Karl Hans Strobl

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Karl Hans Strobl

Karl Hans Strobl (18 January 1877 (Jihlava) – 10 March 1946 (Perchtoldsdorf)) was an Austrian author and editor. Strobl is best known for his horror and fantasy writings. Strobl was a member of the Nazi Party.[1]


Strobl grew up in Moravia and went to the University of Prague, where he was a member of the "Austria" student fraternity. Strobl was an admirer of Rainer Maria Rilke and wrote a review praising Rilke's poetry collection Das Stunden-Buch for a newspaper.[1] Strobl was also influenced by the ideas of Houston Stewart Chamberlain.[2]

Strobl became a prolific writer of fiction, especially "schauerromanen"—horror stories influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and Hanns Heinz Ewers.[3] Fantasy historian Franz Rottensteiner states that regarding his shorter fiction, Strobl "showed himself an able writer" [4] and anthologist Mike Mitchell describes Strobl's short story "The Head" as "a masterpiece of the macabre genre".[5] After the First World War ended, Strobl relocated to Germany, where he edited the magazine Der Orchideengarten with Alfons von Czibulka; it is regarded as the world's first specialized fantasy magazine.[4]

Strobl's 1910 novel Eleagabal Kuperus was adapted as the film Nachtgestalten in 1920, starring Conrad Veidt and directed by Richard Oswald.[3]

During the First World War, Strobl expressed his advocacy for German nationalism by writing a trilogy of historical novels about Otto von Bismarck.[6]

From the 1920s onward, Strobl became more right-wing and anti-semitic, eventually becoming a supporter of Nazism. Strobl became an advocate of Austria and the Sudetenland being incorporated into German rule; he was expelled from Czechoslovakia in 1934 for pro-Nazi activities.[7] After the Anschluss he became an important official in the Nazi writers' organisation, the Reichsschrifttumskammer, and devoted his literary career solely to producing pro-Nazi propaganda.[1] At the end of the Second World War, Strobl's house in Vienna was looted by the Red Army and he was forced to work on a road repair gang. Released because of illness, he died in a poorhouse in 1946.[1] Strobl's advocacy for Nazism meant his work was briefly banned by the Allies after World War Two.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Schoolfield, George C. (2009). Young Rilke and His Time. Columbia: Camden House. pp. 37–42. ISBN 9781571131881.
  2. ^ Ruthner, Clemens, Unheimliche Wiederkehr: Interpretationen zu den gespenstischen Romanfiguren bei Ewers, Meyrink, Soyka, Spunda und Strobl Corian-Verlag, 1993 ISBN 3890481191 (p.97)
  3. ^ a b Hardy, Phil (ed.). The Aurum Film Encyclopedia:Horror (2 ed.). London: Aurum. p. 28. ISBN 9781854102638.
  4. ^ a b Franz Rottensteiner, "Austria", in John Clute and John Grant, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. London, Orbit, 1999. ISBN 1857238931 (pp. 74-75)
  5. ^ Mike Mitchell (editor), The Dedalus book of Austrian Fantasy: 1890-2000. Sawtry : Dedalus, 2002. ISBN 1903517133 (p.20)
  6. ^ Roshwald, Aviel, and Stites, Richard. European Culture in the Great War: The Arts, Entertainment, and Propaganda, 1914-1918. Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0521013240 (p.145).
  7. ^ Klee, Ernst. Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, (p.601).