Schönherr, Karl

Schönherr, Karl


Born Feb. 24, 1867, in Axams, Tirol; died Mar. 15, 1943, in Vienna. Austrian dramatist and prose writer.

Schönherr studied medicine and philosophy at the University of Vienna. At the beginning of the century, influenced by the traditions of the realistic drama of L. Anzengruber, he wrote plays that were critical of village life, including the comedy Earth (1907). Schönherr heroized and romanticized rural life to a certain extent and introduced a demonic element in such plays as A Tirolean Judas (1927) and A People in Need (1916). The consequent attempts of the ideologists of “blood and soil” to use Schönherr’s name and works for profascist purposes provoked a strong protest from the writer. He voiced criticism of Hitler after 1933 and vehemently opposed the Austrian Anschluss.

Schönherr was also the author of the tragedy Faith and Fatherland (1910), of psychological dramas, and of humorous prose written in the Tirolean dialect.


Gesamtausgabe, vols. 1–2. Edited by V. K. Chiavacci. Vienna [1967–69].


Paulin, K. Karl Schönherr und seine Dichtungen. Innsbruck, 1950.
Vogelsang, H. Österreichische Dramatik des 20 Jahrhunderts. Vienna-Stuttgart [1963].