Wolfgang Hildesheimer
Born(1916-12-09)9 December 1916
Hamburg, Germany
Died21 August 1991(1991-08-21) (aged 74)
Resting placeProtestant cemetery in Poschiavo, Switzerland
OccupationWriter and painter
Notable worksTynset, lyrical prose (1965)
Mozart (1977)
RelativesAzriel Hildesheimer (grandfather)

Wolfgang Hildesheimer (9 December 1916 – 21 August 1991) was a German author who incorporated the Theatre of the Absurd. He originally trained as an artist, before turning to writing.


Hildesheimer was born of Jewish parents in Hamburg. His grandfather was Azriel Hildesheimer, the moderniser of Orthodox Judaism in Germany.[1] He was educated at the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Mannheim (Karl-Friedrich-Gymnasium [de]) from 1926 to 1930. He then attended Odenwaldschule until 1933, when he left Germany. He was then educated at Frensham Heights School in Surrey, England. He studied carpentry in Mandatory Palestine, where his parents had emigrated, and underwent psychoanalysis in Jerusalem. He studied painting and stage building in London.

In 1946 he worked as a translator and clerk at the Nuremberg trials. Afterward, he worked as a writer and was a member of Group 47. In 1980, he gave the inaugural address at the Salzburg Festival, "Was sagt Musik aus?" (What does music say?).[2] In addition to writing, Hildesheimer created collages which he collected in several volumes (the first Endlich allein, 1984), an activity he shared with other late-20th century writers Peter Weiss and Ror Wolf. The municipality of Poschiavo in Switzerland made Hildesheimer an honorary citizen in 1982; he died there in 1991.




  1. ^ Rolnik, Eran J. (2012) [2007 in Hebrew]. Freud in Zion. London: Karnak. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-78049-053-3.
  2. ^ Brief biography, Suhrkamp/Insel. Retrieved 13 October 2011 (in German)