German painter, co-founder of the Communist Party KPD related Assoziation Revolutionärer Bildender Künstler Deutschlands (Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists of Germany) and the Neuen Dresdner Sezession (New Dresden Secession). In the 1920s, Otto Griebel was among the most important representatives of the art of the proletarian revolution.

In 1920, he founded together with the musician Otto Kunze a puppet theatre (glove puppets) in Dresden. Its repertoire included a puppet cabaret, an adaptation of Faust and of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin entitled Der Lohntütengrien (The Paycheck/Wage-packet-“grien”). Besides political satire, he cultivated “nonsense”, for which, as a former Dadaist, he had an affinity. The verses of his friend, Joachim Ringelnatz (whose actual name was Hans Gustav Bötticher, 1883-1934) provided material for this part of the programme.

In 1933, Griebel was arrested by the Gestapo, and from 1934 he was employed at the Dresdner Hygiene-Museum (Museum of Hygiene in Dresden). After 1945, he was art teacher and lecturer at the Arbeiter- und Bauernfakultät der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (Workers’ and Peasants’ Department of the College of Visual Arts in Dresden).

(See Germany.)


  • Weinkauff, Gina. Der rote Kasper. Das Figurentheater in der pädagogisch-kulturellen Praxis der deutschen und österreichischen Arbeiterbewegung von 1918-1933 [The Red Kasper. The Puppet Theatre in the Educational-Cultural Practice of the German and Austrian Labour Movement from 1918-1933]. Bochum: Deutsches Institut für Puppenspiel, 1982.