Reinhard Raffalt

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Reinhard Raffalt (born May 15, 1923 in Passau , † June 16, 1976 in Munich ) was a German writer and journalist .


In his parents' house the spirit of the old Danube monarchy was alive through his mother . The father Michael Raffalt, print shop owner and newspaper publisher, aroused the boy's interest in literature and history at an early age and taught him the need for a logical way of thinking.

After graduating from high school, Reinhard Raffalt studied church music in Leipzig , after 1945 he continued his studies with history, philosophy , art history and musicology . He gained his first experience as a journalist at the newly founded Passauer Neue Presse and received his doctorate in 1949 on the "problems of program music ". But then he moved to Rome . Raffalt was officially the "Vatican correspondent" for the "Passauer Neue Presse". But apart from the grandiose title he had nothing, neither money nor language skills or connections. As an organist at the German national church Santa Maria dell'Anima he kept afloat for the first time.

Raffalt was soon making broadcasts for Bavarian Radio . Thereupon the Munich Prestel publishing house offered him to write a book about Rome for the newly designed landscape book series. The “Concerto Romano” became a bestseller that accompanied many visitors to Rome on their way through the Eternal City.

He also received a teaching position for church music at the Collegium Germanicum . Suddenly his life in Rome had acquired a kind of autonomy: In 1954, Reinhard Raffalt was appointed director of the Biblioteca Germanica by the Foreign Office , the first German cultural institute to be re-established abroad after the war. Under Raffalt's direction, a center was established that represented German intellectual life in a way that had not been experienced before.

Bayerischer Rundfunk sent him to Asia , Africa and South America . In 1957 Raffalt founded the "Roman Bach Society". In the 1960s he gave up the official office and from then on lived as a freelance writer in Rome. He continued to make his broadcasts, unique in style and presentation, for the Bavarian Radio (portraits of Roman emperors: Nero , Augustus , Tiberius , Diocletian , Mark Aurel , Julian , Constantine , Domitian , Heliogabal ) and wrote descriptions of Roman basilicas: St. Peter , San Giovanni in Lateran , Santa Maria Maggiore , Santa Sabina , Santa Maria in Cosmedin , the audio image "Three Paths through India" as well as the essay "The Antichrist" and descriptions such as "Autostrada del Sole", " Teatro La Fenice ", "The Tiber", "Bella Figura". “A trip to Naples ... e parlare italiano” is an original language course in the form of a travel guide from the Brenner Pass to Naples. He wrote popular books for Prestel and Piper and became more and more a connoisseur of the "Vatican scene".

Under the pontificate of Paul VI. (from 1963) Raffalt became a sharp critic of the papal Ostpolitik. The ancient Rome as spiritual cradle of Europe, the Christian West and humanism , culture, history and music, the Catholic Church as heir and guardian of ancient tradition and the future of Europe were his central themes. In 1966 the comedy Das Gold von Bayern appeared , premiered at the Munich Residenztheater , about the machinations of the Munich investment fraudster Adele Spitzeder and the good faith of her victims.

His special view of things, the gift of recognizing large connections and building intellectual arcs, his charming and humorous nature make his books, programs and films unmistakable. At the same time, his work, Great Emperors of Rome in particular, reveals a conservative attitude; His image of women in particular sometimes seems a bit antiquated. In his presentation, the family relationships of the emperors - often portrayed as anecdotal - are clearly in the foreground, so there can be no question of a scientific analysis. Apparently, the author is also more aimed at an audience interested in popular science.

In Rome he met his first wife Anna Maria Sprovieri, who died on October 29, 1959 just a week after the wedding. Shortly before his death, Raffalt married his long-term partner and employee Nina Bertram, the daughter of a well-known building contractor family from Passau. Reinhard Raffalt died completely unexpectedly in 1976, only 18 hours after the wedding.



  • 1955 Concerto Romano . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1957 Three ways through India . Glock & Lutz Verlag, Nuremberg
  • 1957 The small and the large crossing . Süddeutscher Verlag, Munich
  • 1957 A trip to Naples… e parlare italiano . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1958 A Roman autumn . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1959 Fantasia Romana . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1961 How far is the East from us . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1962 The successor . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1964 The Pope in Jerusalem . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1966 Sinfonia vaticana . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1966 The gold of Bavaria . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1973 Where is the Vatican Heading? Piper-Verlag, Munich

Published posthumously:

  • 1977 Cantata Romana: Roman Churches . Prestel-Verlag, Munich, ISBN 3-7913-0404-6 .
  • 1977 Great Emperor of Rome . Piper-Verlag, Munich; as Piper-Taschenbuch 1986, ISBN 3-492-00799-6 .
  • 1978 Divertimento Romano . Prestel-Verlag, Munich
  • 1978 Musica eterna . Piper-Verlag, Munich
  • 1981 Occidental culture and Christianity, essays, Piper & Co. Verlag, Munich / Zurich, ISBN 3-492-02470-X .
  • 1990 The Antichrist . Lins-Verlag, Feldkirch; written in 1966.


Web links

Individual evidence

  2. (no longer available)