Alfred Kurella

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kurella, Alfred


(pseudonyms, B. Zigler, V. Röbig, A. Bernhard). Born May 2, 1895, in Brzeg, Poland. German writer, translator, literary critic, and public figure in the German Democratic Republic. Member of the Communist Party of Germany since 1918 and member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany since 1957. Member of the German Academy of Arts where, since 1962, he has headed the language and literature section.

Kurella was active in the Communist Youth International and the Union of Proletarian Revolutionary Writers of Germany (1928). From 1932 to 1934 he was secretary of the International Committee for the Struggle Against Fascism and War, headed by H. Barbusse and R. Rolland. From 1934 to 1954 he lived in the USSR, where he was deputy editor in chief of the newspaper of the committee Free Germany (1943–45). Kurella has translated works by Russian revolutionary democrats, including V. G. Belinskii, A. I. Herzen, and N. G. Chernyshevskii; Soviet and French writers; and T. G. Shevchenko and N. Hikmet.

In his novel Documents From Gronau (1954), Kurella depicts the spiritual emptiness of those who turned to fascism, and his novel Pawn in the Big Game (published 1961) reflects upon the fate of the German intelligentsia during the fascist period. His many works on literary criticism, notably the collections Man as the Creator of Himself (1958) and Miscellany (1961), were a major contribution to the development of the principles of socialist realism. Also important are his sociopolitical and historicophilosophical writings Mussolini Without a Mask (1931), East and West (1948), and Dimitrov Against Goring (1964) and his book The Road To Lenin (1967), which has been made into a film of the same name (1970). Kurella is one of the founders and the director of the J. R. Becher Institute of Literature in Leipzig (1955). He is a deputy to the People’s Chamber of the German Democratic Republic.


Lettres de Lénine à sa famille, présentées par Henri Barbusse. Avec la collaboration de A. Kurella. Paris, 1936.
Dimitroff contra Goring. Berlin, 1964.
Der Ganze Mensch. Berlin, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia Kommunisticheskogo Internatsionala Molodezhi: Kratkii ocherk. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Svoe i chuzhoe. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.