Dicke Luft in Gelsenkirchen. Wie Georg Kreisler mit Spott über den Pott Empörung auslöste ...


  • Christoph Müller-Oberhäuser


This article deals with the chanson »Gelsenkirchen«, written by Jewish satirist Georg Kreisler (1922-2011) who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. When in 1961 a version of this chanson, sung by Kreisler and his then wife, the artist Topsy Küppers, was broadcast on the NDR radio evening programme, it gave rise to protest in Gelsenkirchen. The city council in particular took offence at the satirical depiction of the life in their city and sent a note of protest to the radio station in Hamburg as well as to the press. Drawing on local newspaper reports, archive material and recordings, I argue that the reasons for this extraordinary reaction to this piece of music result from the following criteria: Satirising Gelsenkirchen's cultural achievements after World War II, Kreisler's song was in strong contrast to the image of the city the council intended to preserve. In addition, it was written by a cosmopolitan intellectual who had never visited this working-class city. Nevertheless, Gelsenkirchen's harsh reaction caused publicity and contributed to »Gelsenkirchen« becoming one of Kreisler's most famous Everblacks.