Wolf Schneider

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Wolf Schneider (2010)

Wolf Dietrich Schneider (born May 7, 1925 in Erfurt ) is a German journalist , non-fiction author and language critic .


Wolf Schneider is a son of the lawyer and politician Bruno Schneider . He grew up in Berlin . After graduating from high school, he did his military service in the Air Force. After the end of the war he first worked as an interpreter for the US Army, then from 1947 for the Münchner Neue Zeitung , a newspaper of the US military government; initially as a volunteer , then as an editor . From 1950 onwards he was a correspondent for the AP news agency for six years , later head of the newsroom and Washington correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung . During this time he worked as a lecturer for the Werner Friedmann Institute (later: German School of Journalism ).

In 1966 Schneider moved to Stern magazine , where he was first on the job and from 1969 head of the publishing house. In 1971 he moved to Axel Springer AG to develop an "anti-mirror". The project was stopped and in 1973 he became editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Die Welt , then Hamburg. Because Schneider published a critical commentary on the Chilean dictator Pinochet , he aroused Axel Springer's displeasure and was replaced after just over a year. But Schneider stayed with Springer "for special use". In this function, he defended the position of the Axel Springer Verlag with numerous requests to speak when Günter Wallraff presented his book Der Aufmacher on the practices of the Bild newspaper in public events in 1977 .

In 1979 Schneider was appointed director of the newly founded Hamburg School of Journalism (later: Henri-Nannen-Schule ). He was at the head of this training center for journalists until 1995, during which time he contributed to the good reputation of the school and made a name for himself as a language teacher and critic. In 1980, Wolf Schneider climbed the 4505 m high Weisshorn near Zermatt as part of a GEO report .

From 1979 to 1987 and 1991 to 1992 Schneider was one of the presenters on the NDR Talk Show . From May 2009 to 2011 he spoke in the video column Speak Schneider! on sueddeutsche.de regularly on topics of the German language. From 1991 to 2013 he wrote articles and columns for the monthly magazine NZZ Folio of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung .

Schneider lives today with his wife Elisabeth-Charlotte in Starnberg . Both Schneider and his wife were candidates for the FDP in Starnberg in the Bavarian local elections for a seat on the city council in 2020. Both clearly missed entry.

Language critic and language style teacher

From 1995 to 2012, Wolf Schneider held language seminars for press and business and was a trainer at journalism schools. He wrote 28 non-fiction books, including standard works such as Deutsch fürs Leben. What the school forgot to teach , German for connoisseurs. The new style , German for professionals. Paths to Good Style and The New Handbook of Journalism . Since the January 2012 edition, The New Handbook of Journalism has been published under the title The New Handbook of Journalism and Online Journalism (together with Paul-Josef Raue ). Schneider recommends a concise but informative spelling.

Wolf Schneider is one of the critics of the spelling reform . In autumn 2005, together with the chairman of the German Language Association (VDS), Walter Krämer , and Josef Kraus , the then President of the German Teachers' Association, he founded the Lebendiges Deutsch campaign , with which between 2006 and 2010 words were collected that were superfluous, ugly or should replace not generally understandable English words. Schneider also claims that he has a “warlike relationship” to gender language , as it has led to a “ridiculous understanding” of German. It is foolish to associate the natural gender with the grammatical gender.



