The 9th Conference of the International Feuchtwanger Society (Lion Feuchtwanger und München: Der junge Feuchtwanger—Dramatiker, Theaterkritiker, früher Romanautor) was held in Munich from 17th-20th October 2019. My paper for the conference was entitled ‘Das Buch Bayern’: The Portrayal of Antisemitism and the ‘Wahrhaft Deutschen’ in Erfolg (and accompanying Powerpoint).
Between 1920 and 1933 Lion Feuchtwanger published four works—one satirical short story and three novels—in which he addressed the subject of antisemitism in Germany. In the third of these works, Erfolg (1930), he exposed antisemitism in Bavarian politics and society, satirized the emerging NSDAP, and drew attention to the increasing politicization of Bavaria’s judicial and penal system, as well as providing a compelling fictionalized account of the 1923 Munich Putsch.
Although the novel helped garner Lion Feuchtwanger a Nobel Prize for Literature nomination in 1930, it put him as well as other family members in the crosshairs of the Nazi press. After the war the novel endured a mixed reception, but nowadays it is highly regarded, especially in Bavaria.
In the paper I traced the theme of antisemitism in the novel, described how the publication of the novel affected other family members, and pointed out that a comprehensive German Jewish studies interpretation of the novel would be a welcome addition to the existing secondary literature.
Süddeutsche Zeitung 21st October 2019, Kultur section article about the conference
Recent scholarly publications in the field:
— Michael Brenner, Der lange Schatten der Revolution, Juden und Antisemiten in Hitlers München 1918-1923 (Berlin: Jüdischer Verlag im Suhrkamp Verlag, 2019)