Rolf Wilhelm Brednich

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Rolf Wilhelm Brednich (born February 8, 1935 in Worms ) is a German folklorist , song - and storyteller .


Between 1954 and 1960, Brednich studied folklore, German , history and Protestant theology at the universities of Tübingen and Mainz . In the last year of his studies he did his doctorate with Lutz Röhrich's work Folk Tales and Folk Beliefs from the Women of Fate . He is a member of the Christian student associations Tübingen Wingolf and Mainz Wingolf .

From 1963 to 1980 he was a leading employee of the German Folk Song Archive in Freiburg, and in 1964 he was editor of the yearbook for folk song research . From 1965 to 1974 he was chairman of the commission for song, music and dance research in the German Society for Folklore . From 1969 he taught at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau and completed his habilitation there in 1973 in folklore with the two-volume work Die Liedpublizistik in the leaflet of the 15th to 17th centuries .

In 1975 Brednich became editor of the Folklore Bibliography and from that year taught at the Freiburg Folklore Institute as an associate professor until 1981 when he was appointed to the chair of Folklore at the Georg-August University in Göttingen .

In 1982 he became editor-in-chief of the encyclopedia of fairy tales and co-editor of the magazine Fabula . Between 1983 and 1999 he was chairman of the Folklore Commission for Lower Saxony eV , from 1991 to 1999 also of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Volkskunde eV. In 2000 he became Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the Stout Center of Victoria University Wellington , New Zealand . Since 2005 he has been Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the School of Social and Cultural Studies at that university.

For the Institute for Scientific Film, today IWF Medien und Wissen GmbH , he shot several documentaries on folklore topics.

Activity as an author

As the first German folklorist, Brednich dealt with the narrative genre of modern legends . In addition, as an image researcher, he published the Göttingischer Ausruff of 1744 and, for the first time, an image edition of the Göttinger Stammbuchblätter .

His first collection of modern legends ( The Spider in the Yucca Palm ) emerged from a project seminar at the University of Göttingen. The book has currently been published in a print run of 680,000 copies and has been translated into several languages. In the following volumes, many of his readers became co-authors by making numerous oral stories accessible to him through letters to the editor.

Prizes and awards

Publications (selection)

  • Folk tales and popular beliefs of the women of fate. Helsinki 1964
  • The Ebermannstadt song manuscript. Kulmbach 1972
  • Handbook of the folk song. together with Lutz Röhrich u. Wolfgang Suppan, 2 volumes; Munich 1973/1975
  • Song journalism in the leaflet from the 15th to 17th centuries. 2 volumes Baden-Baden 1974–1975.
  • The Darfeld song manuscript 1546–1565. Munster 1976.
  • German comics. Freiburg / Breisgau 1979.
  • with Peter Assion : Building and Living in the German Southwest. 1984.
  • Pfaffenweiler stone. A contribution to research into stone carving on the Upper Rhine. Pfaffenweiler 1985
  • The Brothers Grimm in Göttingen 1829–1837. Goettingen 1986.
  • The spider in the yucca palm . Fabulous stories from today. Munich 1990
  • The mouse in the jumbo jet. New fabulous stories from today. Munich 1991
  • The chicken with the leg in plaster. Latest fabulous stories from today. Munich 1993
  • Fabulous stories from today. Munich 1994.
  • (Selection and editing): Songbook for Lower Saxony . Publisher: Niedersächsischer Heimatbund eV; Möseler Verlag, Wolfenbüttel 1994, ISBN 3-7877-1100-7
  • The rat on the straw. The very latest fabulous stories from today. Munich 1996
  • Monuments of friendship. Göttinger Stammbuchkupfer - Sources of cultural history. Niedernjesa 1997. ISBN 3980378314 .
  • The Hutterites. An alternative culture in the modern world. Freiburg i. Br. 1998
  • Folklore outline. Introduction to the research fields of European ethnology. Berlin 2001. ISBN 3-496-02705-3 .
  • New Zealand is fun. An annotated anthology of New Zealand humor. 2nd edition, MANA-Verlag, Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3-93403104-3 .
  • Tie and Anger. Historic village squares in Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Hesse and Franconia. Friedland 2009
  • Supine penguins. Brand new fabulous stories from today. Munich 2004
  • Narrative culture. Contributions to cultural studies narrative research. Berlin 2009
  • Golfing in New Zealand. A guide to the 80 most beautiful country courses. Berlin 2009
  • Germans in the South Seas. Eckartschriften Heft 206, Österreichische Landsmannschaft , Vienna 2012
  • Augustus Koch - Mapmaker. The life and work of Augustus Koch (1834–1901): artist, designer, draftsman and cartographer. With a chapter by Sascha Nolden. Wellington 2015. ISBN 978-1-927242-87-2 .
  • Tradition stories. Paradigmata of ethnographic cultural research . Berlin / Boston 2015. ISBN 978-3-11-042844-5 .

Films (selection)

  • Rolf Wilhelm Brednich, Franz Simon: Central Europe, Baden. The Altweibermühle in the Wolfach Carnival . IMF film E 2455. Göttingen 1978. Publication by RW Brednich. Publications on Scientific Films, Section Ethnology, Series 9, No. 3 / E 2455 (1979)
  • Rolf Wilhelm Brednich, Franz Simon: Central Europe, Baden. Wolfach Carnival . IMF film E 2801. Göttingen 1984. Publication by RW Brednich. Publications on Scientific Films, Section Ethnology, Series 14, No. 1 / E 2801 (1984).


  • Hannjost Lixfeld : Brednich, Rolf Wilhelm . In: Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales . Vol. 2 (1979) Col. 766-767.
  • Hans-Joachim Neubauer: Our brother Grimm. Rolf Wilhelm Brednich's legends from the present. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. September 30, 1996, No. 228, p. 15.
  • Carola Lipp (ed.): Media popular culture. Rolf Wilhelm Brednich on his 60th birthday in 1995 . Campus, Frankfurt / New York 1995.
  • Gudrun Schwibbe, Ira Spieker (eds.): The cock in the basket. The very latest stories about Rolf Wilhelm Brednich. Festschrift for the 60th birthday . Schmerse, Göttingen 1995.
  • Helge Gerndt: Rolf Wilhelm Brednich on his 60th birthday. In: Folklore in Lower Saxony. 12 (1995), pp. 42-45, 1 Portr.
  • Harm-Peer Zimmermann : “Real research” in the spirit of the Brothers Grimm. Laudation for Rolf Wilhelm Brednich on the occasion of the award of the Brothers Grimm Prize by the Philipps University of Marburg on June 3, 2005 . In: Journal of Folklore. 101 (2005), pp. 260-268.
  • Sabine Wienker-Piepho: Laudation for Rolf Wilhelm Brednich on the occasion of the presentation of the European Fairy Tale Prize by the Walter Kahn Fairy Tale Foundation in Nordheim / Main on March 20, 2010. In: Märchenspiegel. 21,2 (2010), pp. 9-15.
  • Lutz Röhrich: Rolf Wilhelm Brednich. In: Encounters. Memories of my colleagues and friends. Münster 2016, pp. 60–63.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Verband Alter Wingolfiten eV (Ed.): Vademecum Wingolfiticum , 17th edition, Lahr / Schwarzwald 1974, p. 101.