Rudolf Tarnow

Rudolf Tarnow from Mecklenburg is still one of the most popular Low German authors in northern Germany. Disarming humour, common sense, wisdom and natural wit form the ingredients of his texts. Even today, they are still greatly enjoyed by audiences because they are perfect for recitation.

Rudolf Tarnow was born in Parchim in 1867. He completed a commercial apprenticeship and was called up for military service in his home town in 1887. After having completed his compulsory service, he remained a soldier. In 1889, he was transferred to the Grand Duke’s personal company in Schwerin, and in 1894 he became a paymaster’s assistant in the dragoon regiment in Ludwigslust. After his service, he successfully applied for the position of works inspector at the Sachsenberg mental hospital near Schwerin in 1906.

Around 1910, Rudolf Tarnow began to publish his Low German writings. His poem “Ein Randewuh im Rathaus zu Stavenhagen” was encased in the foundations of the Reuterdenkmal in Stavenhagen on 7th November 1910 to mark the laying of the foundation stone and was published as a special edition by the Stavenhagen book printer Beholtz.

Rudolf Tarnow was already an extremely popular writer during his lifetime, with his books reaching a circulation of more than 160,000 copies in those years. In the last years of his life, the author had to undergo several treatments for a heart condition and started to write less and less. The popular folk poet died in Schwerin in 1933, aged just 66.