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Born Aug. 4, 1890, in Magdeburg; died Apr. 20, 1953, in Berlin. German poet. Son of an engineer.
In 1912, Weinert graduated from the Higher School of Applied Arts in Berlin. While serving as a soldier in World War I, he became sympathetic to the revolutionary movement. He began writing in 1921. His very first poems were of an anti-imperialist character. In the mid-1920’s, Weinert linked his work to the struggle of the German proletariat; he joined the German Communist Party in 1929. Weinert’s characteristic style as a political poet, agitator, and satirist was revealed in the collections Theater of the Apes (1925) and Erich Weinert Speaks (1930). The fascist coup d’etat forced him to emigrate to Switzerland and then to the USSR. In 1934 he published the collections of antifascist poems The Cobblestones and The Day Will Come. In 1937 he was a political worker in the 11th International Brigade in Spain; his poems of the Spanish cycle are collected in the book Camaradas (1951). During World War II, Weinert served near front lines on the Soviet-German front, made radio addresses to German soldiers, and headed the antifascist committee Free Germany. He is the author of the war diary Remember Stalingrad (1943), the short stories Death for the Fatherland (1942) and Expediency (1942), one-act plays, collections of leaflet poems written during the war (Against the Real Enemy, 1944), and poems about the Soviet Union (Chapter Two of World History: Poems About the Land of Socialism, 1947). After returning to his homeland in 1946, Weinert devoted all his energy to the democratic revival of Germany. He was awarded the National Prize in 1949 and 1952 and was elected a member of the German Academy of Arts.
WORKSGesammelte Werke, vols. 1-9. Berlin, 1955-60.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1965.
REFERENCESDevekin, V. Erikh Vainert. Moscow, 1965.
Kopelev, L. “Govorit Erikh Vainert.” In his book Serdtse vsegda sleva. Moscow, 1960.
Troianker, V. S. Erikh Vainert: Biobibliografich. ukazateV. Moscow, 1953.
Pieck, W., and O. Grotewohl. “Dichter der Arbeiterklasse.” Neues Deutschland, 1950, issue 4.
Zweig, A. “Gestern, heute, morgen (Erich Weinert).” Die Weltbühne, 1951, no. 32.
Erich Weinert—Dichter und Tribun, 1890-1953. Berlin-Weimar, 1965.
V. N. DEVEKIN