Gustav Frenssen

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Gustav Frenssen
(German Federal Archives)
Frenssen's grave on the Wodansberg (Wodan's Mountain)

Gustav Frenssen (19 October 1863 – 11 April 1945) was a German novelist. He wrote patriotically about his native country and promoted Heimatkunst (regionalism) in literature.


Frenssen was born in the village of Barlt, in the Duchy of Holstein. He was educated at the universities of Tübingen, Berlin and Kiel. He took orders and from 1892 to 1902 was pastor at Hemme, taking his degree as doctor of theology at Heidelberg in 1903. But he had already for some years been known as a writer of novels, and in 1902, a year after his great success with Jörn Uhl (1901), he gave up his pastorate and devoted all his time to literature.[1]

In his later years, he abandoned Christianity because Christian morals were in conflict with his racialism. Instead, he turned to a form of Germanic Neopaganism which also suited his liberal views on sexuality.


  • Dorfpredigten ("Village Sermons", 1899–1902; Vandenhoed & Ruprecht, Göttingen; the 1900 cover page indicates that he was pastor in Hemme, Holstein)
  • Jörn Uhl (1901)
  • Die Sandgräfin (1895, 3rd ed. 1902)
  • Die drei Getreuen (1898)
  • Das Heimatsfest, a play (1903)
  • Hilligenlei ("Holyland", 1905)
  • Peter Moor's Fahrt nach Süd-West (1906)
  • Klaus Henrich Baas (1909)
  • Sönke Erichsen, a play (1912)
  • Die Brüder (1918)
  • Der Pastor von Poggsee ("The Pastor of Poggsee", 1921)
  • Otto Babendiek ("The Anvil")
  • Grübeleien, observations (3 vols.)
  • Recht oder Unrecht: Mein Land, a defense of Germany's actions in World War II ("Right or Wrong: My Country," the title is also a popular saying, cf. patriotism; 1940)


  1. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Frenssen, Gustav". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.

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