Franz Grillparzer Prize

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The Franz Grillparzer Prize was a literary award, named after the writer Franz Grillparzer. It was established in 1872, shortly after his death, by his lover, Katharina Fröhlich. After her death in 1879, the award was continued by a donation to the Austrian Academy of Sciences.[1]

Until 1971, the prize was presented every three years to "das relativ beste deutsche dramatische Werk, das im Lauf der letzten 3 Jahre auf einer namhaften Bühne zur Aufführung gelangte und nicht schon vorher von anderer Seite durch einen Preis ausgezeichnet worden ist" ("the relatively best German dramatic work, which has been performed on a well-known stage during the last three years and has not been awarded a prize by another group").

Prizes awarded by the Academy from 1875 to 1938[edit]

The prize was not awarded in 1878, 1881, 1893 and 1932. In 1914, the prize was going to be given to Arthur Schnitzler for Professor Bernhardi, but the ceremony was cancelled following objections made by the philosopher, Friedrich Jodl [de].[2]

Prizes given by the City of Vienna, under National Socialism[edit]

The ceremonies were held under the auspices of the local Reichsgau and presided over by the Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter, Baldur von Schirach. The jury consisted of eight persons appointed by him.

Prizes awarded by the Academy from 1947 to 1971[edit]

In 1968, the award was originally set to be given to Dürrenmatt for his play, Die Physiker, but was changed when that play came under criticism for being "anti-science".

The Grillparzer Prize since 1990[edit]

In 1990, following an article by the cultural critic, Christian Michelides, lamenting the "disappearance" of the Prize, a "Committee for the Salvation of the Grillparzer Prize" was formed, but achieved nothing due to financial irregularities. The Minister of Culture, Erhard Busek, also refused to reinstate the Prize, citing lack of funds..

In 1993, a group known as the "Anonyme Aktionisten" (Anonymous Activists) sent over twenty-seven "Grillparzer Awards" to every well-known writer in Austria, by telegram. Notices were also given to various newspapers, with a different winner's name for each paper.


  1. ^ Franz Grillparzer Prize in Austria-Forum (in German)  (at AEIOU).
  2. ^ Der Grillparzer Preis 1914 – ein Symptom in Vor allem bin ich.