Troubled Peter

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The Struwwelpeter (Version from 1861)

Struwwelpeter (also Der Struwwelpeter ) is the title of a work by the Frankfurt doctor and psychiatrist Heinrich Hoffmann from 1844 and at the same time the title character of the book. The picture book , printed since 1845, contains several stories in which children often suffer drastic consequences after careless behavior, ranging from falling into water to death.

The Struwwelpeter is one of the most successful German children's books and has been translated into numerous languages. The many adaptations are called Struwwelpet (e) riaden .

The stories of the Struwwelpeter were accused of an authoritarian style of upbringing and black pedagogy in the 1970s and 80s . At the latest since the publications for the 200th Hoffmann anniversary in 2009, this idea - in relation to Hoffmann's historical context - has been revised. Hoffmann's time-related, warning-pedagogical approach is now highlighted.


Ur-Struwwelpeter (drawing by Heinrich Hoffmann)
Book cover of the first edition

In December 1844, the doctor Heinrich Hoffmann looked for a picture book as a Christmas present for his then three-year-old son Carl, but found nothing that seemed appropriate for a child of this age. Hoffmann wrote in the journal Die Gartenlaube in 1871 about the origins of Struwwelpeter :

“Around Christmas 1844, when my eldest son was three years old, I went into town to buy him a picture book as a festive present, as it seemed to suit the comprehension of the little human being at that age. But what did I find? Long stories or silly collections of pictures, moral stories that began and ended with admonishing rules, such as: 'The good child must be true'; or: 'Good children have to keep themselves clean' etc. "

Hoffmann finally came back with an empty copybook and decided to design a picture book for his son himself. The gift had the hoped-for effect and finally caused a sensation among Hoffmann's circle of friends:

“The booklet was bound and placed on the Christmas table. The effect on the boy who received the gift was as expected; but it was unexpected that some adult friends saw the booklet. I was asked from all sides to have it printed and to publish it. I initially refused; I hadn't even remotely thought of appearing as a children's writer and picture book. "

After all, it was the publisher friend Zacharias Löwenthal (later Carl-Friedrich Loening ) who was able to persuade Hoffmann to publish it. In 1845 the book appeared for the first time in print under the title Funny stories and funny pictures for children from 3–6 years , but since the 4th edition (1847) finally under the title Struwwelpeter . Since 1858 the book has been published with different representations. When it was first published, Hoffmann had used the pseudonym Reimerich Kinderlieb . The title figure did not get its current appearance until 1861.

In his memoirs , published posthumously in 1926, Hoffmann expressed his satisfaction with the international success of his Struwwelpeter:

“Yes, I can say with satisfaction that the rascal has conquered the world, quite peacefully, without bloodshed, and the bad boys have traveled further on earth than I have; I've heard that they were met in North and South America, yes at the Cape of Good Hope, in India and Australia. "


In the book, Hoffmann tells stories of children who are not good, who do not listen to their parents and who therefore suffer all kinds of cruel calamities: The "bitter Friederich" who torments animals is punished accordingly ("Then the dog bit him in that Leg, quite deep down into the blood ”); Paulinchen burns because she plays with matches; the children who mock the Moor are stuffed into a huge inkwell and colored even blacker; the flying Robert with his umbrella is carried away by the wind, never to be seen again, because he leaves the house in spite of the prohibition; Konrad's thumbs are cut off by the tailor because he is secretly suckling on it. In addition, there is also the story of the hare targeting the hunter with his own shotgun.

Names like Zappelphilipp , Soupenkaspar or Hanns Look-in-die-Luft have been incorporated into everyday German. Text passages like "'Konrad' said the mother's wife, 'I'll go out and you stay there'" are also common property today.

Troubled Peter

The cover story is the shortest, Peter doesn't want to let scissors and combs near him: “He didn't have his nails cut on both hands for almost a year. He didn't let his hair be combed. [...] Ugh! everyone calls out: Garst'ger Struwwelpeter ”. Hoffmann himself called his title character an "unlicked bear". A French caricature from 1842 and an English copperplate of a boy ("Woolly-Headed boy" from Knaresborough ) with uncombable hair from 1793 have been proposed as possible models for long-haired Peter .

The story of the bad Friederich

"Friederich, Friederich he was angry!" The bitterly angry Friederich torments animals as a joke until he comes across a big dog: "Then the dog bit his leg, / right deep, right into the blood." For contemporaries it was recognizable as an allusion to the Prussian King Friedrich-Wilhelm .

The very sad story with the lighter

The parents of the young Pauline go out and leave her at home with the two cats Minz and Maunz. When Paulinchen discovered matches that her parents had left lying on the table, she ignited them. Her hair catches on fire and Paulinchen burns down to her shoes. Minz and Maunz, the cats, act as “moral apostles” of the story: “Minz and Maunz, the cats, / Raise their paws. / They threaten with their paws: / 'Father has forbidden it!' ”When Paulinchen burned to death despite the warnings, the animals shed bitter tears. The matches from the story are called "lighter" in the title, because at that time the term was still used generally for utensils for making a fire, including matches . Since the matches, which were still relatively new at the time, made it much easier to make a fire, they could also be used by children, which created a new danger. The story is therefore also a reaction to a problem that has become topical due to new technical developments.

