Richard Weissbach

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Richard Weissbach (born May 9, 1882 in Chemnitz , † April 24, 1950 in Heidelberg ) was a German publisher.


Richard Weissbach was born in Saxony , two years after his half-brother Ludwig. His father, the typesetter Carl Richard Weissbach from precipitation near Oberwiesenthal, had married his second wife Franziska Charlotte Maria Meyer in Constance in 1881 . Weissbach grew up in Karlsruhe from 1883, where his sister Emma was born at the end of the same year. He finished his school days here in 1903 with the Abitur at the humanistic grammar school.

He went to Heidelberg to study, where, apart from the winter semester 1904/05, which he spent in Munich , he attended lectures in philosophy, classical philology, archeology and history until 1907 without aiming for or attaining an academic degree.

According to Friedrich Burschell's impression , Weissbach wanted “to make Heidelberg something like a literary hub”. Initially, he was involved in the Hebbelverein , which was founded on a student initiative in 1902 , which created a diverse cultural offer with readings, lectures, theater performances and musical evenings and thus found a lot of approval among the Heidelberg population. He worked here as an occasional actor and once held the literary direction for two semesters. Because of the dissolution of this association in 1908 when its initiators moved away, Weissbach in turn founded an Academic Society for Drama in 1909 , in which he - as an employee of the two theater magazines Schaubühne , which was founded in Berlin by Siegfried Jacobsohn , and that in Düsseldorf by Louise Dumont and Hans Franck published the theater magazine Masken richly informed about the latest - through numerous invitations from contemporary authors for modern literature.

If Weissbach had not initiated it himself, he also edited at least the monthly supplement to the Heidelberger Zeitung Literatur und Wissenschaft , which was first published at the time , for which he also made his own contributions. It was discontinued at the end of 1911, perhaps because he had founded his own publishing house that year. He initially called it Alpha-Omega-Verlag , but changed its name to Richard Weissbach Verlag in 1912 .

In a remarkable parallel to this, a second publishing house was launched in Heidelberg at the same time, the Saturn-Verlag Hermann Meister , with which the latter even fulfilled the dream of his own magazine: the monthly Saturn published with his childhood friend Herbert Grossberger , according to Krischke “a of the most interesting magazines ”from the early days of literary expressionism .

The publisher of Richard Weissbach was its foundation into a major publishing house of the early literary still in Expressionism : appeared here, probably mediated by the energetic and versatile, coming from Berlin and living in Heidelberg since 1908 psychologist and psychiatrist Arthur Kronfeld , 1912, the first Expressionist poetry collection the Condor - after the provocative foreword by the editor Kurt Hiller "a collection of radical verses" - with contributions from mostly young Berlin poets from his circle of friends, which also Kronfeld since 1904 belonged and their mutual friend Ernst Blass , of the stir that the Kondor found that his own collection of poems, which was also published by Weissbach shortly thereafter, The Streets I Come Along Blown , surpassed it: it made the publishing house, which from 1914 published a second literary magazine in Heidelberg with the monthly Blass Die Argonauten , suddenly known.


  • Roland Krischke: Kurt Wildhagen 1871-1949. The sage from Heidelberg. HVA, Heidelberg 1997, ISBN 3-8253-7110-7 , p. 30ff, p. 193f.
  • Friedrich Burschell , Roland Krischke (eds.): Memories 1889-1919 (= publications of the City Archives Ludwigshafen am Rhein. Volume 23). Stadtarchiv Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Weinheim 1997, ISBN 3-924667-27-6 , p. 91ff. P. 230.
  • Thomas Hatry: In typography. Richard Weissbach and his publishing house. Summary of life and bibliography . Heidelberg 2016.