After studying medicine and psychoanalysis, Hülsenbeck career was interrupted by the war. He managed to settle in Zürich, where he discovered Cabaret Voltaire and became a leading figure of Dada movement. In 1917 he moved back to Berlin, where he founded the Berlin Dada group. He was editor of the Dada Almanach and wrote En Avant Dada. With the rise of National Socialism Hülsenbeck was one of the artists forced to leave their careers behind. In 1936 he got a VISA for US and practiced medicine and psychoanalysis in New York. He wrote his autobiography Memoirs of a Dada Drummer. He returned to Switzerland only in 1970.