Bernhard Kellermann

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kellermann, Bernhard


Born Mar. 4, 1879, in Fürth; died Oct. 17, 1951, in Potsdam. German writer.

The son of a civil servant, Kellermann was educated at the Higher Technical School in Munich. His early novels, such as Yesterand Li (1904), were influenced by neoromanticism. Turning to contemporary social themes in the novel The Tunnel (1913), he reveals the contradictions in bourgeois technical progress. He welcomed the Great October Socialist Revolution and the November Revolution of 1918 in Germany in the novel November 9 (1920). The novel The City Anatol (1932) portrays a capitalist city gripped by entrepreneurial fever. In the fascist period Kellermann remained in Germany, writing novels in the spirit of critical realism.

After 1945 he took an active part in the democratic renewal of German culture, becoming one of the founders and leaders of the Kulturbund. In the novel Dance of Death (1948) he exposed the criminal, amoral essence of fascism. After a trip to the USSR in 1948 as a member of the first delegation of the German democratic intelligentsia, Kellermann, with his wife Ellen, wrote a book of sketches entitled We Are Returning From Soviet Russia, in which the Soviet people are described with great affection. He was awarded the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic in 1949.


Ausgewählte Werke in Einzelausgaben, vols. 1–8. Berlin, 1958–63.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–6. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Deviatoe noiabria. Pliaska smerti. Moscow, 1959.
Tunnel’. Gorod Anatol’. Leningrad, 1960.
Pesn’ druzhby. Moscow and Leningrad, 1960.


Fradkin, I. “Poslednii roman B. Kellermana.” Novyi mir, 1955, no. 9.
Bergel’son, G. B. Kellerman. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Ilberg, W. B. Kellermann in seinen Werken. Berlin, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Roland Dollinger aptly locates Berge Meere and Giganten within a debate about the destructiveness of Western rationality that extended from Expressionists such as Bernhard Kellermann via radical conservatives (Ludwig Klages, Ernst Junger) to proto-Fascist doom-merchants in the mould of Oswald Spengler.
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