The story of the black boys

The story of the black boys

A Moor is mocked by three boys who are then dipped in black ink by “Nikolas” (actually Nicholas ) as a punishment: “Now see how black they are, much blacker than the Moorish child.” (Nikolas' picture with a beard is at the same time a joke against Tsar Nicholas I and the then known blackening of the text of the Russian censorship in imported books.) In the new edition published in 1859, Hoffmann replaced the arabesques in this story with stars of David , which may indicate a demand for tolerance towards Jews .

The story of the wild hunter

The story of the hunter who is caught by surprise by the hare and falls into the well does not take place in a childlike environment. It is not a story about a naughty child, but about an "upside-down world", a very popular motif in folk art. Here the authority, the hunter, is mocked and even defeated, apparently with impunity, the weaker, the hare triumphs.

The story of the thumbsucker

The thumbsucker, a boy named Konrad, always sucks his thumb, even though his mother ("Frau Mama") has forbidden him. She warns him about the tailor who will cut off his thumbs if he doesn't stop sucking. But Konrad doesn't listen to the warning. Finally the tailor comes and cuts off the boy's thumbs with an exaggeratedly drawn pair of scissors (almost as big as Konrad himself).

The story of the soup Kaspar

The soup kaspar

The soup kaspar is one of the most pointed chapters of the Struwwelpeter . In a few verses it tells the story of a boy who refuses to eat his soup and therefore starves to death within a few days .

Hoffmann cleverly combines two highly topical issues of the early 19th century:

On the one hand, he pioneered the topic of civic upbringing, which for the first time ever was noticed by broad sections of the population. Up until the 19th century, “upbringing” as character formation for people with the inherent problem of form was a matter of aristocratic classes. But even there, education was primarily training , to be provided by professional educators, even if it was geared towards broad character development.

In the middle class, on the other hand, up until the Biedermeier period, “education” was primarily vocational training. The first to propagate an independent bourgeois educational ideal in German literature was Goethe with Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship (1795/1796); He was influenced by Rousseau's Émile (1762) and the ideals of a natural upbringing, while Rousseau himself let his children grow up in an orphanage, an institution outside the family.

With his soup kaspar, Hoffmann brings the educational problem of the self-educating town house to an entertaining literary level.

The second topic that is pointedly dealt with is the sudden possibility of a behavior that is known as anorexia nervosa with the medical term . It was only through the agricultural revolutions of the 19th century that the issue of voluntary refusal to eat could gain any significance.

Until the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, hunger and famine occurred regularly. Refusing to eat could perhaps be an absurd idea in this environment, but never a real psychological aberration. The soup kaspar is probably the first anorectic in literature - and the Freudian background as an educational problem is also discussed at once. Hoffmann, who himself worked as a senior physician at the Frankfurt Institute for the Insane and Epileptic in the field of adolescent psychiatry , may have processed cases of illness from his own practice here.

Today it is considered likely that the story of the soup kaspar has a real background: At the Jakobifriedhof in Leoben , until it was partially leveled when the B 116 was expanded in 1984, the grave of a nine-year-old boy who died in 1834 was located. The grave was marked with Soup Kaspar . The cause of death can be found in the church records with the entry: “Refuses to eat”. It is not known whether Hoffmann ever saw the grave himself on his travels.

The story of the fidget Philipp

The Fidgety Philip, drawing by Heinrich Hoffmann, 1844

The story is about the boy Philipp, who cannot sit still at the table, rocks his chair and then falls on the floor together with the tablecloth and meal - "and his mother looks around the table in silence". More recently, the story has been seen in part as a description of a child with hyperactivity (see below ). There are three easily understandable sources from which Hoffmann came up with the idea for this story and a. has scooped:

  1. Research by the “Struwwelpeter Museum” had already shown years ago that the doctor Philipp Julius von Fabricius (a good friend of Hoffmann's), who died on January 22, 1911, had outed himself as the archetype of Fidget-Philipp.
    Interrupted meal, painting by Heinrich von Rustige, 1838
  2. Heinrich Hoffmann found a further stimulus for the representation of the "Fidgety Philipps" in the work of his painter friend Heinrich von Rustige . The young painter came to the Städelsche Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt in 1838 and in the same year created the oil painting Interrupted Meal , which now hangs in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe .
  3. In his memoirs , Hoffmann describes his voyage from Amsterdam back to Hamburg on May 24th, 1836: Stormy weather, "seasick [...] that I fell down the stairs in the cabin in my coat and now quickly crawled on my hands and feet into my bunk." . In front of my door, however, half a dozen sea-going journeymen dined and drank merrily, suddenly I heard falling and the splitting of broken pieces, one of the heroes suddenly fell sick, so that he fell from his chair and tore the tablecloth with everything on it to the floor . Now I was gleefully satisfied. "

The story of Hanns peep-in-the-air

In the story, Hanns Guck-in-die-Luft is a boy on the way to school, whose thoughts are elsewhere (represented by the fact that he has turned his gaze to the sky) and therefore first runs over a dog, then afterwards to the amusement of the fish with the school folder falls into the water. More recently, some psychologists have drawn parallels to attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) .

The story of the flying Robert

The flying Robert can't stand it in the room in wild weather, and the storm carries him away.

