Author and theatrical director Thomas Blubacher

Thomas Blubacher’s account of the émigré life of German intellectuals in Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s, Paradies in schwerer Zeit,  has just been published by Elizabeth Sandmann Verlag.

 

“In seinem reich bebilderten, immer unterhaltsamen, niemals platten Buch über die deutsche Emigration in und um Pacific Palisades beschäftigt sich der Theaterwissenschaftler mit den Schriftstellern, Schauspielern und Komponisten, die nach 1933 an die Westküste der Vereinigten Staaten geflohen waren, um hier in einem der großen Studios unterzukommen. […] Blubacher geht ihren Schicksalen nach und erzählt von ihrem Leben anhand einer bestimmten Gegend, eben Pacific Palisades. Sein Buch gleicht einem Reiseführer.” Die Welt

 

The incoming Feuchtwanger Fellow is Amir Hassan Cheheltan, a leading Iranian novelist who has suffered intimidation and censorship in his native country, and whose views on the situation in Iran regularly appear in German media.

“I live in exile in my own country.” Amir Hassan Cheheltan.

Award-winning novelist Klaus Modick

Klaus Modick’s new novel Sunset, which is woven around the thoughts and reminiscences of Lion Feuchtwanger on a single day in Pacific Palisades in 1956, has just been published by Eichborn  (Frankfurt am Main).

“„Sunset“ ist ein kurzer, überwiegend auf reales Material zurückgreifender und nur zu kleineren Teilen frei verfahrender Lion-Feuchtwanger-Roman, der auf doppelte Weise triftig erscheint: als akademischer Stoff, denn über diesen Autor hat Modick vor gut dreißig Jahren (bei Karl Robert Mandelkow) seine Doktorarbeit geschrieben; und erneut in Hinsicht auf das Verhältnis zwischen Kunst und Kommerzialität – also: Was würde Hollywood dazu sagen?” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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Professor Harold von Hofe with Feuchtwanger Librarian Marje Schuetze-Coburn in 1995

  In Memoriam: Harold von Hofe

Harold von Hofe, professor emeritus of German and former director of the Feuchtwanger Institute for Exile Studies at USC, died Feb. 3 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 98.

The son of German musicians who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, von Hofe was born in Plainsfield, N.J., on April 23, 1912.

In 1939 — after earning a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a doctorate from Northwestern University — von Hofe relocated to Los Angeles and took a job teaching German at USC.

He became a professor and served as chair of USC’’s German department from 1945-1956 (as well as from 1963-68 and 1971-74). Von Hofe’s scholarly work focused largely on the work of writers who fled Germany for Southern California during the Holocaust.

“Dr. von Hofe was an eminent scholar in the field of German exile studies,” said USC Libraries’ senior associate dean Marje Schuetze-Coburn, a longtime friend and colleague. “His expertise built on the relationships he developed with members of the German émigré community in Los Angeles during World War II.”

From 1959 to 1963, von Hofe served as chair of the USC Division of Humanities.

Von Hofe played a large role in acquiring one of USC’s most prized scholarly research collections – the library of German-Jewish author Lion Feuchtwanger.

In the early 1940s, the then-associate professor visited Feuchtwanger’’s Pacific Palisades home, Villa Aurora, and became friends with the author (Jud Süss) and his wife, Marta.

Following Feuchtwanger’’s death in 1958, von Hofe convinced Marta that USC would be the ideal place to preserve her husband’s collection of more than 30,000 volumes that include Hebrew, Greek and Latin classics; a pre-Luther translation of the Bible; German and German-exile literature; books and materials relating to the French Revolution; rare first editions and secondary works by authors such as Luther, Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Voltaire and Rousseau; and a collection of texts and translations — including a 1493 Florentine edition — of works by first-century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius.

“Over the decades, Dr. von Hofe became a close colleague of — and adviser to — Marta Feuchtwanger. Following her death in 1987, he served as executor of her estate,” said Schuetze-Coburn, who met von Hofe in 1989 when she became the Feuchtwanger librarian and archivist. “Dr. von Hofe dedicated the latter part of his career to publishing Lion Feuchtwanger’’s extensive correspondence, thereby making these rich primary source materials available to scholars.”

“Thanks to Dr. von Hofe’’s efforts, Lion Feuchtwanger, his library and his writings have been preserved for future generations,” Schuetze-Coburn added.

Among von Hofe’’s books: A German Sketchbook (co-authored with Ludwig Marcuse, 1979), Faust: Leben, Legende und Literatur (1965) and Eine Reise durch Deutschland (1960), among dozens of others. He also has edited, annotated and published numerous volumes of Feuchtwanger’’s correspondence.

Von Hofe is survived by two sons, Hal and Eric von Hofe, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

 

 

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A new plaque commemorating the group of German intellectuals who took refuge in Sanary-sur-Mer in the south of France in the 1930s and 1940s, among them Lion Feuchtwanger, has been unveiled near the town’s seafront. Recent descriptions of the period spent by Lion and Marta Feuchtwanger in Sanary include this Deutschlandradio interview with Edgar (full transcript here) and this New York Times travel section article by my sister Antonia. (republished in the New York Times volume entitled Footsteps (Three Rivers Press, New York, 2017)).

Johan Simons, Director, Munich Kammerspiele

Johan Simons’ dramatized version of Erfolg has opened at Munich’s legendary theatre, the Kammerspiele.

“Lion Feuchtwangers Monumentalroman Erfolg über die Drachensaat des Nationalsozialismus in Bayern. […] München leuchtet wieder.” Die Welt

“[…] eine packende, reiche, vor den Augen der Zuhörer plastische Gestalt annehmende Geschichte. ” Süddeutsche Zeitung

Award-winning author and biographer Manfred Flügge has published a major new biography of Marta Feuchtwanger.

“Eine Frau sollte keine Angst haben vor dem Fallen.” Marta Feuchtwanger Muse, Grande Dame, Ikone des deutschen Exils – Marta Feuchtwanger gehört neben Katia Mann und Alma Mahler-Werfel zu den großen Dichterfrauen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Manfred Flügge erzählt das Leben dieser außergewöhnlichen Frau, die durch ihre Schönheit, ihren selbstbewussten Witz und ihre Lebensklugheit schon die Zeitgenossen faszinierte. Ein unvergleichliches Frauenschicksal, ein spannender Eheroman, ein plastisches Zeitbild und, schließlich, eine Lektion zum Thema Glück – glänzend geschrieben und gestützt auf umfangreiches, teilweise bisher unerschlossenes Material, darunter die intimen Tagebücher Lion Feuchtwangers.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

 

 

 

Franz Seitz’s 4-hour film version of Erfolg, made in 1991 with a star-studded cast that includes Bruno Ganz and Peter Simonischek, will be rerun on 3-sat tomorrow (1030 pm, 3 consecutive nights).

 

An overview of the author and his work, for researchers, journalists and students. This site is maintained by Dr. Adrian Feuchtwanger.