Carl Wilhelm Richard Hülsenbeck was a medical student on the eve of World War I. He was invalided out of the army and emigrated to Zürich, Switzerland in February 1916, where he fell in with the Cabaret Voltaire. In January 1917, he moved to Berlin, taking with him the ideas and techniques which helped him found the Berlin Dada group. 'To make literature with a gun in my hand had for a time been my dream,'he wrote in 1920. His ideas fitted in with left-wing politics current at time in Berlin. However idealistic Huelsenbeck and his companions were, their challenge 'Dada is German Bolshevism' had unfortunate repercussions later, when the National Socialists denounced all aspects of modern art as Kunstbolschewismus. Later in life, having done a Jungian analysis with Hermann Rorschach, he moved to New York City, where he practiced psychoanalysis under the name Charles R. Hulbeck at the Karen Horney Clinic. In 1970 he returned to the Ticino region of Switzerland. He died 1974 in Muralto, Switzerland.
Huelsenbeck's autobiography Memoirs of a Dada Drummer gives detailed accounts of his interactions with many key figures of the movement.
Until the end of his life, Huelsenbeck insisted, "Dada is still existing," although the movement's other founders might not have agreed.
An English language interview with Richard Huelsenbeck recorded in 1959 can be heard on the audio CD Voices of Dada together with a 1967 reading of a poem from his 1916 verse collection Phantastiche Gebete. A non-author performance of L'amiral cherche une maison a louer, the simultaneous Dada poem written by Huelsenbeck with Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, can be heard on the audio CD Futurism and Dada Reviewed.
- author page at Lyrikline.org, with audio and German text).
- Richard Huelsenbeck papers, 1910-1978 The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California. Papers of German poet, Richard Huelsenbeck, who was involved with the Dada movement and edited several of its important journals.
- Huelsenbeck 'En Avant Dada'
- Richard Huelsenbeck
- Richard Huelsenbeck at the International Dada Archive. Includes digitized images of Huelsenbeck's publications.