In a certain sense, this last story poetically and factually bundles the peculiarities of the whole book: (1) The child-oriented gaze of the author who, like her, likes to keep an eye on the particular fate of the things graphically and textually (including the portfolio of Hanns Peek-in -die-Luft), takes away the intrusive from the pedagogical teaching and stimulates the imagination. Here it is the special fate of the hat and the ball effect of the umbrella. (2) His upbringing problems do not have to be today's, neither do their solutions - but they are always realistic: Before industrialization, 'nature' was much more hostile to children; And the fact that children are careless and commit dangerous things because they cannot keep track of them has not changed.


The preface “If the children are good, the Christ Child will come to them” can usually be found on the back of the book.


The original manuscript of the book "Funny Stories and Drollige Bilder", which contains Struwwelpeter , is exhibited in the Germanic National Museum. The University Library of Frankfurt has a large collection on Struwwelpeter and Struwwelpeteriaden, u. a. the German editions of the Struwwelpeter book from the 1st edition in 1845 until today.

Relation to psychiatric illnesses

In more recent times the Struwwelpeter was discovered by clinical psychology and adolescent psychiatry . The descriptions of the Fidgety Philipps and partly also of Hanns Look-in-die-Luft are used as popular descriptions or symbols for varieties of attention disorders (ADHD) . The fidgety philipp shows an attention disorder with hyperactivity ("fidgety"), which is why this mental disorder has become known in German-speaking countries as the fidgety philipp syndrome . Hanns-Peek-in-die-Luft, on the other hand, is sometimes read as a dreamy counter-type, sometimes described as a dreamers , and therefore represents an attention disorder without hyperactivity , but with significantly reduced attention. In contrast, the bitterly angry Friederich can be seen as an example of a disorder of social behavior.


The critical discussion took place, among other things, in literary adaptations, for example in Der Struwwelpeter von heute published in 1914 . A picture book for the great by Fried Stern.

According to Karl Ernst Maier, Struwwelpeter can no longer be accepted “with the same degree of self-evident as a house and education book” as it was in previous generations. Critical objections were not directed against the right to education as such, but against the negative models of behavior that are presented, the “repressive penal pedagogy” and the “authoritarian- dogmatic unconditionality” with which ethical education is pursued.

The children's book author Gerald Jatzek argues that Hoffmann "wounded others while trying to heal himself".

The book is based in part on the intimidation stories with the moral : If you don't want to hear, you have to feel! “, Accused of black pedagogy , while others see the stories only as black humor and satire to clarify the facts.

Translations and recasting

Production of the television program Der Struwwelpeter at WDR in Cologne, 1953

Soon after its publication, Struwwelpeter was translated into many languages, and parodies and ornamental or politicizing changes appeared early and numerous. The topic polarized the reading public right from the start and almost provoked a critical discussion: In 1848, the Fliegende Blätter named the unadjusted long-haired man a revolutionary.

To date, more than 540 editions of the book have appeared, it was made into a film ( Der Struwwelpeter , BRD 1955), set to music, translated into many languages ​​and also appeared in Braille .

The classic English translation is by Mark Twain under the title Slovenly Peter .

Adaptations and Parodies (Struwwelpetriads)

The political troubled Peter

Illustration from Der Politische Struwwelpeter

Under the influence of the German Revolution of 1848/49 , the Düsseldorf painter Henry Ritter published the work The Political Struwwelpeter in 1849 . An attempt at Germany's unification; dedicated to the German Michel . Following the scheme of the original Struwwelpeter, he had created pictures and verses about political fictional figures that, in his view, opposed the unification of Germany.

The troubled girl

Based on the model of the Struwwelpeter, the Erfurt teacher Mühlfeld published in 1850 with drawings by Heinrich Kruspe " The Struwwelsuse, or funny stories and funny pictures for children from 3–7 years " (Verlag Friedrich Bartholomäus, Erfurt 1850, 20 pages). It begins with the verse: "Come here, all of you people, see this shaggy bear, come you sparrows, don't hitch, chop the dirt off your face, Johann, get the horse's comb, smooth your hair straight and tight, Liese, bring the scouring mop, scrub hands and feet fresh, comb and scrub, chop and rub until no stain remains on Susen ... " The 10 stories are headed:

  1. The troubled girl
  2. Look Kaspar
  3. Hänschen and Lieschen attack everything
  4. Fränzchen and Fritzchen
  5. The lustful little Karl
  6. Lick mouths
  7. The wild Ferdinand
  8. The Werfhans
  9. Schiel-Gottfried
  10. The bad guys

Military Troublemaker

Already in 1877 the book by Struwwelpeter was so well known (in 1876 it had its 100th edition) that an anonymous author with the abbreviation AH presented an adaptation for the military. It was published in Berlin with the subtitle Funny Stories and Droll Pictures by and for the military aged 10 to 100 years . The structure is largely based on the original:

