Hemp Museum starts "100 Years Wolfgang Neuss" - Hanf Museum

Hemp Museum starts “100 Years Wolfgang Neuss”

Veröffentlicht am 4. December 2022
Diesen Artikel drucken

No other celebrity committed himself so early, so intensively, so credibly to the legalization of cannabis as Wolfgang Neuss. The Hemp Museum ushered in a “New Year” on Saturday in honor of its upcoming 100th birthday.

Wolfgang Neuss 1985 (Foto: Werner Bethsold)

Hans Wolfgang Otto Neuss ran away from home at the age of 15 because he wanted to be a clown. Before the journeyman butcher could become “Germany’s sharpest tongue” (Richard von Weizäcker) and an icon of the German legalization movement, the “Wolfgang caterpillar” (Neuss over Neuss) had to metamorphose multiple times.

Forced to do military service on the Eastern Front by the Hitler regime, Neuss shot off the index finger on his left hand and became a pacifist. In the young Federal Republic, he became a sought-after star in film and television. The prosperity thus acquired was soon evident in the bon vivant. But the next transformation was long overdue.
Wolfgang Neuss wrote, shot, acted and set to music his own film productions, which were completely different from the homeland ham of the 50s. With strips like “We Cellar Children” and “Comrade Münchhausen” Neuss not only reinvented himself but also a genre of West German film culture – the political comedy. In doing so, he inspired a generation of authors such as Wolfgang Menge and Helmut Dietl.

From the man with the drum to the town Indian

The friends that Neuss had found in the political joke in the 1950s together with his congenial stage partner Wolfgang Müller and at the Berlin cabaret Die Stachelschweine were not only lived out in films. In the 1960s, “The Man with the Timpani” was considered one of the best German cabaret artists. Celebrities cavorted in the audience during his solos. Neuss got to know Wolf Biermann and Rudi Dutschke, among others. By the end of the decade, the movie-goers’ darling had become a bourgeois terror and revolutionary. Acting offers and stage appearances became rarer, Neuss only made headlines with an application for social assistance and a charge of possession of 35.8g of hashish and several LSD trips.

Just when the Federal Republic of Germany threatened to forget him, Wolfgang Neuss reinvented himself. Toothless and with long hair, the “Stadtindianer” (Werner Pieper) commented on the world from the couch at home or in the cabaret. “Neuss vom Tage” brought him the German cabaret prize in 1983, a column in Stern and a comeback that hardly anyone would have believed the almost 60-year-old could do. The highlight of the year was undoubtedly an appearance on the SFB program Today on December 5th, where he met Richard Weizäcker, the mayor of Berlin at the time.
As successful as the celebrity Wolfgang Neuss was in the 80s, the person was stricken. Neuss suffered from cancer and smoked large amounts of hashish to relieve the pain. His saying so publicly led to another house search in 1984 and another conviction for drug possession.

 Today I'm not making supper. Today I'm thinking.
 Wolfgang Neuss

With a performance on his 65th birthday, Wolfgang Neuss finally said goodbye to his audience. He died six months later on May 5, 1989.

Special exhibition “100 Years Wolfgang Neuss”

“Wolfgang Neuss is dead, let’s talk about world literature” wrote Matthias Beltz in his obituary for the man with the drum. The Hemp Museum prefers to talk about him and is now devoting a series of special exhibitions to Wolfgang Neuss on the occasion of his hundredth year. At the start of the new year, the museum invites you to follow Wolfgang Neuss’ life in contemporary statements on the “Berlin abomination” (picture). In addition, it allows “Zwerg Mundwerk” (FAZ) to have their say in selected texts.

Comments are closed.