Bretwalda

Edgar Feuchtwanger’s memoirs, written from his own contemporary viewpoint as a professional historian, have been published by Bretwalda (London).

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

Professor Anne Hartmann will return to the subject of Lion Feuchtwanger and Stalin this week at the Literaturhaus Berlin:

A co-operation of Villa Aurora and Literaturhaus Berlin
in celebration of Feuchtwanger’s 130th birthday

Thursday, July 10, 2014, 8 pm

LF and Stalin VERSAND KLEIN 2 1937-042f0cdb

Lion Feuchtwanger in Moscow in 1937

“To understand Stalin – was that at all possible for a western intellectual, who paid him a visit in the Soviet Union in the 1930s? What was it that Feuchtwanger grasped, when he sat face to face with the dictator on January 8th, 1937? How far reaching was his insight and knowledge about that radically foreign society?

In his travel log of 1937, Feuchtwanger shows considerable appreciation for Stalin and his policies. He ends his book with a triple, enthusiastic YES for the USSR praising its social order and even justifying its show trials. The political reasons are obvious. Forced into exile, by the Hitler regime, the German-Jewish author hoped, the Soviet Union would offer the fierce resistance to the National Socialists, which was sadly missing among the western democracies.

But other motives may be worth mentioning. There are irritations, contradictions and cracks detectable under the smooth surface of his travel log. Those will be the focus of the lecture which will also discuss the limits of understanding and sympathy. It includes the question as to why Feuchtwanger stuck staunchly to his vision of the Soviet realities until his death in 1958.”  Anne Hartmann

Further reading:

 

 

Happy Birthday, Fritz!

Knilli_cropped2

 

This Festschrift for Professor Friedrich Knilli contains, among other articles, ‘Two Films about Jud Süss‘ (Edgar’s International Feuchtwanger Society Conference 2005 paper); a tribute from Marje Schuetze-Coburn and Michaela Ullmann (Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, USC); and the following poem by renowned Polish-German theatre critic and academic Professor Andrzej Wirth:

Mein lieber Fritz

If you don’t mind

Der forscher ist grösser

Als sein gegenstand

 

Ohne dein witz

Ohne dein elan

Wer wüsste noch

Wer war veit harlan

 

Porträtfoto-Andreas-Heusler-c-Inga-Fesl

The book launch for the new Lion Feuchtwanger biography by City of Munich archivist and author Dr. Andreas Heusler will be held on July 16th 2014:

Lion Feuchtwanger. Münchner – Emigrant – Weltbürger

Beginn 19:00

Der Autor Dr. Andreas Heusler stellt sein neues Buch im Gespräch mit Sabine Zaplin,Kulturjournalistin (BR) vor.

 Grußwort: Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, Präsidentin der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde München & Oberbayern.

Schlusswort: Mag. Claudia Romeder, Verlagsleiterin Residenz Verlag

Veranstalter: Kulturzentrum d. Israelit. Kultusgemeinde, Residenz Verlag, Stadtarchiv München

Eintritt frei, Anmeldung erbeten unter (089) 20 24 00-491 oder karten@ikg-m.de.

Veranstaltungsort:  Jüdisches Gemeindezentrum, St.-Jakobs-Platz 18

16072014

The queue to get in to the book launch

Further reports:


Inhabit the Word: Celebrating 80 Years of PEN, a  conference sponsored by Villa Aurora  with a reception hosted by the Consul General of Switzerland Jean-François Lichtenstern,  was held on June 28th-29th 2014 at the Goethe Institute Los Angeles. PEN Zentrum deutschspachiger Autoren was founded in 1934 by a group of exiled writers including Lion Feuchtwanger, in protest against the events unfolding in Germany.der-deutsche-pen-club-im-exil-en