About language

About journalism

On other topics

  • Babylon is everywhere. The city as the fate of the people from primeval to utopia . Econ, Düsseldorf 1960, DNB 454432720
  • Essen - history of the Ruhr area and its metropolis. Econ, 1963; Essen, Abenteuer einer Stadt , 5th edition 1991, ISBN 3-430-18011-2 .
  • The soldier's book - story and portrait of a controversial figure. Econ, Düsseldorf 1964, DNB 560899963 .
  • with Guido Mangold (photos): The Alps - Wilderness - Almrausch - Fairground. Geo-Buch, Gruner and Jahr, Hamburg 1984; 3rd edition 1989, ISBN 3-570-02380-X .
  • We Neanderthals - The adventurous ascent of the human race. Bertelsmann, Munich, ISBN 3-570-05998-7 .
  • Cologne Cathedral - How the Germans came to their wonder of the world. Stern-Buch, Gruner and Jahr, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-570-09259-3 .
  • Happiness what is it Dream and reality. Piper, Munich / Zurich 1978, ISBN 3-492-02391-6 ; revised paperback edition: Glück! A slightly different instruction manual. rororo 62231 non-fiction book, Reinbek near Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-499-62231-1 .
  • The Titanic myth: the log of the disaster - three hours that shook the world . Gruner and Jahr, Hamburg 1986, ISBN 3-570-05991-X (=  one star book ); Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1997, ISBN 3-86047-553-3 ; Paperback edition: rororo 62781, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-499-62781-1 .
  • The winners: what made geniuses, dreamers and criminals famous . Gruner and Jahr, Hamburg 1992; Paperback edition: Piper-TB 2217, Munich / Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-492-22217-X .
  • How to save the world and have fun doing it (together with Christoph Fasel ). Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-498-06294-8 .
  • At the pulse of the planet - expeditions, time travel, cultural stories . 18 GEO reports, Hoffmann & Campe, 1999, ISBN 3-455-11280-3 ; Paperback edition: Piper, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-492-23161-6 .
  • Big losers. From Goliath to Gorbachev. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-498-06365-0 .
  • The human being. A career . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-498-06405-1 ; Paperback edition: rororo 62427 rororo-Sachbuch, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-499-62427-8 .
  • The Truth About The Lie: Why We Need Error and Love Lies. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-498-06418-1 .
  • The soldier - an obituary. A world story of heroes, victims and beasts . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-498-06429-7 .
  • Finally think of the grandchildren. One last warning before it's too late . Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 2019. ISBN 978-3-498-00153-7


  • Hottentot stutter idiot. My long, whimsical life . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-498-06435-8 .


“I feel like I've been treated very well by God. It's a nice feeling that I now do exactly what I enjoy doing full-time and what an entire industry is asking for. I've never had as many orders as this year. "

- Wolf Schneider : "I just wanted to slap them all appropriately". (Interview, 2007)


  • Rafaela Bredow, Jan Friedmann: You have to struggle . In: UniSPIEGEL . No. 2/2010 , April 12, 2010, p. 30 ( spiegel.de [accessed on May 22, 2010] interview with Wolf Schneider).
  • Rolf Meyer: Ten years of the Werner Friedmann Institute. Training young journalists. Publisher: Werner Friedmann Institute Munich e. V. 1959

Web links

Commons : Wolf Schneider  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Sontheimer : A hard sheet. Journalism on the verge of bad taste. In: Spiegel special No. 1/1995: Die Journalisten ; Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. Speak Schneider - A video blog by Wolf Schneider - Süddeutsche.de .
  3. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: Candidacy for professionals. Retrieved April 8, 2020 .
  4. Results. Retrieved April 8, 2020 .
  5. Speech Pope Wolf Schneider stops teaching. In: Courier . December 7, 2012, archived from the original on December 8, 2015 ; Retrieved December 8, 2012 .
  6. Wolfgang Mentrup, Wolf Schneider, Georg Gölter, Arndt Ruprecht: Do we need a spelling reform? Magazine articles. In: Universitas . No. 5 . Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1989, ISSN  0041-9079 .
  7. ^ Wolf Schneider: "Language reading". Column about the nonsense of the «spelling reform». In: NZZ Folio 9/1997.
  8. H.-J. Vehlewald : BILD interview with Wolf Schneider. “The reform is broken”. Bild.T-Online.de of August 11, 2004.
  9. Journalists should read Luther Bible daily , accessed on January 24, 2017.
  10. Florian Treiß: Wolf Schneider receives Nannen Prize for life's work. In: turi2 - industry blog for media and brand makers. April 26, 2011, archived from the original on May 2, 2011 ; accessed on April 26, 2011 : "The journalist and language critic Wolf Schneider, 85, will receive the Henri Nannen Prize on May 6 in Hamburg for his life's work in journalism and journalism."
  11. Wolf Schneider receives prize for life's work . World online ; Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  12. ^ Hans Ehlert: FAZ.net review
  13. Cornelia Geißler: "I just wanted to slap them all appropriately." The language critic and author Wolf Schneider on happiness and its preachers . In: Berliner Zeitung , June 30, 2007.