Thorwald, Jürgen

BORN 28 Oct 1915, Solingen, Nordrhein-Westfalen - DIED 4 Apr 2006, Lugano, Ticino
BIRTH NAME Bongartz, Heinz
GRAVE LOCATION Lugano, Ticino: Cimitero di Castagnola, Piazza San Giorgio

Jürgen Thorwald was the pen name of Heinz Bongartz. He came from Solingen and was the son of a teacher. He aborted his Medicine studies in Cologne because of health problems and studied German and History instead in that city. In 1933 he started working as a journalist, writing for SS and NSDAP publications. After 1938 he concentrated on aviation and the air force. The preface for his first book "Luftmacht Deutschland" (1939) was written by Hermann Göring. During the war he worked for the history department of the Navy High Command.

After the war he started using the pseudonym Jürgen Thorwald and in 1947 he legally adopted tha name. He moved to Stuttgart, where he worked as an editor for the weekly "Christ und Welt" from 1948 to 1951. His "Die Grosse Flucht" was published in two volumes in 1949 and 1950. Further documentary works over the nazi era followed. In 1956 he published "Das Jahrhundert der Chirurgen" about recent medical history and this work became a bestseller. "Das Jahrhundert der Detektive" (1965) was another success.

He lived in California for a while before he moved to Lugano in 1958. He lived there for the rest of his life and he died there in 2006.


The grave of Jürgen Thorwald at the Cimitero di Castagnola in Lugano, Ticino.
Picture by Androom (15 Feb 2019)


Jürgen Thorwald – Wikipedia

Thuille, Ludwig

Published: 16 Sep 2021
Last update: 16 Sep 2021