German soloist puppeteer known as Der Heidekasper (The Heath Kasper). Walter Büttner performed his first Jahrmarktskasperspiel (Kasper show at a fair/fairground Kasper show) on the stage of his father, August Büttner, at the age of fifteen. Starting in 1926, he travelled throughout Northern Germany as an independent puppeteer living in very modest circumstances. In 1933, the Nazis forbade him to perform because of his political views. After fighting on the Front and being taken prisoner by the Americans, he resumed his career as a puppeteer in 1946. In 1951, he opened his own theatre, the Kasperhaus (Kasper House), in Seevetal-Maschen (Northern Germany) where he lived until his death.

From 1954 on he also worked on many television productions. He passed on his knowledge by giving seminars and he directed plays for adults in Germany and abroad. In 1970, Walter Büttner revived his father’s tradition of the original Kasper comedy with his play Anno Toback which met with great national and international acclaim. Walter Büttner’s performances with their old-fashioned rhythm came from a lively mix of tradition and reflection. They linked the theatre of fairs with the current artistic forms of figure theatre.

(See Germany.)


  • Meister des Puppenspiels [Master of Puppetry]. No. 36: Walter Büttner. Bochum: Deutsches Institut für Puppenspiel.