Born June 25, 1890, in Scharley bei Benthen, present-day Szarlej, Upper Silesia; died Jan. 17, 1965, in Potsdam. German author (German Democratic Republic).
The son of a miner, Marchwitza worked in the mines from his youth. He was a soldier during World War I and took part in the November Revolution of 1918 and the Ruhr uprising of 1920. In 1920 he became a member of the Communist Party of Germany. From 1933 to 1946, Marchwitza lived in exile (Switzerland, France, USA). From 1936 to 1938 he was an officer in the International Brigade in Spain. During the 1920’s he published articles, propaganda verses, and stories.
Most of Marchwitza’s works deal with the life and struggle of the German working class, for example, My Youth (1947). The formation of a revolutionary consciousness among German farm laborers is the basic theme of his trilology The Kumiaks (1934; Russian translation, 1938), The Return of the Kumiaks (1952), and The Kumiaks and Their Children (1959). Marchwitza received the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic in 1950, 1955, and 1964.
WORKSWerke in Einzelausgaben, vols. 1-6. Berlin, 1957-61.
Das Walzwerk. Berlin, 1932. (Second edition published as Treue, Berlin, 1960.)
Roheisen. Berlin, 1955.
In Amerika. Berlin, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Shakhtery. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
“Araganda.” Literaturnyi sovremennik, 1939, no. 2.
“Forma.” Internatsional molodezhi, 1939, no. 5.
REFERENCESErpenbeck, F. “G. Markhvitsa.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1937, no. 11, p. 171.
Bonk, J. “Hans Marchwitza.” In Hans Marchwitza, Otto Gotsche. Berlin, 1960.