Born May 20, 1921, in Hamburg; died Nov. 20,1947, in Basel. German writer; one of the pioneers of postwar antifascist literature in West Germany.
A soldier in World War II, Borchert was sentenced to death for his antifascist views, but this was commuted to banishment to the front as part of a prisoners’ battalion. After the war he wrote poetry (the collection Lanterns, Night, and Stars, which appeared in 1946), essays, and lyrical prose poems. In the drama Outside the Door (1947), Borchert expressionistically portrayed the experiences of those who had returned from the war and had realized the war’s criminality. Recognition came to Borchert only after his death. His works, which opposed revanchist policies, influenced many progressive writers.
WORKSDas Gesamtwerk. Halle/Saale, 1958.
REFERENCESFradkin, I. “Pokolenie vernuvshikhsia.” In Literatura novoi Germanii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Schmidt, M. “Anklage und Hoffnung.” Neue Deutsche Literatur, 1967, no. 12.
W. Borchert in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. [Hamburg, 1967.]
E. V. LEPKO