  1. Introductory poem: "If recruits are good, the Christ Child will come to them ..."
  2. Schniegel-Peter: A neat lieutenant. "Everyone calls out: 'What a pleasant Schwerenöther'!"
  3. The story of the "black boys": Three recruits gossip about a Catholic priest and for the skewer sent to arrest, which she converted. "And what was the most wonderful thing, they went black so completely"
  4. The story of the evil second lieutenant Friederich: A young lieutenant harasses a recruit and is doused with water by his bride, which causes him to miss an appeal.
  5. The story of the wild hunter: a severely visually impaired lieutenant hunts rabbits without success.
  6. The story of the cigar lollipop: A little cadet smokes despite his mother's ban and vomits. "Bautz! Suddenly he starts to hurt, calls Ulrich; Oh dear! "
  7. The story of the fidget ensign: An ensign swings around on his chair during the officers' get-together.
  8. Lieutenant Hans look into the air: The lieutenant looks at the windows to see if girls are looking out and stumbles.
  9. The story of Gustav the lazy boy: curriculum vitae of a little ambitious boy who fails all exams and becomes a gatekeeper
  10. Lieutenant Robert the Debt Maker: Over indebted lieutenant has to say goodbye and emigrate to America.
  11. Ensign Willy: Also heavily indebted, he has to become a commercial agent.
  12. Captain von Streber: An over-eager captain loses his toupee during a storm wind exercise. "When the rain comes down, When the storm rushes through the field, Stay a soldier, like an officer, Nice at home in the quarter."
  13. Lieutenant Schlapphans: Untidy and unkempt officer is therefore fired and employed in a steel mill.
  14. Wilhelm the Almost Annual Volunteer : Lazy student fails the acceptance test for reserve officer candidates .

Stories 9 to 14 go beyond the scope of the original material and represent typical problems in everyday military life at the time. They offer the military expert interesting insights into life and values ​​at that time. The type of joke and the mutilation of word endings to get rhymes are strongly reminiscent of Wilhelm Busch .

Short gynecological upset Peter

Page from Short Gynecological Struwelpeter

A frivolous, macabre Struwwelpeter parody by Carl Heinrich Stratz , first published for the Leipzig Clinical Bird Shooting on July 29, 1882; printed by Verlag Bangel & Schmitt, Heidelberg, 1885. In it, the author presents possible reasons for malformations, stillbirths or death shortly after birth in a medically crude way in words and pictures. - The “Struwelpeter for like embryos and those that will become want ”, from the author of the“ fateful embryo ”, begins with the stanza:“ If the fetuses are good, | Become a mature child; | Only in the first cranial position | Then come to light. "


Struwelliese (as it is spelled on the title page) appeared on the market around 1890 by Julius Lütje with drawings by Franz Maddalena. It is one of the first imitations of the Struwwelpeter and should be a counterpart to the Struwwelpeter for girls; therefore it is also about allegedly “typically female” character defects such as curiosity or snacking.

“Struwwelliese” (as written in the book) is a wild girl who is “saved” by frolicking too wildly; from this one can see that the wish here was more the father of the author's thought than, as with Hoffmann, the observation of children.

While the original Struwwelpeter emerged in times of emerging bourgeois emancipation , the Struwweliese is a product of the Wilhelmine era .

As in Struwwelpeter , Lütje also warns of everyday dangers of the time, such as igniting and annoying dogs. Here, too, there are several independent protagonists such as “Zündel-Gretchen”, the curious “Klara”, “Naschlotte” and “Lottchen”, who annoyed the dog “Hector”.

The Struwwelliese

The Struwwelliese (first edition 1950) is a kind of imitation of the picture stories of the 19th century. The story is also set in verse, but the script and images are modern in style; the font is a sans serif font and the drawings correspond to contemporary comic drawings. The story is also modern in terms of content, warning of dangers such as electricity or car traffic .

In contrast to Struwwelpeter, the entire book tells only one short story about the Struwwelliese, which is also sick after several pranks in an accident and is thus converted to a good, decent girl.

The book was illustrated by Charly Greifoner and the texts were written by Cilly Schmitt-Teichmann , it was published by Schwager & Steinlein Verlag in Cologne.

The first edition, published by Pestalozzi Verlag in 1950, was shortened or defused by several sections in subsequent editions. The editions, which have remained unchanged since 1955, are missing four complete pages compared to the first edition from 1950 and two pages have been replaced by more child-friendly images.

The Egyptian upset Peter

Another parody is Der Ägyptische Struwwelpeter , which appeared anonymously in 1895. This work, located in ancient Egypt , was written by three Viennese siblings: Fritz, Richard and Magdalene Netolitzky, the mother of Elfriede Kuzmany (illustrations). The writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach was so enthusiastic about the template that she gave the book to print without the permission of the Frankfurt Struwwelpeter publishing house. After objections due to plagiarism, the entire edition with the exception of the free copies was withdrawn. The Egyptian Struwwelpeter is now officially published by the Struwwelpeter Museum in Frankfurt.

Look there he stands
Thoth , the upset Peter!
Dirt and ink stains
Cover body and dress;
Comb hair? - God forbid!
If he only sees the water
He screams murder and screams.
Ugh, you troubled Peter!

The stormy Peter of today

In 1914 Der Struwwelpeter von heute appeared. A picture book for the grown-ups by Fried Stern , who dealt critically with the original Struwwelpeter in a humorous way. “To Struwwelpeter and his author. | […] I just thought what seventy years ago | You learned from the children | may for the prosperity of our little ones | No longer appearing good in everything. "
An example:

Troubled Peter
The hair curled like a lion's mane,
sometimes more in long strands,
wears a painter and composer,
even the one who is neither . -
And if the old people wear their hair like that,
Why don't Peter fail?


Struwwelhitler Cover

The English parody Struwwelhitler - A Nazi Story Book by Doktor Schrecklichkeit by Robert and Philip Spence from 1941 was republished in 2005 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the collapse of the Hitler regime . The book contains the original English texts and the German translations.

