Talk:Karl May

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Karl May and East Germany[edit]

The sentence that says that East Germany did not favor Karl May's works because they were "chauvinist" cites to a New York Times article that does not even talk about East Germany, nor does it use the word "chauvinist" which the author makes it sound like it was quoting. I feel like this is just someone's opinion, and really has no substantive content since it admits that Karl May was very popular in East Germany and reprinted thoroughly. I am new to Wikipedia editing, but I am going to try to edit the citation for that sentence with the "unsubstantiated claim" code-thing. Here goes! First time editing a Wikipedia article! I hope I don't break it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.181.227.42 (talk) 23:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

espacially when the Native Americans are the good and noble folks who don't care for gold while the white USAmericans (the class enemy) are the moraly corrupt who would do anything for money18:30, 21 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.43.149.150 (talk)
There were several Editions of Karl Mays books in east germany - one can say `every household has at least a Winnetou-edition´ - and the impact on the children was immense. I was one of those kids, my father held a complete set of the original edition. The `Deutschtümelei´ (don´t know the english word) in Mays work was so intense, that even a child could laugh about it! A non-german who wants to understand our late 19th-century nationalism should read `Winnetou I´ - it is the most hilarious book I have ever red.--139.30.128.61 (talk) 07:45, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

who was he fooling?[edit]

It is unclear to me from this article: was May trying to trick his reading audience, publishers, or anyone, into believing that he was his pseudonymous author, and writing works of non-fiction? Did he sometimes succeed? 195.195.177.104 (talk) 17:36, 1 August 2008 (UTC)RED


Deleted the sentence[edit]

"Even long after his death, May's reputation continues to suffer as a result of Adolf Hitler's professed admiration for his writing. [1]". Adolf Hitler may have liked May's books, but why would that affect the author's reputation or popularity? The given link can give no prove for it, neither can I, living in Germany, see this suggested link between Hitlers "admiration" for May's books and his reputation.


removed from the article (regarding movies): these are featured annually at the Karl May Festival in Bad Segeberg - this is highly doubtful, as the "Karl-May-Spiele" are primarily an open-air theatre event. Kosebamse 21:42, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Can't remember where I found that, but if I run into it again I'll cite a source with it (it may well be a bad source too for that matter). - Hephaestos 21:46, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC) Aha. I got it from the de: version of this article. I may have translated it incorrectly. - Hephaestos 21:58, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Locations of K.M. films[edit]

Plitvice lakes: I think it's in Serbia, which would be in present-day yugoslavia, but I am not sure either. --Yak 23:25, Apr 3, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, Plitvice Lakes are in Croatia, but are they the location of the filming? The article doesn't specify. --Shallot 00:47, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)
certainly for the water-scenes, but most of the rest looks like the Karst as well. Sorry about my bad Geography!
--Yak 11:31, Apr 5, 2004 (UTC)
"Karst" is both a generic term and a name for a region in Slovenia. Plitvice are located in a karst area but are not part of the latter. It could be anywhere really, we need a more exact reference. --Shallot 15:07, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I just happened to see a report on a local TV station about a German TV crew that is filming a documentary about the making of films based on Karl May's Winnetou. They were roaming the Velebit mountain in Croatia and the Zrmanja river canyon, as they wanted to see the same locations as those thirty or forty years ago. Here's IMDb data on some of those locations: Winnetou - 1. Teil, Winnetou - 2. Teil, Winnetou - 3. Teil, Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten, Old Shatterhand... most of it is in the Dinaric Alps: Lika, inner Dalmatia, Herzegovina, Montenegro. --Shallot 17:39, 28 May 2004 (UTC)


"Best selling"?[edit]

"the best selling German writer of all time": More than Martin Luther and Karl Marx? ;-) 84.178.88.127 13:33, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

At his time maybe! I would be cautious using the phrase `of all time´ instead of `until now´ though...--139.30.128.61 (talk) 07:47, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Karl May and the Holocaust[edit]

Removed this passage from the article as it is entirely unsourced and a little absurd in what it seems to imply:

Adolf Hitler loved May's stories about the American West, read them as a youth, and re-read and discussed them as an adult. In justifying his lack of first-hand experience, in passing judgment on others, such as the Jews, Hitler cited, as precedent, May's "authentic" depiction of the West without having been there. Colonel Mustard 04:15, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course Karl May had nothing to do with the holocaust, but Hitler should be added among his famous "fans".

