Waldemar Bonsels

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Waldemar Bonsels
Waldemar Bonsels in 1923
BornFebruary 21, 1880
DiedJuly 31, 1952 (age 72)
Years active1912–1952

Waldemar Bonsels (21 February 1880 in Ahrensburg – 31 July 1952 in Ambach, Münsing) was a German writer most notable as the inventor of the character Maya the Bee.

Bonsels's most famous work is the children's book Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer (The Adventures of Maya the Bee). This work served the basis for a Japanese animated television series Maya the Honey Bee in the mid-1970s, as well as a Croatian opera for children written by Bruno Bjelinski. The opera was staged in 2008 in Villach, Austria at the Carinthian Summer Music Festival.[1] Himmelsvolk (People in the Sky) is a sequel with a more philosophical focus, describing in mystical terms the unity of all creation and its relationship to God.

He wrote a number of novels and shorter stories dealing with love as Eros and the higher level of divine love in the spirit of romanticism (Eros und die Evangelien, Menschenwege, Narren und Helden, etc.), and about the relationship between man and nature in a simple life unchanged by modern civilisation (Anjekind, etc.). Bonsels also wrote a historical novel about the time of Jesus (Der Grieche Dositos).

He travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, which resulted in the book Indienfahrt (Voyage in India).

Bonsels was an outspoken antisemite and expressed his approval of Nazi politics against Jews in 1933, calling the Jew "a deadly enemy" who was "poisoning the culture" in an article (NSDAP und Judentum) which was widely published.[2]




  • Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer (1912) (Maya the Bee and her Adventures, translated as The Adventures of Maya the Bee)
  • Himmelsvolk: Ein Buch von Blumen, Tieren und Gott (1915) (People of the Sky)
  • Indienfahrt (1916)
  • Menschenwege: Aus den Notizen eines Vagabunden (1917)
  • Das Unjekind: Eine Erzählung (101.-120. edition, 1922)
  • Eros und die Evangelien: Aus den Notizen eines Vagabunden (67.-90. thousand, 1922)
  • Wartalun: eine Schlossgeschichte (101.-114. edition, 1922)
  • Weihnachtsspiel: eine Dichtung (1922)
  • Jugendnovellen (1923)
  • Narren und Helden: Aus den Notizen eines Vagabunden (24.-26. thousand, 1924)
  • Mario und die Tiere (1928) (Mario and the Animals, translated as The Adventures of Mario)
  • Dositos: Ein mythischer Bericht aus der Zweitwende (1949)
  • Der Reiter in der Wüste: Eine Amerikafahrt (1935)
  • Mario Ein Leben im Walde (1939) (Mario A Life in the Woods)
  • Efeu: Erzählungen und Begegnungen (1953)
  • Bonsels, Waldemar (1929). The Adventures of Maya the Bee. Illustrated by Vera Bock; translated by Adele Szold Seltzer and Arthur Guiterman. New York: A. & C. Boni.
  • Bonsels, Waldemar (1930). The Adventures of Mario. Translated by Whittaker Chambers. New York: A. & C. Boni.[3]

Short stories[edit]

  • Die Winde
  • Angelika
  • Scholander
  • Die Stadt am Strom
  • Asja


  • NSDAP und Judentum (1933)


  1. ^ "Festival Carinthischer". Carinthischersommer.at. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  2. ^ Waldemar Bonsels, NSDAP und Judentum, e.g. Siegener Zeitung, 05/23/1933
  3. ^ The Adventures of Mario. A. & C. Boni. 1930. LCCN 30011281.

External links[edit]