Struwwelhitler was published by the illustrated English newspaper Daily Sketch during the Second World War and was a contribution to the Daily Sketch War Relief Fund , which supported British troops and the victims of the German air war . The two authors - well-known illustrators in their time and 68 and 70 years old when the parody was created - rewrote the well-known Struwwelpeter stories to the war opponent : So Paulinchen becomes The dreadful Story of Gretchen and the with the lighter Gun , Mussolini takes the place of Hanns Guck-in-die-Luft ( Little Musso Head-in-the-Air ); Hitler himself takes on the part of the fidgety philippine ( Fidgety Adolf ) and gets to hear: “ Uncle Sam said: Boy! Behave! Aunt Britannia looked grave. ”(Boy! Be careful ! Aunt Britannia looks gloomy.) Joseph Stalin takes the place of Nikolas and colors the Naziboys red (instead of black as in the original).

At the beginning of the First World War , an anti-German Struwwelpeter parody had already appeared in 1914 : Emperor Wilhelm II took the place of the “bad Friederich” and kills as “Swollen-Headed-William” (for the “wool-haired boy” compare also the copperplate Woolly -Headed Boy from Knareborough from 1793) innocent peace doves .

Strubbelpeter & Schnatterliese

From 1966 the children's magazine Bussi Bär was published by Kauka Verlag . One of the fixed points in this issue were the regular rhyming stories of the two red-haired children Strubbelpeter and Schnatterliese. The stories always begin with the words: "Strubbelpeter, Schnatterliese, the story is this: ..."

Struwwelpeter re-coiffed

The satirist Eckart Hachfeld and his son, the caricaturist Rainer Hachfeld , published a political Struwwelpeter parody in 1969 under the title Struwwelpeter newly coiffed . From Funny stories and droll pictures for children of 3-6 years of the original was annoying stories and dolle images for citizens to 100 years . The story of the evil Friederich reads as follows in this version:

The Ul report , the Ul report,
that was a bad villain!
In his blind rage he broke
the German unified
throne, plucked the federal eagle
and disrupted traffic in Berlin.
And just hear what happened next:
he whipped his friend Svoboda himself !

The book paints a picture of the Federal Republic of the late 1960s and in particular of the ruling grand coalition at the time of publication: further characters include Rainer Langhans as Struwwelpeter, Ludwig Erhard as Mohr, Willy Brandt , Herbert Wehner and Karl Schiller as bad boys with Kurt Georg Kiesinger as Nikolaus and Eugen Gerstenmaier as the wild hunter with Walter Scheel as the hare. Heinrich Lübke's threads are cut off instead of the thumbs, Franz Josef Strauss tears everything down as a fidgety philipp with his parents Rainer Barzel and Helmut Schmidt , Hermann Höcherl lies as Butter-Hermann under the Butterberg and Gerhard Schröder stumbles over as a look-in-the-air the HS 30 .

The anti-troubled Peter

In 1970 the anti-authoritarian counterpart of Struwwelpeter appeared in the Frankfurt publishing house Joseph Melzer , the anti-truwwelpeter by FK Waechter , who denounced social taboos and repressive educational measures.

Peter Struwwel

Loosely based on Heinrich Hoffmann. With the text by Petrina Stein and the pictures by Claude Lapointe , the children are encouraged to protest this time. Verlag Sauerländer , Aarau and Frankfurt am Main, 1972.

"Such a troubled Peter"

There was also a Struwwelpeter in the GDR (published in 1970 by the children's book publisher Berlin ), which also included more modern topics, such as television consumption (“The story of the television crazy Frank”). Compared to the original, the stories move in a somewhat more moderate framework. The thumbs are not cut off because of excessive thumb sucking, but simply run away - and the (now former) thumb sucker Sybille is left behind.

The texts of the book come from the satirist Hansgeorg Stengel , the pictures were painted by the caricaturist Karl Schrader . The stories in the book were partly read aloud and partly sung as songs on a long-playing record.

Shockheaded Peter

The Englishmen Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch performed a grotesquely macabre implementation of Struwwelpeter on stage with a lot of black humor with their “Junkopera” Shockheaded Peter . The music is by Martyn Jacques from the London band The Tiger Lillies . The piece premiered in 1998. In the version translated back into German by Andreas Marber , it has since been played on numerous stages in Germany and Austria.

The New Struwwelpeter

In September 2005 an exhibition catalog was published for the 160th anniversary of Struwwelpeter as part of the Munich Comic Festival . In addition to all the variants of the book, the originals of the new illustrations were presented in the exhibition . Ten illustrators and artists from all over Germany created new graphic interpretations of the original text. The edition of the "new" Struwwelpeter has been printed in a limited edition as an exhibition catalog and is only available from the festival management.

The beastly upset Peter

“Der Tierische Struwwelpeter” was published in 2007 by cbj Verlag , Munich. The children's lyricist Erwin Grosche modernized the text and Sara Balls illustrated characters from the animal kingdom.

The dialect Struwwelpeter in 25 German dialects

Hoffmann, Heinrich: Der Mundart-Struwwelpeter: funny stories and funny pictures, original version and transcriptions into 25 German dialects , ed. by Walter Sauer, Heidelberg 1996.

The Struwwelpaula - Struwwelige stories and hairy pictures

The book, published in 1994, contains cartoons and stories by Renate Alf , Barbara Henniger , HOGLI , Ute Krause , Cleo-Petra kurz and Marie Marcks .

