Otto Julius Bierbaum

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Otto Julius Bierbaum

Otto Julius Bierbaum (born June 28, 1865 in Grünberg in Silesia , † February 1, 1910 in Dresden ) was a German journalist , editor , writer and librettist . He was also known under the pseudonyms "Martin Möbius" and "Simplicissimus".


Bierbaum grew up in Dresden and Leipzig . After graduating from the Thomas School in Leipzig , he studied law and philosophy (and Chinese) at the University of Zurich , the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich , the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin and the University of Leipzig . In 1887 he became a member of the Corps Thuringia Leipzig . After completing his studies, he began writing feature articles and reviews in 1887. He became editor and later publisher of the magazines Die Freie Bühne / Neue Deutsche Rundschau , Pan and Die Insel . After living in Munich and Upper Bavaria until 1893 , then in Berlin, Italy, South Tyrol (Englar Castle, Eppan ) and Vienna , he returned to Munich from 1900 to 1909 and moved from there to Dresden. His literary work was extremely varied. As a lyricist, he used the forms of minnesong as well as anakreontic and simple folk song .

In 1897 Bierbaum published his novel Stilpe , which, in addition to benevolent criticism, also encouraged Baron Ernst von Wolhaben to write his cabaret Überbrettl . In the following year Richard Strauss set his poem Junghexenlied to music.

He scoffed at the George Circle, “It's all about solemnity! Be stupid like a tuna, temperamental like a jellyfish, bull obsessed like an anesthetized frog, but be solemn and you will suddenly see people around you who can no longer say muh in admiration. "( Otto Julius Bierbaum 1900 )

OJ Bierbaum and wife in an automobile (1902)

His travel book A Sensitive Journey in an Automobile , published in 1903, describes a trip that the Bierbaums took in 1902 in a convertible from the Adlerwerke from Germany via Prague and Vienna to Italy (and on their return journey via Switzerland). It is considered to be the first car travel book in German literature. On the trip mentioned, Bierbaum was the first to cross the Gotthard Pass in a car.

In 1905 Bierbaum wrote an adaptation of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio story under the title “ Zäpfel Kerns Abenteuer” . In 1910 he was preparing for Georg Müller Verlag books series Library of the Abbey Thelem ago when he appeared whose editor. After a long illness he died in Dresden in 1910 and was buried in the forest cemetery in Munich .

Memorial plaque for the 100th anniversary of death

Memorial plaque on Bierbaum's birthplace, today ul.Kupiecka 25

In his birthplace Grünberg,  a memorial plaque was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of his birth at his birthplace - formerly Marktplatz 25 . On the blackboard you will find the winged word humor is if you laugh anyway . Bierbaum put it in front of his travel diary Yankeedoodle published in 1909 as the motto.

It was donated by the Social-Cultural Society of the German Minority in Grünberg . This association has also set itself the task of making Bierbaum's work better known in his hometown. In particular, they focus on Bierbaum's activities as editor of the first collection of cabaret couplets. The first translations of the poems into Polish have been completed.



  • Frank Andert (Red.): Radebeul City Lexicon . Historical manual for the Loessnitz . Published by the Radebeul City Archives. 2nd, slightly changed edition. City archive, Radebeul 2006, ISBN 3-938460-05-9 .
  • Fritz Droop: Otto Julius Bierbaum, a German poet . Hesse & Becker, Leipzig 1912.
  • Karl Füssl: Otto Julius Bierbaum (June 28, 1865– February 1, 1910). Master of storytelling and forging. In: Alfons Schweiggert, Hannes S. Macher (Hrsg.): Authors in Bavaria. 20th century. Bayerland Verlag, Dachau 2004, p. 36 f.
  • Klaus Peter Muschol: Otto Julius Bierbaums dramatic works . Univ., Munich 1961.
  • Peter Muschol: Otto Julius Bierbaum poet and corps student. 1865 to 1910 . WJK-Verlag, Hilden 2010, ISBN 978-3-940891-38-9 .
  • Hans Schwerte:  Bierbaum, Otto Julius. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 231 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Thomas Raff: Ju and Gu - Otto Julius Bierbaum and his first wife Gusti Rathgeber - A search for traces in Diessen am Ammersee . APELLES Verlag, Starnberg 2019, ISBN 978-3-946375-08-1 .
  • Dushan Stankovich: Otto Julius Bierbaum - a work monograph . Lang, Bern / Frankfurt am Main 1971. (At the same time: Stuttgart, University, Department of Philosophy and Linguistics., Dissertation 1969).
  • Izabela Taraszczuk: Two ways of communication: Otto Julius Bierbaum and Georg Beuchelt. In: Marta Jadwiga Bąkiewicz (Ed.): On the middle Oder. A cultural landscape in the German-Polish border area . Paderborn 2016, ISBN 978-3-506-78288-5 , pp. 246-264.
  • Björn Weyand, Bernd Zegowitz (Hrsg.): Otto Julius Bierbaum - actor in the network of literary modernity. Quintus, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-947215-07-2 .
  • William H. Wilkening: Otto Julius Bierbaum - the tragedy of a poet; a biography. (= Stuttgart work on German studies. Volume 43). Heinz, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-88099-044-1 .
  • Holger Zinn: Apt description of student types. On the 100th anniversary of Otto Julius Bierbaum's death. In: Student Courier. Year 2010, issue 1, pp. 5–7.
  • Otto Julius Bierbaum. A contribution to the 100th anniversary of the death of the Grünberg-born poet and writer. published by the social-cultural society of the German minority in Grünberg. 2010.

Web links

Wikisource: Otto Julius Bierbaum  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Otto Julius Bierbaum  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Contrary to statements to the contrary, Bierbaum officially died in Dresden. This information was given to User: Jbergner by the Radebeul City Archives: Afterwards, on April 26, 2001, after researching the death register, the Dresden Document Office established that Bierbaum was last in Dresden at Bernhardstr. 7 and died there as a result of an illness. Bierbaum was then cremated in Chemnitz on February 5th because the Dresden crematorium was still under construction. On September 1, 1911, the transferred urn was laid to rest in the Munich forest cemetery.
    Why Michael Georg Conrad claimed that Bierbaum died in Kötzschenbroda, which was often rumored, cannot be understood and cannot be explained by the files. Even assumptions that Bierbaum had rented a room in Kötzschenbroda cannot be proven.
  2. According to GND
  3. Kösener Corpslisten 1930, 97/195
  4. Junghexenlied op.39 No. 2 (Klassika)
  5. quoted from the profiles of 1900 in: Judith Baumgartner, Bernd Wedemeyer-Kolwe (ed.): Aufbrüche, Seitenpfade, Abwege: Search movements and subcultures in the 20th century. Festschrift for Ulrich Linse. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2004, ISBN 3-8260-2883-X , p. 122.
  6. ^ Literature portal : Otto Julius Bierbaum.
  7. Brochure: Otto Julius Bierbaum. A contribution to the 100th anniversary of the death of the Grünberg-born poet and writer. Published by the Social-Cultural Society of the German Minority in Grünberg, 2010.
  8. See Modern Life. A collector's book of Munich modernism. With contributions by Otto Julius Bierbaum, Julius Brand, MG Conrad, Anna Croissant-Rust, Hans von Gumppenberg, Oskar Panizza, Ludwig Scharf, Georg Schaumberger, R. v. Seydlitz Ms. Wedekind. 1st row, Munich 1891.