Mühsam, Erich

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Mühsam, Erich

 

Born Apr. 6, 1878, in Berlin; died July 11, 1934, in the Oranienburg concentration camp. German poet, playwright, publicist.

Miihsam was the son of a pharmacist. In his first collections, which included The Desert (1904), he depicted the world through the eyes of a lonely hero. He published topical verse in satirical journals. In its thematic content, Mühsam’s poetry was similar to the rebellious antiwar lyric poetry of left-wing expressionism. For the first time in 20th-century German democratic poetry, Miihsam created the heroic figure of the revolutionary.

In 1919, Miihsam took part in the struggle for the establishment of a Soviet republic in Bavaria. After the counterrevolutionary coup in Munich, he was arrested and remained in prison until 1925. In his satirical play Weather for All (1930; published posthumously), he exposed the behind-the-scenes collusion of the Nazis, industrialists, and the German military clique and the conciliatory policy of the right-wing Social Democratic leaders. Mühsam was arrested in early 1933 by the Nazis, who staged his “suicide” a year later.

WORKS

Auswahl: Gedichte, Drama, Prosa, 2nd ed. With an obituary notice by E. Weinert. Berlin, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Zemlia v ogne. Moscow, 1925.
Prizyv: Izbr. stikhi i rasskazy. Moscow, 1925. [Verse.] In Nemetskaia demokraticheskaia poeziia. Moscow, 1955.

REFERENCE

Pavlova, N. S. Tvorchestvo Erikha Miuzama. Moscow, 1965.

N. S. PAVLOVA