Photo shoot with the unemployed Arno Dübel in 2010. © Lars Berg/imago/Archivbild
Germany's best-known unemployed man is dead. Arno Dübel shaped the image of the long-term unemployed in this country – and provided entertaining media moments.
Hamburg – At a time when work-life balance was not an issue and the work ethic of Gen Z was not yet questioned, Arno Dübel was apparently already aware that work could not be everything. His "career" as a permanently unemployed man by conviction began in 1976 after an aborted apprenticeship as a painter. Now the man with the hoarse laughter died at the age of 67 at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, as the Hamburger Morgenpost reported on Tuesday (May 23).
Arno Dübel: Those were his best media moments
Arno Dübel never made a secret of the fact that he simply didn't feel like working. "Why should I go to work?" he asked rhetorically in a television report – he couldn't think of a reason. "If you work, you're stupid," he said in 2011 on the talk show Arabella. "Working? I don't want to get worse," he replied nonchalantly on the Kerner TV show. He was apparently pleased to receive mail from the employment office. "I think that's cute. The main thing is that they think of me. They write, yes. That's good! Imagine, you can't get any more mail!" said the unemployed man laughing in a Bild contribution.
But when a foreclosure fluttered into the house, he wasn't so thrilled after all. "I can do without such love letters," was his dry comment. The eviction date was scheduled for 10:45 a.m. "I'm still asleep there!" commented the permanently unemployed. Comments of this kind were not uncommon for Arno Dübel:
- "Luckily she didn't hit right, the old quail." – Dübel's comment on the attempt of a pensioner in Mallorca to kick him.
- "They want to fool me and offer me jobs in Elmshorn. You have to imagine that! [...] Elmshorn! That belongs to Schleswig-Holstein, or something!" – Statement about a job offer from the Federal Employment Agency in Elmshorn, 30 kilometers away.
- "I don't need problems." – Dübel's explanation of why he doesn't have a girlfriend.
- "Der Klügere kippt nach." – Title of a flopped hit single by Dübel.
- "No Way! I don't know what that means, but it just fits." – Dübel's answer to a question in a TV report.
- "Everyone is the owner of his blacksmith." – Dübel's version of the phrase "Everyone is the architect of his own fortune".
Arno Dübel shaped the image of the long-term unemployed
Arno Dübel caused entertainment and outrage with his comments. With appearances on talk shows in the 2000s, he played a major role in shaping the image of the long-term unemployed in Germany. He was a satisfied unemployed, he assured his bewildered interlocutors several times. It is not for nothing that the Bild newspaper gave him the title of "Germany's cheekiest unemployed". From 2011, the unemployed man largely disappeared from the media, and since 2012 he is said to have lived in an old people's home in Hamburg-Rahlstedt.
Last year, the then 66-year-old surprisingly announced that he wanted to work again. According to reports, Dübel had found a manager who wanted to bring him as an actor in the series "The Discounters". After a serious illness, Dübel died at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Perhaps he was not only Germany's most famous, but also – in view of 47 years without employment – also the most successful unemployed.