The Middle High German "Strûbel-Pêter"

The Germanist Helmut Birkhan published his translation of the book into Middle High German in 2008 .


In 1949 Kurt Hessenberg wrote the “Struwwelpeter Cantata” for one to three-part children's choir, two flutes, piano, drums ad libitum and string orchestra.

In 1953 Cesar Bresgen created a scenic cantata “Der Struwwelpeter” for two-part children's choir, recorders, percussion instruments and piano.

In 1968 Siegfried Köhler composed eight songs based on texts by Hoffmann under the original title Der Struwwelpeter op. 31. In 1977 these songs appeared on record. In 1979 the publishing house Edition Peters , Leipzig published the collection in an expanded edition.

In 1978 the Grips Theater satirized Struwwelpeter, with the preamble "If the children are good, the Christ Child comes to them" and "The story of the flying Robert" and other songs were added.

2007 set to music Martin Bärenz the Struwwelpeter as children play with speaker and orchestra, in Ludwigshafen premiered in BASF Feierabendhaus. The texts were partly slightly adapted and modernized by Michael Quast in the spirit of anti-Struwwelpeter, partly retained true to the original.

The text The very sad story with the lighter was largely taken over by the German rock band Rammstein in the song Hilf Mir on the album Rosenrot with singer Till Lindemann as the first-person narrator .

The story of the thumbsucker was adapted by the Berlin rock band Knorkator both in text and in graphic form in the song Konrad on the album We Want Mohr and in the accompanying video. This was followed by two songs by the band on the album Ich bin der Boss , which take up the stories of the fidgety Philipp and the black boys and reproduce them in a slightly modified form. A music video was also produced for the story of Fidgety Philip , in which the musicians re-enact the story.

Modern comic adaptations

In 2009 the Tokyopop publishing house published a comic adaptation of Struwwelpeter on the occasion of Heinrich Hoffmann's 200th birthday. The comic book author David Füleki has Struwwelpeter return from a trip around the world and finds that there are no more naughty children because the government forbids mischief and nips any kind of rebellion in the bud. Together with his troublemaker colleagues, Struwwelpeter decides to take action against the government.

In addition, David Füleki published Struwwelpeter in 2009 : The Great Book of Troublemakers (also at Tokyopop) - a version of Hoffmann's original work illustrated in a modern comic style. The book is taken up in Struwwelpeter: The Return .

The adaptation of ATAK (pictures) and Fil (verse), which was also published in 2009 by Kein & Aber- Verlag, emphasizes that it is “not a parody, not an anti-authoritarian hippie mess”, but “one in words and pictures of the spirit of the original penetrated cover version ”.

The rhyming texts by Wilfried von Bredow and the illustrations by Anke Kuhl in the picture book Lola rast and other terrible stories are formally based on Hoffmann's original, but address the "contemporary bad habits" of children (carelessness in traffic, excessive television consumption, chaos in the children's room ). As with Hoffmann, the seven picture stories end “terribly”, drastically and bizarre.


In 2013, Der Cyber-Peter was published - and other stories from the modern world not just for children by Klaus Günterberg. The Hanns-look-in-the-air becomes a Hanns-look-at-the-screen .

Family guy

In the eighth season of the American cartoon series Family Guy (episode: Business Guy ), the story of the thumbsucker was parodied in the form of a cutscene typical of the series.

Struwwelpeter in shaking rhymes

In 2010 'Der Struwwelpeter' was re-composed by Harald Weinkum in shaking rhymes .

Struwwelpeter-Park Bad Tabarz

From 1884 to 1894 Heinrich Hoffmann spent his summer vacation in Tabarz in the Thuringian Forest . On this occasion, a Struwwelpeter Park with the carved Hoffmann figures was built in Bad Tabarz in 1994 .

Dr. Böhmermann's Struwwelpeter

On June 6, 2018, ZDF showed a version of some stories that had been interpreted in a modern way by Jan Böhmermann and the team from Neo Magazin Royale and brought into the present.


To mark the book's 175th birthday, a special exhibition in the Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen was dedicated to the cultural history of the material from September 21, 2019 to January 12, 2020.


  • Struwwelpeter or funny stories and funny pictures . Diogenes, Zurich 2. A. 2009, ISBN 978-3-257-01115-9 .
  • Der Struwwelpeter in Latin (Petrus Hirsutus vel fabulae iocosae lepidis imagunculis auctae), Latin adaptation by Peter Wiesmann, Philipp Reclam jun. ( UB 9355), Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-15-009355-4 .
  • Petrulus Hirrutus (Sive fabulae lepidae et picturae iocosae quas invenit ac depinxit Henricus Hoffmann Doctor Medicinae). Latin adaptation by Eduard Bornemann , redrawn by Fritz Kredel . Verlag Rütten & Loening , Frankfurt 1956.



