May, Karl

BORN 25 Feb 1842, Hohenstein-Ermstthal, Sachsen - DIED 30 Mar 1912, Radebeul, Sachsen (near Dresden)
GRAVE LOCATION Radebeul, Sachsen: Friedhof Radebeul-Ost

Karl May was born in Hohenstein-Ermstthal as the fourth of fifteen children in a family of weavers. He worked as a school teacher, but his other activities even resulted in a prison sentence. After 1874 he became famous thanks to his adventurous tales of the Orient (Kara Ben Nemsi) and the Wild West (Winnetou, Old Shatterhand). Many of his readers considered his stories very realistic, but the press often wrote that his writings couldn't be further from the truth.

When he finally visited the USA himself in later years it was clear that the country was compeletely different from what he had imagined. May kept up appearances and wrote that his visit had brought him great new ideas for future stories.

In 1883 he moved to Dresden where he built his Villa Shatterhand in 1896. Here he lived for the rest of his life. He was buried at the Radebeul Cemetery.

Related persons
• was influenced by Gerstäcker, Friedrich
• met Näcke, Paul
• was a friend of Schneider, Sascha
• admired Ulrich, Pauline


Karl May's grave at Radenbeul, near Dresden.
Picture by Androom (06 Aug 1998)


• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973

Maybach, Christiane

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 9 Jun 2018