Peter and Anneli's Journey to the Moon

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Cover 1915

Peter and Anneli's Journey to the Moon (Peterchens Mondfahrt) is a German-language fairy tale written by Gerdt von Bassewitz.

It was first performed as a play in Leipzig in 1912 and appeared in 1915 as a storybook for children with illustrations by Hans Baluschek.

In 2007 it was translated into English by Marianne H. Luedeking and was published by Bell Pond Books, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, ISBN 978-0-88010-584-2.

Plot introduction[edit]

The Moon Cannon, from Journey to the Moon, 1919

Following the Night Fairy's curse-lifting instructions, Mr. Zoomzeman, a June bug, finds two virtuous children to accompany him on a fantastical journey to the moon to recover his missing leg.

Plot summary[edit]

Peter and Anneli's Journey to the Moon is a German children's tale of imaginative fantasy and adventure tells the story of how Little Peter and Anneli help Mr. Zoomzeman, a June Bug, bring his leg back from the Moon. Long ago, a thief, stealing wood in the forest, has accidentally cut off Mr. Zoomzeman’s great-great grandfather's leg and was banished to the Moon. Unfortunately, he took the leg with him and, since then, the family of the Zoomzeman in search of goodness finds Peter and Anneli.

The three then set off together on an astonishing journey, filled with marvelous encounters, fantastic beings, and exciting events. Finally, reaching the Moon, they must challenge the ferocious Moon Man and, with the help of the Nature Forces, they restore the missing leg to Mr. Zoomzeman.


In 2010 a biography of Otto Klemperer by Eva Weissweiler published in Germany stated that Peter and Anneli were based on the children of Oskar Kohnstamm, in whose sanatorium von Bassewitz had been a patient.[1] Peter Kohnstamm (1908–1995) was the father of Angus Konstam.


  1. ^ Eva Weissweiler: Otto Klemperer: Ein deutsch-jüdisches Künstlerleben, Köln, 2010, p.85 f.