Peter Dörfler

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Memorial stone at the St. Marien-Ludwig-Ferdinand-Heim in Munich

Peter Dörfler (born April 29, 1878 in Untergermaringen , † November 10, 1955 in Munich ) was a German Catholic priest , educator and poet .


Peter Dörfler's ancestors had been farmers for generations. His father was also a farmer and at the same time mayor of Untergermaringen . The first villager had settled in the area around Kaufbeuren that had been depopulated by war and plague after the Thirty Years' War . He had moved out of Weißenbach in the Ahrntal . Already in early childhood Peter villagers came with his family to the far from Waal located Waalhaupten , where his father had bought a larger farm. Following the wishes of his parents, he became a priest . He graduated from the Benedictine high school near St. Stephan in Augsburg . According to his own account, his greatest gain at that time was his friendship with the highly talented classmate Max Zwiebel from Thannhausen. He later dedicated the work The Bride of Alexius to his friend, who died early .

After graduating from high school, he moved to the Georgianum seminary in Munich and studied Catholic theology . As a student he became an active member of the Catholic student association K.St.V. Ottonia Munich in the KV . He was appointed prefect general of the Georgianum. During this time he made friends with his future fellow priest and poet Joseph Bernhart .

After being ordained a priest in 1903, he became a chaplain, first in Steingaden , then in Lindenberg in the Allgäu . During this time he already dealt intensively with literature and experimented in this area. His doubts about his own literary talent and his suitability as a priest led him to seek permission from his bishop to study for two years at the Campo Santo Teutonico in Rome. There he studied Christian archeology and in 1909 was awarded a doctorate in Munich with the subject “The beginnings of the veneration of saints”. theol. PhD. He tried to combat the ongoing literary ambitions and doubts about his suitability as a priest with the word Si non es vocatus, fac te vocatum ( if you are not called, make yourself called ) , which is probably wrongly ascribed to Augustine . This unresolved conflict repeatedly caused serious illnesses in Peter Dörfler. After his return from Rome at the end of 1907 he was transferred to Landsberg am Lech as city chaplain and as a religion teacher . There he stayed again from 1911 to 1915 as a hospital priest and religion teacher .

Memorial plaque for Peter Dörfler in the Church of St. Michael, Waalhaupten

His mother's death in 1909 shook him badly. He immediately began with a literary reworking of his childhood and youth memories, poetically honoring his mother's memory. Dörfler wrote the work for the most part during his benefit in Mindelheim , his next professional station. There, as a student of the budding poet Arthur Maximilian Miller, the encounter with Peter Dörfler was a lasting experience. Later a lively friendship developed between Dörfler and the twenty-three-year-old younger, which benefited Miller's work above all. Dörfler finally found Herder Verlag in 1912 for this work. “When mother was still alive” immediately became a great success and Dörfler was accepted into the circle of leading writers. Among other things, he became a literary employee at the Hochland , the leading Catholic literary magazine. New works by Dörfler, scientific and novels , appeared almost annually , the genre that had become the preferred literary genre in the 19th century . Dörfler also owed his contemporary popularity as a writer and poet to his novels . Some of the historical novels, for example Judith Finsterwalderin , Der unjust Heller , Die Wessobrunner and Der Sohn des Malefizschenk , take place in the village's familiar home on the Lechrain. As a result, to his annoyance, he was often counted among the local poets .

In 1915 he was appointed head of the St. Marien-Ludwig-Ferdinand-Heim in Munich, which, according to Dörfler's intention, was to offer uprooted children a replacement home. At times, according to Bernhart, “three-half hundred” children (i.e. 250) were cared for there. He stayed there until his death.

In the course of the National Socialist coordination of the Prussian Academy of the Arts and the removal of 40 Jewish academy members who were unpopular for other reasons, Dörfler was allowed to take one of the vacancies on May 5, 1933. In October 1933 he was one of 88 German writers who signed the pledge of loyal allegiance to Adolf Hitler . He later came into conflict with the Third Reich and was banned from writing and publishing. In 1947 Dörfler received the literary prize of the state capital Munich . In 1948 he was immediately accepted into the newly founded Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts . In 1948 Pope Pius XII honored . honored priests and educators with the award of the title of Papal Prelate . In 1953, on his 75th birthday, he was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the state. Since 1950 he was a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry .

