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Born Dec. 1, 1893, in Samotschin (present-day Szamocin, near the city of Bydgoszcz, Poland); died May 22, 1939, in New York. German writer.
Toller studied in Grenoble until 1914 and then in Heidelberg and Munich. He was one of the leading figures of expressionism. He joined the government of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919. After the republic’s defeat he was imprisoned, and while in prison wrote Requiem to Murdered Brothers (1920) and Prisoners’ Poems (1921). He also wrote several plays, including Man and the Masses (1921, banned after the first performance; Russian translation, 1923); the central theme of the play is the problem of correlating the aim and the means of revolutionary struggle. Toller was also the author of the play Hoppla! (1927; translated into Russian as We Are Living, We Are Living!, 1928).
In 1933, Toller emigrated to the USA, where he published the collection of autobiographical sketches / Was a German (1933; Russian translation, 1935) and a play about life in a concentration camp, Pastor Hall (1939). Toller committed suicide while in a state of depression.
WORKSProsa, Briefe, Dramen, Gedichte. Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1961.
REFERENCESEkspressionizm. (Collection of articles.) Moscow, 1966.
Willibrand, W. A. Ernst Toller: Product of Two Revolutions. Norman, Okla. 1941.