Lion Feuchtwanger’s travel report Moscow 1937 is the subject of a new book by Dr. Anne Hartmann (University of Bochum). To mark its publication, Freie Universität Berlin held a symposium and Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow held a book launch.
How well did Lion Feuchtwanger understand Stalin and the Soviet experiment, and what was going through his mind when he was interviewing Stalin on January 8th, 1937, asks Dr. Hartmann in her excellent monograph.
[click on image for digital edition]
In Moscow 1937 Lion Feuchtwanger was surprisingly supportive of Stalin and his regime: from his position in exile from Germany, Feuchtwanger rightly saw that the anticipated war against fascist Germany would not be winnable without the Soviet Union. However, there are question marks over why in later life Feuchtwanger stuck staunchly to his vision of reality under the Soviet system.
Additional analysis can be found in ‘Russia’s Mythic Attraction: Lion Feuchtwanger in Moscow, 1937’, in Germano-Slavica 8 (1993); and in ‘ Lion Feuchtwanger and the Culture of Remembrance′, in Against the Eternal Yesterday, (Los Angeles: Figueroa Press/USC Libraries, 2009).
Ludmila Stern’s ‘Moscow 1937: The Interpreter’s Story’ (ASEEES Vol. 21, Nos. 1-2 (2007), 73-95) gives an insider’s view.