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Erwin Litzelmann

Erwin Litzelmann was born on 7 October 1892 in Baden-Baden (Germany). He studied zoology, botany and geology at the university in Freiburg im Breisgau and completed his studies in 1919. The next four years he was assistant at the faculty of zoology at the university in Freiburg and earned a doctor's degree. Then Erwin Litzelmann became teacher at different gymnasiums in Freiburg, Breisach, Lahr and Lörrach until his retirement in 1957.
Beside his teaching profession Erwin Litzelmann explored several areas in Germany and wrote about their zoology, biology and geology. This includes the Isteiner Klotz, the Kaiserstuhl and parts of the Black Forest. He also wrote books on German orchids, the flora of the Alpes and about boglands.
In his retirement age Erwin Litzelmann continued his nature studies. He died on 8 September 1968 in Kleines Wiesental-Neuenweg near Lörrach (Germany).


Erwin Litzelmann is a known name among the naturalists in Germany, but not as a composer. But an obituary mentions that the music of Schumann, Brahms, Schubert and Mozart was recreation and contemplation for Erwin Litzelmann. So there is a good chance that Erwin Litzelmann received some kind of musical education in his youth. And in that case it would be no surprise that he also composed in his younger age. That fits with the fact that I own an autograph manuscript of a composition by Erwin Litzelmann. The manuscript is a song on the poem "Der Postillon" by Nikolaus Lenau set to music by Erwin Litzelmann. The song was composed in the last days of January 1914, so during his studies in Freiburg and shortly before the outbreak of World War I. It is dedicated to his friend Helene.

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© Tobias Broeker