Borchert, Wolfgang

BORN 20 May 1921, Hamburg: Tarpenbekstraße 82 - DIED 20 Nov 1947, Basel: Clara-Spitals, Zimmer 200
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg: Friedhof Ohlsdorf, Fühlsbüttler Strasse 756 (AD 5, 6 - Am Fuß des Hügels)

Wolfgang Borchardt was born in Hamburg. He took acting lessons in 1939 and published his first poetry during the same year. In 1941 he was engaged as an actor at the Landesbühne Ost-Hannover, a wandering group. He was very happy there, but in 1941 the army called for him.

During the war he was wounded and he became ill. It was suspected that he did it on purpose, but he was acquitted. Even so he was sent to prison because of things he had said. He was sent to the Eastern Front, but after his illness became worse he was discharged from the army. He worked at a cabaret, but made fun of Goebbels and was arrested again. He was imprisoned at Moabit in Berlin in 1944 and then sent to the front again.

In 1945 he was taken prisoner of war by the French, but he escaped and returned to Hamburg, where he worked as a director's assistent. In 1947 it was clear he wouldn't recover from his illness. Within a week he wrote the expressionistic drama "Draußen vor der Tür" about the suffering in post war Germany.

Borchert went to Switzerland in an attempt to improve his health, but he died there. One day after his death "Draußen vor der Tür" was first performed at the Hamburger Kammerspielen. He was buried at the Ohlsdorf cemetery in Hamburg.


The grave of Wolfgang Borchert at the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof in Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (26 Jan 2006)


• Leisner, Barbara, Helmut Schoenfeld, Ohlsdorf-Führer, Der, Spaziergänge auf der grössten Friedhof Europas, Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg, 1993

Bordewijk, Ferdinand

Published: 09 Apr 2006
Last update: 18 Jan 2022