Reissinger, Gertrud

BORN 31 Dec 1916, Passau, Bayern - DIED 13 Jul 1998, Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône
GRAVE LOCATION Bayreuth, Bayern: Stadtfriedhof

Daughter of a Adolf Reissinger (1877-1954), a teacher and a convinced nazi. In 1925 the family moved from Passau to Bayreuth. During her youth she was at school with Wieland and Friedeling Wagner, Richard Wagner's grandchildren. She and Friedelind became friends and became a frequent visitor of the Wagner household.

In 1934 the family moved to Munich and there she studied modern dance from 1937 onwards. In 1941 she married Wieland. They had four children (among them Nike Wagner) and she contributed to his work in Bayreuth. Wieland valued her work but her never gave her any public credit for it. Wieland left her for the young opera singer Anja Silja. After he died in 1966 Wolfgang Wagner no longer allowed her to work in Bayreuth.

In 1998 Renate Schostack published a biography on Gertrud, "Hinter Wahnfrieds Mauern", in which she stated that Gertrud and Wieland didn't really want to marry but were practically forced to. She had used material that Gertrud herself had provided, but the family objected to the way she had used it and took legal action. After a few alterations were made the book was published, a few days after Gertrud died in France. The publisher claimed that she had been satisfied with the book, but the family stated that she had been horrified.

• Husband: Wagner, Wieland (1941-, Nußdorf, Bodensee)


The Wagner gravesite at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 2006)


• Hamann, Brigitte, Winifred Wagner oder Hitlers Bayreuth, Piper, München, 2003

Reitsch, Hanna

Published: 27 Dec 2008
Last update: 18 Jan 2022