Otfried Preußler (sometimes spelled as Otfried Preussler) (20 October 1923 - 18 February 2013) was a German children's books author. More than 50 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide and they have been translated into 55 languages. His best-known works are The Robber Hotzenplotz and The Satanic Mill (Krabat).
He was born in Liberec (German: Reichenberg), Czechoslovakia. His forefathers had lived in this area since the 15th century, working in the glass industry. His parents were teachers. After he graduated school in 1942, in the midst of World War II, he was drafted into the Wehrmacht Heer. Although he survived the military action on the Eastern Front, he was taken prisoner as a 21-year-old lieutenant in 1944. He spent the next five years in various POW camps in the Tatar Republic.
After his release in June 1949, he found his displaced relatives and his fiancée, Annelies Kind in the Bavarian town of Rosenheim. They married that same year.
Between 1953 and 1970 he was initially a primary school teacher, then a school principal in Rosenheim. There his talents as a storyteller and illustrator were put to good use, and often the stories he told the children would later be written down and published.
He won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1972 for Krabat.
Preußler resided in Haidholzen, near Rosenheim.
Over 15.2 Million copies of his books have been sold in the German language alone, and his works have been translated into over 55 other languages.
Having essentially retired from writing stories, which had become his main occupation, he undertook the relation of his experiences as a prisoner in the POW camps; those memoirs are to be published after his death.
Known works translated into English:
The Robber Hotzenplotz, ISBN 0-200-71272-1,
The Satanic Mill/The Curse of the Darkling Mill (originally: Krabat), ISBN 0-8446-6196-1,
The Little Witch, ISBN 0-340-16704-1,
The Little Water Sprite, ISBN 0-340-28643-1,
The Little Ghost, ISBN 0-340-16703-3,
The Wise Men of Schilda,
Herbie's Magical Hat,
The Adventures of Strong Vanya,
Further Adventures of the Robber Hotzenplotz,
Final Adventures of the Robber Hotzenplotz,
The Green Bronze Bell,
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license