Erich Mühsam

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Erich Mühsam
Birthplace Berlin, Imperial Germany
Anarchist, poet, playwright, and cabaret performer
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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


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