  • Struwwelpeter's repentance and conversion. Brought to all children for pleasure and instruction in picture and rhyme . Thienemann, Stuttgart 1851, digitized .
  • F. Hoffmann: The mummelsack. A moral mirror of youth. For the good and good of the children's world . Kießling, Berlin around 1875, digitized version (similar work).
  • Moritz von Reymond: New time and argument-troubled Peter. A picture book for young saviors of society. The friends of prudent step backwards . Trüb, Zurich & Leipzig 1881 digitized .
  • The Egyptian upset Peter . Sinemis (reprint from Vienna 1895), Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-921345-01-4 .
  • Ferdinand Goebel: Little Struwwelpeter . Düms, Wesel 1898, digitized .
  • Fried Stern: The troubled Peter of today. A picture book for the grown-ups . Prestel, Frankfurt am Main 1914.
  • Helmut Seitz: Struwwelpetra . Esslingen, Schreiber, approx. 1970 (Junior international).
  • Robert Spence, Philip Spence: Struwwelhitler. A Nazi Story Book by Dr. Awfulness. German-English text. With a foreword by Joachim Fest. Authors' House Verlag, Berlin 2005 (1941), ISBN 978-3-86671-014-6 .
  • Robert Collin-Pyper: Schicklgrüber. Illustrated by Margaret Stavridi. Calcutta 1943. In the series “Reprints of Struwwelpetriaden, edited by Dr. Walter Sauer ”newly published by Digital Printing Service Andernach 2000, ISBN 3-934547-54-0 .
  • Hansgeorg Stengel, Karl Schrader: Such a troubled Peter. Funny stories and funny pictures for children from 3 to 6 years . Illustrated by Karl Schrader. KinderbuchVerlag, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-358-01340-5 .
  • Heinrich Hoffmann: Dä Struwlbeda . In dä Nämbercha Mundoard - freely transferred by Alfred Raab. Edited by GH Herzog and Alfred Raab, 2nd, verb. Edition Sinemis, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-921345-06-5 .
  • Heinrich Hoffmann, Rainer Schepper: De Struwwelpeter in the Münsterländer Platt . Landwirtschaftsverlag, Münster 2002, ISBN 3-921345-07-3 .
  • Julius Lütje, Franz Maddalena: The Struwwelliese . Esslinger Verlag JF Schreiber, Esslingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-480-22769-3 , reprint of the 1890 edition.
  • Heinz Grundel: Der Struwwelköter, Funny stories and funny pictures for dogs from 1 to 12 years, Kynos , Nerdlen / Daun 2008, ISBN 978-3-938071-58-8 .
  • David Füleki: Struwwelpeter: The great book of troublemakers . Tokyopop, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86719-653-6 .
  • David Füleki: Struwwelpeter: The return . Tokyopop, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86719-652-9 .
  • Fil and ATAK : Der Struwwelpeter: Funny stories and funny pictures freely based on Heinrich Hoffmann , Kein & Aber, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-0369-5260-4 .
  • Wilfried von Bredow (text), Anke Kuhl (illustrations): Lola rast and other terrible stories . Klett children's book, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-941411-01-2 .
  • Jürgen Lehrich: Der Punker Peter Wagner-Verlag, Gelnhausen, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86279-167-5 .
  • Miguel Angel Silva-Höllger: The Burgerpaul . grafikdesign-silva, Berlin, first edition 2007, 4th edition 2013, ISBN 978-3-00-043343-6 .
  • Klaus Günterberg: Cyber-Peter and other stories from the modern world, not just for children . Kern, Bayreuth 2013, ISBN 978-3-944224-75-6 .
  • Lammchen Kralle (compilation), Alex Fichtner (additional illustrations): The Struwwelpeter of the century or terribly true stories and historical images from satirical Struwwelpeter editions of the 20th century. Autorhaus-Verlag Plinke, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-932909-98-4 .
  • Eleonore Weber: Wombats, grass and trauma retelling from the perspective and in the language of today's youth. With illustrations by Eleonore Weber. Edition fabrik.transit, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-9503891-4-2
  • Jörg-Michael Günther: The Struwwelpeter case. Legal opinion on activities of children as a warning for parents and educators who are responsible for supervision . Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt 1989. ISBN 3-8218-2185-X (Humorous appraisal of the stories from the perspective of criminal and civil law).
  • Troubled Peter. Children's opera by Kaspar Roeseling, premiered in Regensburg, Feuchtinger & Gleichauf music publisher, 1951.

Secondary literature

  • Wolfgang Kohlweyer: Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann and his Struwwelpeter . Memories of the doctor and children's book author Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann and on the 150th birthday of his Struwwelpeter. Self-published, Landshut 1994.
  • Reiner Rühle: "Bad children". Annotated bibliography of Struwwelpetriaden and Max-und-Moritziaden with biographical data on authors and illustrators . Wenner, Osnabrück Volume 1: 1999, ISBN 3-87898-357-3 ; Volume 2: 2019 ISBN 978-3-87898-422-1
  • Ursula Peters: Funny stories and funny pictures. Heinrich Hoffmann's original manuscript of "Struwwelpeter" . In: month indicator. Museums and exhibitions in Nuremberg, August 2003, p. 2f ( PDF ( Memento from June 29, 2004 in the Internet Archive )).
  • Walter Sauer: Struwwelpeter and his creator Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann. Bibliography of secondary literature . Inkfaß edition, Neckarsteinach 2003, ISBN 3-9808205-5-6 ( review, PDF ).
  • Detlev Gohrbandt: The educational and the political. Changes in the story of Soup Kaspar in English Struwwelpeter satires. In: Dietrich Grünewald (ed.): Structure and history of comics. Contributions to comic research. Christian A. Bachmann Verlag, Bochum 2010, ISBN 978-3-941030-04-6 , pp. 179-198.
  • Ulrich Wiedmann: On the anamnesis of Struwwelpeter. A new attempt to clarify the origin of the old child horror. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 13, 1995, pp. 515-520.

