»This has been prank number one, Followed by the second run«

- Wilhelm Busch -

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Niedersachsen: Landeskirchliches Archiv Hannover > Kirchenkreis Stolzenau-Loccum > Wiedensahl > KB 1811-1852, Bild 62

Wilhelm Busch

On 14th April 1832, Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch was born as the eldest son of seven children in Wiedensahl. At the age of nine years, Busch moved to his uncle, the pastor Georg Kleine, who became a constant in Busch’s life. Busch made several attempts to study but in the end also broke off his art studies in Munich that had led to the rift with his father. In Munich, he got in touch with the art scene and joined the artists’ association Jung München. As of 1859, Busch made numerous contributions to the satirical magazines Fliegende Blätter and Münchner Bilderbogen. While he failed with his first children’s book Bilderpossen, he finally achieved his breakthrough with the publication of Max und Moritz in 1865.

In 1867, Busch moved to Frankfurt, increasingly dedicated himself to painting, and in the following years published the pictures stories Der heilige Antonius von Padua, Die fromme Helene, Pater Filucius and further works.

Although Busch made a name for himself with his pointed, satirical texts and caricatures, by means of which he denounced the hypocritical morality of the bourgeoisie and his anticlerical attitude, he always suffered from not getting the recognition as a painter he so ardently desired. In 1908, Wilhelm Busch died in Mechtshausen.

»Wann hatte Wilhelm Busch wirklich Geburtstag?«

Wer nach Wilhelm Busch im Internet sucht oder in Biografien über ihn liest, wird als sein Geburtsdatum den 15. April finden - nicht den 14. April, wie es ganz deutlich im Taufregister steht.

Diese Diskrepanz ist schon länger bekannt und wurde im Jahr 2000 von der amerikanischen Wissenschaftlerin und Wilhelm-Busch-Forscherin Carol Galway untersucht. Im Haupteil ihres Aufsatzes beschreibt sie, wie es zu dieser Diskrepanz kommen konnte und stellt am Ende fest, dass das Kirchenbuch in dieser Zeit als amtliche Quelle maßgeblich ist und aus dieser eindeutig hervorgeht, dass Wilhelm Busch am 14. und nicht am 15. April 1832 geboren wurde.

vgl.: Galway, Carol: »Wann hatte Wilhelm Busch wirklich Geburtstag?«, in: Germanic Notes and Reviews, Spring 2000, Volume 31, number 1, ISSN 0016-8882, Seiten 14-18

Was Moritz in fact Wilhelm?

Wilhelm Busch author QS:P50,Q109540, Max und Moritz (Busch) 001, als gemeinfrei gekennzeichnet, Details auf Wikimedia Commons

 

When living with Pastor Kleine, the young Busch got to know Erich Bachmann of the same age. They were united by a long-lasting, deep friendship. A small drawing that Busch once made of his friend shows Bachmann as a stout boy with chubby cheeks, while in a self-portrait Busch sketched himself with quiff ...