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Susanne Preußler-Bitsch, Cultural scientist, historian, daughter of Otfried Preußler

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Picture: © Privat

Audioscript Susanne Preußler-Bitsch

Hello, my name is Susanne Preußler-Bitsch and today I would like to tell you a little story about my father, the writer Otfried Preußler, and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

It must have been sometime at the end of the 80s in October, the suitcases were packed, the trade fair contacts had been made, the car (was) fuelled up. That's when my father realised that they had no hotel room booked in Frankfurt for the book fair. He must have somehow managed to get one. He was shocked and, immediately picked up the phone and it was the same then as it is now: Hotel room during book fair week, at short notice? Not a chance! 

No matter who and where Preußler called, it was useless. And everywhere they said, „Sorry, we're fully booked.“

Stupid, bloody stupid and annoying. There was nothing we could do. And there was only one person who could help, his friend – old Hotzenplotz. And he immediately took care of the matter. Quickly he sat down at Preußler's typewriter and wrote to the three largest hotels in Frankfurt. 

Addressed to the managers of the establishment, he urged the good people in his letter to provide accommodation for his friend, Mr Preußler and his wife, otherwise they might all experience something from him – the state-certified robber Hotzenplotz, the notorious man with seven knives. All by fax on personal stationery together with conference and signature. And believe it or not, three letters of reply arrived that very evening. That very evening, the Preußlers had three double rooms. Well, Hotzenplotz makes many things possible.

Thienemann-Esslinger celebrates 100 years of Otfried Preußler – on October 22 at #fbm23. 100-jahre-otfried-preussler