On 2nd June 2016 the New York Times ran a Books Section article (‘Edgar Feuchtwanger Bore Witness, Horribly Close to Hitler,’ to coincide with Edgar’s talk at the 92nd Street Y cultural center.

Edgar also appeared on CNN with Christiane Amanpour, June 23rd 2016. Minute 0.57: “If Hitler had known who I was, I wouldn’t be here to talk to you. My uncle Lion Feuchtwanger–who was very much a personal enemy of Hitler’s–had satirized him as Rupert Kutzner [in Erfolg], and if they had ever found out that we were the closest relations to Lion,  we would’t be here for sure.”

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And also on the world’s most visited English-language newspaper website Daily Mail Online on June 23rd: “A Jewish man and one-time neighbor of Hitler has revealed what it was like to live next door to the German dictator for nine years during his rise to power. Edgar Feuchtwanger’s incredible story is made the more improbable by the fact that his uncle, Lion Feuchtwanger, was a prominent novelist and ‘personal enemy’ of Hitler at the time.”

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Edgar’s memoir I was Hitler’s Neighbour (Bretwalda, London), written from his own contemporary viewpoint as professional historian, was published in the United Kingdom in 2015.

“Nine-year-old Edgar was strolling down the street in pre-war Munich when he glanced into a nearby garden. There, relaxing in a deckchair and dozing in the sun, he saw a neighbour who lived directly opposite him. Edgar, who was Jewish, felt no cause for alarm. Yet this fellow city dweller was none other than Adolf Hitler, then resident in Munich and on his way to becoming the most dangerous and fearsome tyrant of the 20th century.

And as such Edgar, now the 91-year-old distinguished historian Edgar Feuchtwanger, witnessed some of the most dangerous and notorious events in the run-up to war. Edgar’s family was well-known in pre-war Germany. His uncle was Lion Feuchtwanger, a successful author in the Weimar Republic who incurred the wrath of the authorities when in 1930 – the year of Hitler’s electoral breakthrough – he published a novel called Success, which lampooned the German leader as Rupert Kutzner, a garage mechanic with a populist touch, who founds a party called the Truly Germans.” Daily Express

 

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Regerstrasse 8, Lion Feuchtwanger’s former home in Berlin, now has a new and more visible commemorative plaque mounted on the front wall of the house (the existing plaque on the pavement has been left in place), writes Marta Feuchtwanger biographer Manfred Flügge.

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Photo credits: Manfred Flügge

The Nazis’ expropriation of the house prompted Lion Feuchtwanger to write his well-known sarcastic public letter to the subsequent occupants (under National Socialism the street name was changed from Mahlerstrasse to Regerstrasse, as Mahler was Jewish).

As part of Letters Live, an event held at the the 2015 Hay-on-Wye (UK) Literary Festival to celebrate the art of letter-writing, actor Jude Law gave a reading of Lion Feuchtwanger’s public letter. Letters Live was also performed by Jude Law at a refugee camp in Calais on February 21st 2016, to contribute to ongoing public debate on migration.

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Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky’s film Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, with Tom Hanks as the voice of Waitstill Sharp, was previewed at the White House as part of the ongoing refugee debate and at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in early September, and broadcast on PBS on September 20th 2016. 7 minutes of the film cover the rescue of Lion and Marta Feuchtwanger in 1940.

Further reading:

  • full account of the role played by the Sharps, and their status as Righteous among the Nations, at the Yad Vashem website
  • Marta Feuchtwanger’s own account of how she and Lion made their escape from Vichy France with the help of the Sharps and the Emergency Rescue Committee
  • Manfred Flügge’s Fry, Bingham, Sharp: The Americans Who Saved Lion and Marta Feuchtwanger, published by Villa Aurora and reviewed in the International Feuchtwanger Society Newsletter (Volume 21/2016, page 63).

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Wilhelm von Sternburg’s biography has been republished (with new material) by Aufbau Verlag. The jacket photo is one of a series taken by renowned portrait photographer of the day E.O. Hoppé  at Lion Feuchtwanger’s rented apartment at Hohenzollerndamm 34 in Berlin, according to International Feuchtwanger Society newsletter (19/2016, page 11).

“In von Sternburgs Biografie ist sehr schön nachzulesen, wie Feuchtwanger zu seiner Stadt steht und die Stadt zu ihm.” Münchner Merkur