Peter Dörfler's tomb in Munich's Winthir cemetery

Dörfler retired at the age of 75, but kept his poets' room in the home. It also became his death room. Whoever enters the house will find a plaque inside with the following wording: “ This is where Peter Dörfler (1878 to 1955) lived and worked, suffered and died, the priest, poet and educator, father and guardian of the beloved house for forty years Benefactors also in the future. Dilige et quod vis fac. “He is called a benefactor here because he set up a foundation for the benefit of the home.

Peter Dörfler was buried in the Winthir cemetery in Munich next to his long-term place of work. Friends had a well built opposite the grave. It is called Peter-Dörfler-Brünnlein or Bettelbrünnlein after a group of figures of the sculptor, poet and friend of Dörfler's, Ruth Schaumann .


Figures of the Peter-Dörfler-Fountain

On his 50th birthday, a number of well-known personalities from literature and science honored him with a festschrift.

Some street names, a relief portrait of the poet at his parents' house, a memorial plaque in the Waalhaupten Church of St. Michael, the main character in the popular legend of the wandering village church, which Villagers immortalized in his first work based on a story told by his mother, and a memorial stone in Untergermaringen on the site of his Birthplace are a visible expression of Dörfler's appreciation in his Allgäu homeland. In addition, several schools were named after Peter Dörfler, u. a. in Kaufbeuren.


(after Friedrich Braig)