University publications

  • Franziska Hirlinger-Fuchs: Picture books and their realities: Norms, values ​​and role models in German-language picture books from 1844 - 1996, from Struwwelpeter to ogre-eater , with a foreword by Heinz Stefan Herzka , Carl Auer Systems, Heidelberg 2001, ISBN 3-89670 -305-6 (Dissertation University of Zurich 1999, 250 pages, 21 cm).
  • Marie-Luise Könneker: D [octo] r Heinrich Hoffmann's “Struwwelpeter”. Investigation of the development and functional history of a bourgeois picture book (= Metzler study edition ). Metzler, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-476-00340-X (Dissertation Technical University Berlin, Faculty 01 - Communication and History, 1975, 340 pages with 154 illustrations, 23 cm).

Web links

Wikisource: Struwwelpeter  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Struwwelpeter  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. "Struwwelhitler", "Truffle Eater" and the mad doctor. The "Hoffmannia" of the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library . Press release of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main dated April 28, 2009, accessed on the portal on August 22, 2013
  2. Some documents accessible online on the person and impact of Heinrich Hoffmann
  3. In: Struwwelpeter-Hoffmann tells from his life. Englert et al. Schlosser, Frankfurt a. M. 1926, ed. by Eduard Hessenberg. Quoted from: 170 years of “Der Struwwelpeter” - facets of a bestseller (subtitles international success ). In: Description of the exhibition of the same name at the Austrian Museum of Society and Economy in Vienna , February to June 2015. Accessed on June 9, 2015.
  4. Heinrich Hoffmann: Memoirs. Edited by Georg H. Herzog and Helmut Siefert. Frankfurt am Main 1985, p. 234.
  5. Ulrich Wiedmann: On the anamnesis of Struwwelpeter. A new attempt to clarify the origin of the old child horror. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 13, 1995, pp. 515-520.
  6. Gina Weinkauff, Gabriele von Glasenapp : Children's and youth literature . 3. Edition. Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2018, ISBN 978-3-8252-4839-0 , p. 171 .
  7. ^ Struwwelpeter Collection. In: October 26, 2012, accessed January 10, 2015 .
  8. Eduard Seidler: "Fidgety Philipp" and ADHD: From bad habits to illness . In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt . tape 101 , no. 5 . Deutscher Ärzte-Verlag , January 30, 2004, p. A-239 / B-207 / C-199 .
  9. ^ Nani Kail: Disorders of Social Conduct in Childhood and Adolescence . 2007.
  10. ^ Karl Ernst Maier: Youth Literature. Forms, content, pedagogical meaning. 10th revised edition. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 1993, ISBN 3-7815-0750-5 , p. 45.
  11. Gerald Jatzek: "" "Konrad, spoke the woman mom" - Wiener Zeitung Online. In: June 12, 2009, accessed January 10, 2015 .
  12. Jens Jessen: Children's book: "Struwwelpeter" . In: The time . June 10, 2009, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed October 17, 2019]).
  13. Who doesn't want to hear. Retrieved October 17, 2019 .
  14. Presentation of the first sheet of The Political Struwwelpeter in the portal of the German Historical Museum , accessed on August 22, 2013
  15. Mühlfeld (teacher.): Die Struwwelsuse, or funny stories and funny pictures for children from 3–7 years. Friedrich Bartholomäus, 1850 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  16. ^ Carl Heinrich Stratz: Kurzer Gynaekologischer Struwelpeter: Compiled according to the latest research; with twelve illustrations printed in the text; first published for the Leipzig Clinical Bird Shooting on July 29, 1882 . Bangel & Schmitt, Heidelberg 1884 ( digitized page 7 (5) - Introduction: Struwelpeter for like embryos and those who want to become one. From the author of the "fatal embryo" [accessed on September 20, 2018]).
  17. Struwelliese Digitalisat Braunschweig
  18. Gerald Wurm: Struwwelliese, The. In: September 2, 2014, accessed January 10, 2015 .
  19. James Stevens Cox: An Illustrated Dictionary of Hairdressing and Wigmaking. London 1984, p. 266.
  20. ^ Alf, Renate et al .: Die Struwwelpaula. Troubled stories and hairy pictures . Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1994, ISBN 978-3-352-00513-8 .
  21. Helmut Birkhan: The Strûbel-Pêter. Ink bottle edition, Neckarsteinach 2008, ISBN 978-3-937467-53-5 .
  22. DNB 1003803431
  23. DNB 353410756
  24. DNB 354291122
  25. Knorkator - Konrad on YouTube , accessed October 1, 2019.
  26. I'm the boss - KNORKATOR. Retrieved September 27, 2019 (German).
  27. Knorkator - The Story of Fidgety Philipp on YouTube , accessed on October 1, 2019.
  28. Tobias Rüther: Paulinchen alone at home. In: . August 8, 2009, accessed January 10, 2015 .
  29. The Cyber-Peter. In: Retrieved January 10, 2015 .
  30. ^ Family Guy: "Business Guy" Review - IGN. In: December 14, 2009, accessed January 10, 2015 .
  31. Harald Weinkum: The Struwwelpeter in Schüttelreimen. Edition Va Bene, Klosterneuburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-85167-239-8
  32. ^ ZDF page on the broadcast. Retrieved June 11, 2018 .
  33. Review | Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  34. ^ German biographical encyclopedia: (DBE) in the Google book search