Rainer Popp (born March 24, 1946 in Staßfurt , Saxony-Anhalt ) is a German writer , journalist and visual artist . Popp is the youngest son of the senior director of studies Heinrich Popp and his wife Ilse, née Lehwald and grandson of the senior school councilor Otto Popp. Maternal grandfather was Walter Lehwald, bank director in Kulm (Polish: Chelmno) in West Prussia, husband of Anna Lehwald, née von Zabiensky. His father taught German, history and geography at the high school in Staßfurt . In 1951, the family fled to West Germany, a few weeks after his father was released from three months in prison in the GDR. The "crime" that the state security accused him of was: he had read Western newspapers. The family of five initially lived in Bad Harzburg ; She later settled in Goslar . Popp first attended primary school there and then switched to the modern language branch (English, French) of the Ratsgymnasium for boys, where his father also taught. At the age of 15 he began writing: short stories and poems. In the lower primary he was already a member of the Association of German Writers (VS) and read from his works publicly.

After military service, which he completed for 18 months in Seeth , Schleswig-Holstein , he completed a two-year traineeship at the Goslarsche Zeitung . In January 1971 he moved to the Donaukurier in Ingolstadt as chief reporter and from there (in October 1975) to the shell editorial team of the Westdeutsche Zeitung in Düsseldorf as political editor and head of the " Current Affairs" department. From April 1979 he worked as a correspondent in the Bonn central editorial office of the German Dispatch Service ( ddp ).


On May 20, 1983, Rainer Popp took up his post as editor-in-chief at Radio Luxembourg . Seven months later he also became editor-in-chief of RTL television in a dual role . From January 1, 1984, in addition to his radio duties, he developed and directed the RTLplus news program " Sieben vor Sieben ". The first moderators were Geert Müller-Gerbes , Hans Meiser and Hergen Björn Schimpf as well as Maggie Deckenbrock.

Popp designed and directed RTL's breakfast television and was also Helmut Thoma 's successor as program director of Radio Luxembourg from January 1988. In 1987, his book " A madhouse rides a roller coaster / 30 years of Radio Luxembourg " was published by Droemer/Knaur, in which he described his professional experiences at RTL.


As editor-in-chief, Popp was also the originator and organizer of the Dictation for Peace, which the Nobel Prize winner for literature Heinrich Böll wrote exclusively for Radio Luxembourg and which the then Federal Minister of Education Dorothee Wilms (CDU) presented to primary school children at the European School in Luxembourg in a live broadcast of the morning magazine Guten Morgen, Germany on October 2, 1984; moderated by Geert Müller-Gerbes , the then studio manager of RTL in Bonn. The response to this RTL campaign was huge: in department stores, in countless schools, at the bakery, in supermarkets or at the hairdresser and even in indoor swimming pools - listeners everywhere picked up paper and pencil. And even citizens of what was then the GDR took part in this writing competition, which had been announced several times on Radio Luxemburg's program days before and was intended to find out how confidently Germans had mastered the orthography of their native language.

More than 14,000 dictations were returned, almost ten percent of which were error-free. The first prize, which the 16-year-old student Claudia Ecker won through a lottery, was endowed with either 10,000 DM, a training scholarship or the chance to have a book published of her own choice. The young woman decided on the amount of money; She was also presented and interviewed at the 48th Lion Awards in Dortmund's Westfalenhalle in the presence of more than 15,000 guests.


After his departure from RTL, which he brought about at his own request and against the express wishes of the general management, he went first to Munich, then to Vienna and in 1990 to Cologne, where he settled as a book author and media consultant. In 1991, among other things, he was editor of the political-satirical puppet show " Hurra Deutschland " broadcast nationwide on ARD for West German Radio (WDR). He was also executive producer of the RTL night show with Thomas Koschwitz in 1995 . Popp then worked as program director for the Brainpoint media agency in Frankfurt am Main .


Rainer Popp is a member of the Charter for Europe, which was founded in 1990 to combat xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism. [1] The one hundred signatories of the charter included the late Czech President Vaclav Havel; as well as the writer Johannes Mario Simmel (1929–2009), the best-selling youth book author Michael Ende (1929–1995), the poetic songwriter Konstantin Wecker and the actor Heiner Lauterbach .

He attracted international attention - especially in Israel - with his "Nazi test" in 2002 when, under the pseudonym Rudolph Lehwald, he successfully appealed to the parties then represented in the German parliament with racist and inhumane quotes from Hitler's book "Mein Kampf". applied for the membership of the CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP and the Greens. At that time, the federal government, Bundestag and Bundesrat tried in vain to ban the right-wing radical NPD before the Federal Constitutional Court.


Rainer Popp was managing director of Tele Veronika GmbH from 2008 to 2016 . Society has expired.

Popp is also a visual artist. At the age of eighteen he painted his first large-scale pictures and made sculptures out of clay. He took the “ combine paintings ” of the American Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) into a new dimension and, by increasing this artistic power, created his subtly lascivious, colorful three-dimensional object pictures - provocative ciphers of his unmistakable creative energy and his unusual expressiveness. Popp defines his vehement, his dazzling image collages as a manifesto of a visible lyric that needs to be touched, looked at and read by every viewer in their own language. And in these paintings, which he sees as projection surfaces of his hands, his eyes, his thoughts and his emotions, meditation and mysticism mix to form optical signals that form an independent, incomparable cosmos. It is important to him to compose new and therefore unique color structures and to place them in a complex relationship in a network of objects: intuitive, sensitive, aggressive, powerful - and always aesthetic. The materials he uses come from alchemists' kitchens, from junk rooms, from the left bank of the Rhine and from the corners of the world: polyester and cardboard, bed sheets, dolls and gunpowder; plus bullet casings from the battlefields of Verdun, skins and wax, broken glass, wrapping paper, stones and bird feathers, driftwood from the Mediterranean, high heels or rusted nails that were washed up in the river water. He paints with linseed oil, spit and spirits, with fire and quicksand, with varnish and plant juices, with pollen, with polyester, ash, with acrylic, with oil paints, with gasoline and with acid rain. He uses mortar, wax, silk cloths, tar, hairspray and make-up, eau de cologne, Danziger Goldwasser and plaster.