Done, with references, and references for others too, so it's not weighted towards the litle monster. Ingolfson (talk) 07:32, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
too much addo bout adi85.216.89.205 (talk) 15:52, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Strange autobiography sentence[edit]

The beginning of the article now says, "His autobiography is important for any serious study of his life." This is undoubtedly true, but it strikes me as a very weird thing to say in an article, if only because it's so blindingly obvious but also because the sentence doesn't seem to relate anything else in the same paragraph -- it's just a throwaway note that essentially says "if you're doing a serious study on Karl May, you need to study Karl May". I would just take it out, but I can't help wondering if I'm missing something here? -- Captain Disdain (talk) 13:56, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

It's not so blindingly obvious. One has only to think of Frank Harris's "My Life and Love" for an unreliable autobiography. --68.104.199.181 (talk) 02:20, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Removal of Indonesian Karl May websites[edit]

I see no reason why Indonesian Karl May websites was removed from external links. I am adding them back again. --Agus elex 2005 (talk) 07:39, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Because Wikipedia is not a link farm. Go to DMOZ if you want to list each and every welsite that is marginally connected to some topic. If May is particularly well known in Indonesia, state this with a credible source in the article. But the external links are irrelevant for May's life and works - as this article is his biography, these links not notable here. I removed them again and ask not to revert this. --h-stt !? 10:08, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Karl May in Muslim Countries[edit]

"Because of their strong advocacy of peace and freedom, as well as the outspoken Christian faith of May's main characters, his works are banned or censored in most Muslim countries, including Turkey."

May's writings banned not only because of Christian sentiments, but also because they advocate peace and freedom? So all books that speak of freedom and peace are banned in Muslim countries? Then Muslim countires (which ones are these exactly?) would have to ban the bible, wouldn't they? Does the author know that many Muslim cluntires have Christian (and sometimes Jewish) minorities? As for the part about freedom and peace, well I don't think this is worth discussing. I'm not a religious person in anyway, but I find these statments offensively ridiculous. At any rate, the burden of proof lies with the author. Supprot for these claims must be provided; otherwise, I believe Wikpedia should remove them.

Nonsense removed. May's works are available in a number of editions in islamic countries. But the Book "Durchs Wilde Kurdistan" was recently conficated by Turkish customs because of the word "Kurdistan" in the title, with is deemed separatistic by the Turkish state. --h-stt !? 10:47, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

List of films but no books[edit]

I find it a little inappropriate that there's a long list of films based on May's books, but not a list of the books. --Tocca (talk) 12:10, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

You are right. See new entry below. -- Sophophiloteros (talk) 14:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


Literature[edit]

I just started a Literature section to the article, which very strangely was missing so far, as the user above commented.

There are a whole number of problems here:

1. Some hints and titles were given within the "links" section, where they do not belong, but in a seperate literature section, which now exists.

2. The German W.P. article on K.M. is quite good, so it may serve as a guide, as far as German editions and the complicated complex issue of editions of his works (and their history) is concerned. It was not until the 1980es that a reasonably good and reliable edition started to appear - see my entry concerning the "histor.-crit. ed." This is however still work in progress.

3. English (and other) "translations" are an even greater mess: there appears to exist quite a number of those, old and newer; apparently the vast majority was altered, shortened, abriged, "made palatable" for American tastes etc. I am not able to judge any of those, which one can find in library or book sellers catalogues. Also I cannot comment on translators' abilities, even of honest and well-meaning ones, e.g. the Kara Ben Nemsi project, apparently started by a German turned US American citizen with an American wife, but no expert(s) in the field of literature, language, translation etc, if I remember correctly.

4. Concerning secondary literature: there exists a whole lot in German, of all sorts of style, topic, authors, qualities etc: Biographies, literary criticism and studies (even by scholars ), lexicon, museum exhibition catalogues, even a "Karl May cookbook" and what not. I am not really an expert on K.M. myself (and my demands for rightly calling someone an expert on ... are very high), and also I have little idea what readers here would find interesting and W.P. project managers adaequate to include. I did a quick search in National Catalogues of Germany, Britian and the USA to get an impression of what there exists in English, which seems to be very little, as far as books are concerned. Of these I have listed three titles which semed to fit. I have not done any search through scholarly data bases, which could yield more. Also I definitely have no more time to spend on this, so just this beginning and comments from my side.

I wish you good progress, regards -- Sophophiloteros (talk) 14:19, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Karl May and Adolf Hitler[edit]

Hitlers sympathy for Karl May is amazing, given the fact May had clear antiracist views and made that obvious in his books wherever he could.(Sympathy for Indians, Blacks - who his heroes in his books eplicitly are refusing to label as "niggers" and even Jews)

see also :http://www.karl-may-gesellschaft.de/kmg/pinnwand/mac.htm.

