with the editor and editor Hansi Kühner, b. Klehmet, had a son - Ulrich Otto Florian Kühner. In 1967 Kühner married his colleague Christine Brückner and moved in with her in Kassel. With her he founded the Brückner-Kühner Foundation in 1984 , which u. a. awards the Kassel Literature Prize for grotesque humor and has made the home of the writer couple accessible as a small literature museum.

Honorary grave of the city of Kassel in the cemetery in Schmillinghausen

Kühner died in Kassel in autumn 1996 after a long period of suffering. He is buried in Schmillinghausen , today a district of Bad Arolsen , the birthplace of his wife, who only survived him a few weeks. The same year of birth and the same year of death are written on the common tombstone.

Kühner was a member of Gruppe 47 , the Association of German Writers (VS) and the PEN .

His grandson is the photo journalist Johannes Kühner .



  • The exercise cartridge . Radio play. First broadcast in 1950.
  • Captain Matyushenko . Radio play. First broadcast in 1953.
  • On the outskirts of the big city . Poems. Düsseldorf 1953
  • Nikolskoye . Novel. Munich 1953.
  • The earth is also a star . Drama. 1955.
  • My room is adjacent to Babylon . Radio play, radio narration, feature. Munich 1954.
  • Madness and Downfall 1933-1945 . Stuttgart 1956.
  • Then came the silence . Stories. Stuttgart. 1956.
  • The reliability of the events . Stories. Munich 1958.
  • The other . Choral play. Munich 1959.
  • The hole in Count Bock von Bockenburg's jacket . Novel. Munich. 1959.
  • Kazan is on the route to Siberia . Stage play. Wuppertal 1959.
  • The coup . Stage play. Munich 1962.
  • The year zero and the Bible . Munich 1962.
  • Times are changing . Stage play 1962.
  • Ash Wednesday . Novel. Hamburg 1962.
  • The marriage advertisement . Novel. Hamburg 1966.
  • Pastoral 67 . Radio play. Hamburg 1967.
  • Pummerer and other bizarre verses . Munich 1968.
  • Foolproof. New verses about Pummerer . Berlin 1972.
  • An avenue to freedom. New Pummerer verses . Berlin 1974.
  • Assassin's résumé . Novel. Munich 1975.
  • The desire to scratch your leg or the little man's orgy . Berlin 1976.
  • Blooming nonsense . Berlin 1978.
  • Twenty-four hours of German local time . Frankfurt am Main , Berlin 1979.
  • Pummerer's bloody half-truths . Munich 1979.
  • Experienced and hiked . (With Christine Brückner ). Frankfurt / M., Berlin 1979.
  • Three truths about a folk hero . Stories. Munich 1980.
  • Pummererverse or From the benefit of the hair width . Frankfurt / M., Berlin 1981.
  • Comfort of smile . Kassel 1981.
  • The exercise cartridge . Radio plays. Frankfurt / M., Berlin 1981.
  • Draw me a house . (With Christine Brückner). Hanau 1981.
  • Why more poems? Poems. Frankfurt / M., Berlin 1983.
  • The cardboard mate and the straw doll . Satires. Munich 1984.
  • The dream of a more beautiful country . Verses from the serious pummerer. Berlin 1985.
  • Your pictures - my words . (With Christine Brückner). Berlin 1987.
  • Pummerer's restless idleness . Berlin 1988.
  • My Eulenspiegel . New histories. Novel. Berlin etc. 1991.
  • The smile . Pictures by Mary Rahn . Text by OHK. Hanau 1991.
  • A smile to pass on . The best from Otto Heinrich Kühner, called Pummerer. Berlin 1994.
  • My Pummerer Breviary . Selected and edited by Christine Brückner. Berlin 1996.
  • I want to teach you the summer . Letters from forty years (with C. Brückner, edited by FW Block). Munich 2003.



  • Friedrich W. Block: Foreword In: I want to teach you the summer. Forty years of letters. Christine Brückner and Otto Heinrich Kühner. Ullstein, Munich 2003, 5-12, ISBN 3-550-08410-2 .
  • Friedrich W. Block: Liberation from the dictatorship of facts. Otto Heinrich Kühner In: Christine Brückner and Otto Heinrich Kühner. "The only functioning authors' association". Edited by Friedrich W. Block. euregioverlag, Kassel 2007, 58–67, ISBN 978-3-933617-31-6 .
  • Heinz Schwitzke: Epilogue. Fifty Years of Radio Play In: The Exercise Cartridge. Radio plays . Otto Heinrich Kühner. Frankfurt am Main 1981, 229-239.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ From the farming village of Nimburg in the world of literature , article in the Badische Zeitung of March 30, 2009 (last accessed: May 6, 2009).
  2. Otto Heinrich Kühner. Literary works , listing at the Brückner-Kühner Foundation (last call: May 15, 2017).
  3. Works | Brückner-Kühner Foundation. Retrieved May 15, 2017 .