The New York gallerist and art critic Bill Hetzler: “Rainer Popp is an artist of international caliber.”

The Luxembourg gallery owner and art historian Maria Magdalena Burghagen: “Rainer Popp's pictures are altars of the present time made of colors, shapes and his expressive imagination. And his sculptures, made of iron, wire, wood, concrete, sheet metal, marble and silver, which reveal - like silhouettes - the immeasurable diversity of human existence in its frailty and in its programmed finiteness.

Solo exhibitions in which Rainer Popp's works were shown: in the gallery of Andy Warhol friends Taylor/McLoud (Manhattan/New York); at the Artium Art Gallery (Luxembourg City); at Art Exposition (in the Belgian Spa) and at the Espace Delpha gallery on Rue de Berri (Paris).


Group exhibitions: Congrès Palais (in the Belgian capital Brussels) Center culturel Jacques Brel (in Thionville in northern France); Palais de L`Europe (Strasbourg); Saarland Museum and The Modern Gallery (Saarbrücken); National Library of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourg City); Museum van Bommel-van Damm (Venlo), Galerie Schröder & Partner (Cologne; together with works by Salvador Dali , Sigmar Polke and Christo ). Also exhibitions in Liège (Musée du Parc de la Bovérie), Metz ( Académie des Beaux Arts ), Frankfurt am Main, Lübeck, Schwerin, Stuttgart, Munich and Hamburg.


Rainer Popp is a loner in his visual art; There are no styles that can be assigned to his pictures and collages. Some of his sculptures, however, are reminiscent of certain works by the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) in shape and dimension: delicate, vulnerable, unstable, fragile, long-legged and always directed skyward.

Popp has been married to the portrait and landscape painter Ingrid Popp (née Nehren) since 1973 and is the father of two children; Son Gregor (born 1975) and daughter Kristina (born 1980). He lives in Cologne.

Book publications

  • Laughter (poetry), Achat Verlag, 1968
  • A madhouse rides a roller coaster , Verlag Droemer Knaur, 1987, ISBN 978-3-426-01612-1 .
  • Bosses of choice - The new power of employees , Argon Verlag, 1997, ISBN 978-3-870-24394-4 .
  • Germany to TÜV - Nine ways out of the crisis , Argon Verlag, 1998, ISBN 978-3-870-24465-1 .
  • Career of a Plot (novel), Dante Verlag, 2002, ISBN 978-3-936-88000-7 .
  • In the Face of Lies (novel trilogy), SWB Media Publishing, 2015, 2016, 2017, ISBN 978-3-946-68618-7 .
  • The Words and the Dead (novel), SWB Media Publishing, 2018, ISBN 978-3-946-68675-0 .
  • The Days and Eternity (novel) Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2018, ISBN 978-3-982-02451-6 .
  • The Color Red of Hell (novel) Verlag 77 Publisher Inc., Cape Coral, Florida, USA, 2018, ISBN 978-0-991-39249-0 .
  • The Ashes of Light (novel) Verlag 77 Publisher Inc., Cape Coral, Florida, USA, 2018, ISBN 978-0-997-41436-3 .
  • Mammon, power and tailored suits - German managers in disrepute , Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2018, ISBN 978-3-982-02452-3 .
  • In the Times of Anger - A Manifesto for Germany , Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2018 ISBN 978-3-982-02453-0 .
  • Kisses from Mama (novel), Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2019, ISBN 978-3-982-02455-4 .
  • The Silence of the Shadows (novel), Apex-Verlag/Edition Bärenklau, 2019, ISBN 978-3-750-24873-1 .
  • Screams from his mouth (novel), Apex-Verlag/Edition Bärenklau, 2020, ISBN 978-3-752-95053-3 .
  • altars of the present; Paintings and sculptures (work show), Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2020 ISBN 978-3-982-02459-2 .
  • With Living Flesh (novel), Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2021, ISBN 978-3-982-300900 .
  • Rockfalls, 100 Poems, Volume 1 (poetry). Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2021, ISBN 978-3-9823009-1-7 .
  • The Night Tastes of Fire (political novel), SWB Media Publishing, 2022, ISBN 978-3-96438-049-4 .
  • Flights of Sparks, 100 Poems, Volume 2 (poetry). Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2022, ISBN 978-3-9823009-2-4 .
  • Suddenly there is silence (novel). Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2023, ISBN 978-3-9823009-3-1 .
  • Flash floods, 100 poems, Volume 3 (poetry). Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2023, ISBN 978-3-9823009-4-8.
  • The Presentation (story), anthology Miraculous Christmas. Verlag Bärenklau Exklusiv, 2023, ISBN 978-3-7584-3587-4.
  • Nests of Embers, 100 Poems, Volume 4 (poetry). Verlag Edition Bärenklau, 2024, ISBN 978-3-9823009-5-5.

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