Robert Gernhardt

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Robert Gernhardt
Robert gernhardt.jpg
Robert Gernhardt
Born (1937-12-13)13 December 1937
Tallinn, Estonia
Died 30 June 2006
Frankfurt on Main, Germany
Occupation poet, cartoonist, short story writer
Nationality German

Robert Gernhardt (13 December 1937 – 30 June 2006) was a German writer, painter, caricaturist and poet.


Robert Gernhardt studied Painting and German in Stuttgart and Berlin. He was one of the regular contributors to the satirical magazine Pardon, where he did the section Welt im Spiegel (World in the Mirror) together with F. K. Waechter and F. W. Bernstein, using the pseudonym Lützel Jeman until 1971.

Gernhardt co-founded the satirical magazine Titanic in 1979. He is part of the so-called New Frankfurt School together with artists like F. K. Waechter, Chlodwig Poth and Hans Traxler. Gernhardt's satirical style combines social critique with a self-consciously irreverential attitude to cultural and literary traditions.

His poetry and prose are situated within the comic traditions of Wilhelm Busch, Christian Morgenstern, and Joachim Ringelnatz and the urban poetry of Heinrich Heine and Bertolt Brecht. Gernhardt's poems, which frequently produce their comic effects through play with language and sound as well as through playfully quoting literary tradition, have become part of public consciousness in Germany.[1]

During the '70s and '80s, he wrote material for Otto Waalkes, one of Germany's most popular comedians. A lot of Waalkes' most famous routines were written by Gernhardt.[2]

In 2006, shortly before his death, he was the Writer in Residence at the German department of the University of Warwick.[3]

He died on 30 June 2006 in Frankfurt on Main, after a long fight against cancer, aged 68.


He won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1983 and the Kassel Literary Prize in 1991. He won the Bertolt-Brecht-Literaturpreis in 1998, and the Rheingau Literatur Preis in 2002. In 2004 he was awarded the Heinrich-Heine-Preis, and in 2006, the Wilhelm Busch Prize.

The state-owned bank Helaba is sponsoring an award named after Gernhardt.[4]

See also[edit]