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Emil Orlik: The poet Klabund, Lithography from 1915 Orlik Klabund.JPG
Emil Orlik: The poet Klabund, Lithography from 1915

Alfred Henschke (4 November 1890 – 14 August 1928), better known by his pseudonym Klabund, was a German writer.

A pseudonym or alias is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which can differ from their first or true name (orthonym).



Klabund, born Alfred Henschke in 1890 in Crossen, was the son of an apothecary. At the age of 16 he came down with tuberculosis, which the doctors initially misdiagnosed as pneumonia. The illness stayed with him for the rest of his short life.

Krosno Odrzańskie Place in Lubusz, Poland

Krosno Odrzańskie is a city on the east bank of Oder River, at the confluence with the Bóbr. The town in Western Poland with 12,500 inhabitants (2002) is the capital of Krosno County. It is assigned to the Lubusz Voivodeship, previously part of Zielona Góra Voivodeship (1975–1998).

Apothecary historical name for a medical professional now called a pharmacist

Apothecary is one term for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons, and patients. The modern pharmacist has taken over this role. In some languages and regions, the word "apothecary" is still used to refer to a retail pharmacy or a pharmacist who owns one. Apothecaries' investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients was a precursor to the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology.

Tuberculosis Infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

After completing his Abitur (upper secondary school leaving certificate) with the highest marks in 1909 in Frankfurt (Oder), he studied chemistry and pharmacology in Munich. He soon changed his plans, however, and studied philosophy, philology, and theater in Munich, Berlin, and Lausanne. He had already encountered Bohemianism in Munich through the theater scholar Artur Kutscher, and through others he was introduced to Frank Wedekind. In 1912 he quit his studies and took on the pseudonym Klabund, styling himself after Peter Hille as a vagabond poet. A first volume of poetry was published under the title Morgenrot! Klabund! Die Tage dämmern! (Dawn! Klabund! The Days Break!) The name Klabund goes back to a north and northeast German name and was devised by him and others as a combination of Klabautermann (a devious hobgoblin of German folklore) and Vagabund (vagabond).

Abitur is a qualification granted by university-preparatory schools in Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia. It is conferred on students who pass their final exams at the end of their secondary education, usually after twelve or thirteen years of schooling. In German, the term Abitur has roots in the archaic word Abiturium, which in turn was derived from the Latin abiturus.

Frankfurt (Oder) Place in Brandenburg, Germany

Frankfurt (Oder) is a town in Brandenburg, Germany, located on the west side of the Oder River, on the Germany-Poland border, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of Berlin. Until the end of Second World War (1945), the city of Słubice, Poland, was a part of Frankfurt. Until 1990 Frankfurt an der Oder was part of East Germany.

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

In 1913 Klabund came into contact with Alfred Kerr's Magazine PAN, though he continued to publish in the magazines Jugend and Simplicissimus . Beginning in 1914 he contributed to Die Schaubühne, which later changed its name to Die Weltbühne (The World Stage). When World War I broke out, he greeted it with enthusiasm, like many other writers of the time, wrote various patriotic poems. He was not drafted into the military due to his tuberculosis, and in fact during the war years he often spent time in Swiss sanatoria. During this time he began to develop an interest in far eastern literature, which he began to translate and adapt. Over the course of the war, Klabund's outlook changed and he became an opponent of it. In 1917 he published an open letter to Kaiser Wilhelm II in the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung calling for his abdication, and was charged with treason and lèse-majesté as a result.

<i>Simplicissimus</i> periodical literature

Simplicissimus was a satirical German weekly magazine started by Albert Langen in April 1896 and published until 1967, with a hiatus from 1944-1954. It became a biweekly in 1964. It took its name from the protagonist of Grimmelshausen's 1668 novel Der Abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch. The headquarters were in Munich.

Die Weltbühne German magazine

Die Weltbühne was a German weekly magazine focused on politics, art, and business. The Weltbühne was founded in Berlin on 7 September 1905 by Siegfried Jacobsohn and was originally created strictly as a theater magazine under the title Die Schaubühne. It was renamed Die Weltbühne on 4 April 1918. After Jacobsohn's death in December 1926, Kurt Tucholsky took over the leadership of the magazine, which he turned over to Carl von Ossietzky in May 1927. The Nazis banned the publication after the Reichstag fire, and its last issue appeared on 7 March 1933. In exile the magazine was published under the title Die neue Weltbühne. After the end of World War II, it appeared again under its original name in East Berlin, where it endured until 1993. In 1997 the magazines Ossietzky and Das Blättchen appeared, following the model of Die Weltbühne.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

In 1918 he married Brunhilde Herberle, whom he had met in a sanatorium for lung patients. She died later that year after complications from a premature birth. 1918 also saw the publication of Klabund's most popular prose piece, the novel Bracke.

in 1920 Klabund dedicated the short romantic novel Marietta to his girlfriend and muse Marietta di Monaco.

In 1923 he married the actress Carola Neher. Then in 1925, his play Der Kreidekreis (The Chalk Circle), based on a Chinese story, was first produced in Meissen. The Berlin performances of the play later that year achieved great success; (Bertolt Brecht later adapted the play in his Kaukasischer Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle)). In the years that followed, Klabund wrote regularly for cabarets, including Schall und Rauch. His folksy poems and songs achieved great popularity.

Carola Neher was a German actress and singer.

Meissen Place in Saxony, Germany

Meissen is a town of approximately 30,000 about 25 km (16 mi) northwest of Dresden on both banks of the Elbe river in the Free State of Saxony, in eastern Germany. Meissen is the home of Meissen porcelain, the Albrechtsburg castle, the Gothic Meissen Cathedral and the Meissen Frauenkirche. The Große Kreisstadt is the capital of the Meissen district.

Bertolt Brecht German poet, playwright, theatre director

Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht, known professionally as Bertolt Brecht, was a German theatre practitioner, playwright, and poet.

In May 1928, during a stay in Italy, he fell ill with pneumonia, which, together with his latent tuberculosis, was life-threatening. He was brought to Davos for treatment, but he died shortly thereafter. He was buried in his native Crossen (now Krosno Odrzańskie) and was eulogized by his friend and fellow writer Gottfried Benn. A star on the Walk of Fame of Cabaret in Mainz is dedicated to him.


The posthumous collection Dichtungen aus dem Osten (German, 1929) Klabund - Dichtungen aus dem Osten (im Regal).jpg
The posthumous collection Dichtungen aus dem Osten (German, 1929)

Klabund completed 25 plays and 14 novels—several of which were published only after his death—numerous short stories, many adaptations, and several works on the history of literature. Between 1998 and 2003, a collection of his works appeared in eight volumes.

Selected filmography

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