Robert Oettel

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Memorial plaque on the house where Robert Oettel was born

Karl Robert Oettel (born November 23, 1798 in Görlitz ; † March 14, 1884 , ibid) was a merchant, city councilor and founder of the German breed of poultry .


Robert Oettel came from a respected Görlitz merchant family. After finishing school he started a commercial apprenticeship in Dresden . Then Oettel was in Frankfurt / M. worked as a French correspondent for a trading company. There he got to know his wife, Katharina Anna Mertz, the daughter of a linen dealer - they married in 1824. This marriage resulted in three daughters and a son who died early. After the wedding he returned to Görlitz. After the death of his father in 1840, together with his brother Emil, he took over the father's business for fabrics and cloths , which had been founded in 1406 under the name "Handelshaus Gebrüder Oettel". For 44 years he was a city councilor in Görlitz.


Oettel was a merchant and only a chicken farmer out of hobby . However, he founded pedigree poultry breeding in Germany and imported Asian chicken breeds ( Cochin , Brahma ) for the first time . These Asian chickens were vigorous meat chickens of a great variety of shapes and colors, which also laid eggs in winter . That was a big step forward, as until then there were only light country fowls with seasonal laying activity. Oettel founded the "Hühnerologische Verein Görlitz", the first poultry breeding association in Germany. The term “chicken biological” was apparently chosen full of self-irony. In the third year after it was founded, the association had 600 members.


Memorial to Robert Oettel in Görlitz


The Dresden sculptor Reinhard Schnauder designed the memorial for Robert Oettel, which was erected in the grounds of the city of Görlitz. Today it stands in the circle of the Görlitz Oldtimer Park Railway . On June 15, 1901, after a ceremonial address by his grandson August Kienitz, the raw granite block with the large bronze relief image of Robert Oettel was unveiled.


His birthplace in Görlitz, at Untermarkt 2, has a long and eventful history that goes back to the 13th century. A memorial plaque in honor of Robert Oettel was put up to mark the 100th anniversary of the “Görlitz Chicken Society”, which he founded on October 18, 1852.

Grave slab

The grave site of Robert Oettel was unknown for a long time. After long research by the Görlitzer Verein, a new grave slab was erected on April 7, 2013 at the place where Oettels was buried. This was financed by the Association of German Racial Poultry Breeders , which sees its origins in the establishment of the 1st Chicken Society in Görlitz by Robert Oettel, and the Saxon Purebred Poultry Breeders Association. The city of Görlitz provided the place of the burial place. This monument is also looked after by the Görlitz henologists.


Oettel is the great, great, great grandfather of the politician Gregor Gysi .


  • The rabbit breeding or instruction with low costs and space saving through rational process to establish a profitable company. Edited from the French by M. Rédarès and, based on recent sources and experience, substantially redesigned by Robert Oettel, 4th edition, Voigt, Weimar 1873 OCLC 255299378
  • Practical chicken breeding: together with an appendix on the breeding of guinea fowl, turkey, pheasant, duck and goose. Edited by Robert Oettel, Remer, Görlitz 1863 OCLC 174528830
  • The chicken or poultry yard, both for use and for ornament. 6th edition, Weimar, Voigt 1879 OCLC 784089754

Literature about Oettel and his work

  • 100 years of German pedigree poultry breeding and the Görlitz hen association. Festschrift for the Robert Oettel celebration 1952 from October 10th to 13th in the town hall of Görlitz (Deutscher Bauernverlag, 1952, 24 pages)
  • Joachim Schille : Robert Oettel. On the 125th anniversary of the death of the chicken father and founder of the association. In: poultry newspaper. No. 7, 2009, pp. 58-59. ( online )
  • Joachim Schille: A wish has come true. Gravestone at the grave of Robert Oettel unveiled. In: poultry newspaper. No. 12, 2013, pp. 12-13.

Web links

Commons : Robert Oettel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Robert Oettel  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Robert Oettel ( Memento from December 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) in the Biographical Lexicon of Upper Lusatia
  2. Joachim Schille, in: Geflügelzeitung. No. 7, 2009, p. 58 and No. 12, 2013, p. 12
  3. Robert Oettel Monument (Chicken Monument) ( Memento of the original from July 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Joachim Schille: A wish has come true. Gravestone at the grave of Robert Oettel unveiled. In: poultry newspaper. No. 12, 2013, pp. 12-13.
  5. Gregor Gysi: Gysi tells about ancestor Oettel. In: Twitter. Gregor Gysi, accessed January 14, 2018 .