  • 1905 The Children's Crusade (historical drama)
  • 1910 Saint Elisabeth (printed lecture)
  • 1911 A heart for children (poems and prologues to living images)
  • 1912 Herder was still alive as a mother (from a childhood)
  • 1913 The beginning of the veneration of saints according to the Roman inscriptions and sculptures (dissertation) Lentner
  • 1913 La Perniziosa (novel - from 2nd edition 1919 under the title: Die Verderberin) Kösel
  • 1915 The World War in the Swabian Kingdom of Heaven (novel) Kösel,
  • 1915 The curly Ulrich (stories) Hausen,
  • 1916 Awakened Stones (Stories) Kösel,
  • 1916 Judith Finsterwalderin (novel, revised 1955) Kösel
  • 1916 twilight hours (stories) Herder,
  • 1917 Uncle Christoph's stories (short stories) Hausen,
  • 1917 The horse boy (story) Kösel,
  • 1918 The secret of the fish (story) Herder / Christophorusverlag
  • 1920 The riddle solver (stories) Herder,
  • 1920 New Gods (novel), 2 volumes (from 1925 1 volume) Kösel,
  • 1921 Silent Sin (novel) Kösel,
  • 1922 The unjust Heller (novel) Kösel
  • 1922 Regine and Mang (novella) Deutsche Verlagsanstalt Stuttgart,
  • 1922/25 publisher of the Bavarian People's and House Calendar, 1. – 4. vintage
  • 1923 The papal trip through Swabia (Roman) Kösel,
  • 1924 Siegfried in the Allgäu. An Alemannic fairy tale. Josef Kösel & Friedrich Pustet , Munich / Kempten (historical legend, see also 1950)
  • 1925/26 publisher of the Regensburg Marienkalender
  • 1926 Lechrain (Bavaria issue No. 3) Oldenbourg,
  • 1926 The bride of Alexius (novella) Kösel,
  • 1927 Am Eichentisch (stories) Kösel, (see also 1931)
  • 1927/28 The Shame of the Cross (novel, 2 vols.) Kösel, s. also 1950.
  • 1928 An almanac: Peter Dörfler on his 50th birthday, Kösel & Pustet
  • 1929 Adventure of Peter Farde (novel - from the 4th improved edition. S also 1953 under the title: Der adventurer against will)
  • 1930 The young Don Bosco (biography) Herder
  • 1930 Saint Elizabeth (biography) Ars Sacra
  • 1930 Apollonia trilogy: 1. The lamp of the foolish virgin 2. Apollonia's summer 3. About the coming generation. (Trilogy of novels) G. Grote
  • 1931 Der Bubenkönig (biography): Don Bosco 10th edition. Herder
  • 1931 Des father's hands (stories, expanded new edition of: Am Eichentisch) Kösel, revised 1956.
  • 1933 Jacobean atonement. 2 stories from the mountains . Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1933 - Insel-Bücherei 431
  • 1933 Of custom and language (essays) Gerh. Stalling,
  • 1934 holiday stories in the annual ring; Book Community Bonn,
  • 1934–1936 Allgäu trilogy (novels, in detail: 1. The Necessary 2. The Zwingherr 3. The Alpkönig), G. Grote
  • 1936 The Face in the Fog (story) Alois is looking for his birth father. From 1953 with an afterword by Joseph Bernhart. Speech on the occasion of Peter Dörfler's 70th birthday, Reclam-Taschenbuch Nr. 7313
  • 1938 Resurrection (novel), G. Grote - from 1954: Herder
  • 1941 Albertus Magnus (biography), Schnell and Steiner,
  • 1941 Die Wessobrunner (novel), G. Grote - from 1957 Kösel
  • 1942 Zusann und der Trumpeter (story, with 17 wood engravings by Paul Dietrich), Reclam paperback no.7505,
  • 1943 The good marriage (story), G. Grote
  • 1944 The old home (story), Sicker,
  • 1946 Das Osterlamm (story), Schnell and Steiner
  • 1947 Severin , the seer of Norikum (poetry and history), Herder
  • 1947 The son of Malefizschenk (Roman), Kösel
  • 1948 The encounter (story about Johann Michael Sailer ), Karl Alber
  • 1948 Der Urmeier (gender novel), Karl Alber
  • 1950 Heraklius (Roman) (Complete revision and compression of the historical novel “The Shame of the Cross”), Kösel
  • 1950 The Wies - with spatial images; 0. Schönstein
  • 1950 Minne dem Heilige Mang (historical legend - revision "Siegfried im Allgäu"), Kösel
  • 1951 Vinzenz von Paul (biography), Kösel
  • 1952 Philipp Neri (biography), Kösel
  • 1953 Nikolaus von Flüe (biography), Kösel
  • 1953 Reluctant adventure (novel - revised adventure of Peter Farde), Herder
  • 1953 The journeymen of the maid Michline ([Rom-] Roman), Herder
  • 1954 The efficient person (stories - revision and expansion: twilight hours), Herder
  • 1955 St. Ulrich , the great bishop and imperial prince (biography) Winfried-Werk
  • 1956 Hubertus (posthumously) ([Christmas] story)
  • o. J. Bucklige Welt (ten stories with an afterword about the poet), Fredebeul & Koenen Verlag Essen

Seals for the amateur stage:

  • The children's crusade
  • At the sanctuary
  • In the famine year
  • Eternal Christmas
  • Once upon a time there was a war
  • 's Christkindl
  • I want to give the child
  • St. Ulrich game (The monastery student of St. Gallen)


Web links

Commons : Peter Dörfler  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Joseph Bernhart. Peter Dörfler on his 70th birthday. In: Peter Dörfler: The face in the fog , Reclam p. No. 7313, 1953, epilogue, pp. 67–72, here: p. 68.
  2. Arthur Maximilian Miller, The house of my childhood , Memmingen 1972, pp. 199 f., Ders., Peter Dörfler . In: The previous ones. Peter Dörfler and Joseph Bernhart. Encounters under the sign of friendship , Memmingen 1973, pp. 7–62.
  3. ^ Anton Lichtenstern: Landscape and history of the Lechrain in the work of Peter Dörfler . In: Landsberger Geschichtsblätter 2003, pp. 55–71.
  4. Blunck, Hans Friedrich on, accessed on June 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Ernst Klee : The culture lexicon for the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-039326-5 , p. 117.
  6. Peter Dörfler on his 50th birthday . An almanac with original contributions by Professor Karl Muth / u. a., Munich 1928.
  7. ^ Peter Dörfler , special print from Voices of the Time, Volume 160 - Issue 7 - April 1957.