Best regards.--79.237.77.134 (talk) 17:36, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Famous fans[edit]

Removed from the article: Famous physisit Albert Einstein was a great fan of Karl May's books and is quoted as having said My whole adolescence stood under his sign. Indeed, even today, he has been dear to me in many a desperate hour….

I cannot see any relevance. How did May influenced Einstein's works? Is Einstein topic of a discussion like May-Hitler? This is not the place for listing just famous fans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Czelko (talkcontribs) 09:42, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

HOW DID MAY influense Hitler's "work" - not more or less relevant!!!18:28, 21 August 2010 (UTC)78.43.149.150 (talk)
In that way: "Hitler later recommended the books to his generals and had special editions distributed to soldiers at the front, praising Winnetou as an example of "tactical finesse and circumspection",[1] though some note that the latter claims of using the books as military guidance are not substantiated.[2] However, as told by Albert Speer, "when faced by seemingly hopeless situations, he [Hitler] would still reach for these stories," because "they gave him courage like works of philosophy for others or the Bible for elderly people."[1] This influence on the German 'Fuehrer' was later castigated by Klaus Mann, a German writer who accused May of having been a form of 'mentor' for Hitler.[3]" --Czelko (talk) 14:06, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Did you read the quote? He said his "whole adolescence stood under his sign" and that "even today [karl may] has been dear to me in many a desperate hour" so yes i would say there has been a considerable influence on Einstein, and since Einstein is quite the historical figure of course it's relevant under the "influence" section. Besides, opinions of notable people are included in every article about a movie / book or other work of art, that's the only objective way to display its value in an encyclopedia like this one. --85.146.181.187 (talk) 22:50, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry guys, only because Einstein and Hitler are the only Germans you know, their reception of May's writing is not more relevant. What about writers whose works are actually influenced by May? That might be a bit more relevant. May is one of the most widely read German authors of the 20th century and you can be fairly sure that a fair amount of Germans have read at least one of his books. I am sure Angela Merkel has said somewhere, too, to what extend May has influenced her youth (that's our Prime Minister, by the way). But if you include such utterings by every famous German between 1900 and 2010 you won't accomplish anything by it. (by Laran) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.151.234.141 (talk) 20:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
especially since May's ideals of pacificm (does not contradict self-defance), anti-racism, respect and admiration for other cultures and religions are totally opposed to Nazi ideology m134.3.76.108 (talk) 08:31, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Reception[edit]

1)I think there is a significant difference to other 19th-century-writers. Jules Verne, e.g. has only French heroes. But the vast majority of all German youths sees Winnetou as the "real" hero, not Old Shatterhand. (And that may really influence the German view of the USA, epecially regarding human rights, racism etc.)

2) It should also be mentioned that during the Nazi regime, May's texts were heavily edited, mainly to create a negative image of Jews. I have my great uncle's edition of "Der Fremde aus Indien", printed in the 1920s, and there is a Jewish family helping the young, poor hero. In the editions after 1933, long new passages were added (still in print!) with the sole purpose of turning these nice characters into bad people with ulteriour motives. (KMG has published something about the racist editing, I'll look that up for quotation.) 87.188.167.134 (talk) 12:26, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

What? May and the Nazis (again)[edit]

quote: <<May was criticised as having offered those materials for exploitation by the Nazis.>> May died in 1912 so I wonder how he could have offerd his work to the Nazis other than his work just existing. And coundn't you say this about every other scripter/song/books/... that have allready existed in the 1930ies as well? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 46.5.184.243 (talk) 16:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Titles to be shifted to "Films" article[edit]

There are two book titles (by Frayling and by Summons) listed under "Secondary literature" which ought to be shifted to the seperate article Karl May films, where they thematically belong. That seperate article did not exist then when, they were included here, but since it has now come into existence that should be done. Unfortunately I do not know myself how to do that copying technically (other than typing all words again), so would be someone else so helpful and do that?

Regards, -- 147.142.186.54 (talk) 13:49, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Dispute about scalps[edit]

The dispute about the scalps in the Karl-May-Museum in Radebeul is an interesting detail concerning the museum, but this article is certainly not the appropriate place. The paragraph about the museum gives an overview as part of the reception of Karl May. You are invited to write a main article about the Karl-May-Museum and place the dispute concerning the scalps there. Best wishes, --Czelko (talk) 18:27, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b Mein Buch - Grafton, Anthony, The New Republic, December 2008
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference NYTT was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference ECO was invoked but never defined (see the help page).