Childhood and youth
Dirk G. Kronsbein was born on 16 April 1940 in Münster. “In a Catholic hospital, despite the whole family being Protestant,” as he comments with a smile. He was baptised Jörg Gustav – though the first part of his Christian name at least would go missing during the subsequent decades. Despite the fact that he values it greatly: “Junker Jörg was the name that Martin Luther chose to be called by during his “time out” at the Wartburg.”
The little boy’s mother, Lieselotte – known as Lilo – was a singer, and sang chansons for the soldiers in the war-torn country. His father was an insurance inspector with Deutscher Herold. Two lifestyles that not only sound contradictory, but actually were so. The young couple’s early separation brought their son a “wonderful childhood”, as he describes it now when he looks back. Dirk G. Kronsbein ended up with his maternal grandparents, in the small town of Tecklenburg between Münster and Osnabrück.
With its many timber-framed houses and well-preserved architectural monuments to the Middle Ages, connoisseurs regard Tecklenburg as a “Westphalian Rothenburg”. But at that time, and still to this very day, the little town was and is best known for its festival. Founded in 1924 with great commitment by the town’s citizens, even in its early years the performances around the ruined castle attracted more than 100,000 spectators. In the 1940s and 50s, these were also still genuine “local plays”, in which the people of Tecklenburg enthusiastically took their place on the stage alongside the professional casts for “Wilhelm Tell”, “Faust” or “Die Nibelungen”. In the thick of it were Dirk G. Kronsbein and his grandparents. Grandpa and his grandson acted, while Grandma partly took care of the opulent costumes for the productions.