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. The conference was covered by the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 21st October 2019 and in a follow-up article.

Several members of the Feuchtwanger family attended the conference, including Edgar Feuchtwanger and myself. In my conference paper I traced the theme of antisemitism in Lion Feuchtwanger’s Bavaria novel Erfolg, described how its publication affected immediate family members at the time, and noted that a comprehensive German Jewish studies interpretation would be a welcome addition to the existing secondary literature.

In my paper, entitled ‘Das Buch Bayern’: The Portrayal of Antisemitism and the ‘Wahrhaft Deutschen’ in Erfolg (and accompanying Powerpoint), I pointed out that 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 Nazi Party, 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 Erfolg 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.

Conference program (proceedings: forthcoming, Peter Lang, 2021)

— Recent scholarly publications in the field:
Robert Gerwarth, November 1918: The German Revolution (Oxford: OUP, 2020)

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