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Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert

*  1921 Hamburg
† 1947 Basel

The writer Wolfgang Borchert was born in Hamburg on 20 May, 1921. He began writing his first poems at the age of 15. In 1939 the author started to work as an apprentice at a bookseller and also took acting classes by Helmuth Gmelin. In 1940 he quit his job at the bookseller and soon after was drafted by the army to serve in the war. He was wounded during his first front mission and came down with diphtheria, subsequently being taken to the military hospital Schwabach. In 1943 Borchert used his furlough to go to Hamburg which was in ruins at that time. He played in various cabaret shows in "Bronzekeller" for some time before being arrested again for his depictions in 1943. He was sued before the German military tribunal 'Zentralgericht des Heeres' for disrupting the morale of the German armed forces. His verdict included nine months in prison followed by a probational period at the front. Borchert escaped and, being on the run, arrived in Hamburg on 10 May, 1945. The author co-founded the small theatre "Die Komödie" in Hamburg Altona. Thereafter he created works like the narrative "Die Hundeblume", (ca. 20 pieces of prose), the collection of poems "Laterne, Nacht und Sterne" (from 1940-45) and his last expressionist work "Draußen vor der Tür". He died in a spa in Basel after suffering from a chronic disease on 20 November, 1947.