Ernst Wiechert


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Wiechert, Ernst

 

Born May 18, 1887, in Forsthaus; died Aug. 24, 1950, in Uerikon, Switzerland. German writer.

Wiechert’s novels Escape (1916) and The Wolf of the Dead (1924) and his poems, stories, and essays are written from a bourgeois-individualist standpoint. The situation in Germany after World War I is depicted in the novels The Major’s Wife (1934), A Pastoral Short Story (1935), Forests and People (1936), and Tobias (1938). In 1938, Wiechert was imprisoned for two months in the Buchenwald concentration camp for opposing Hitlerism, after which he was forbidden to publish. From 1948 he lived in Switzerland. He published a book about Buchenwald, The Forest of the Dead (1946), and the novel Children of Hieronymus (1945-47; published in English as The Earth Is Our Heritage). Wiechert’s last works were the memoirs Years and Times (1948) and the short story“The Judge” (1948).

WORKS

Sämtliche Werke, vols. 1-10. Vienna, 1957.
Rede an die deutsche Jugend. Berlin, 1947.

REFERENCES

Fradkin, I. Literatura novoi Germanii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Bekenntnis zu Ernst Wiechert: Ein Gedenkbuch zum 60 Geburtstag des Dichters. Munich, 1947.

S. D. KOMAROV

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His account finds intersection between the efforts of Martin Niemoller, Ernst Wiechert, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
But exile was not the option chosen by dramatists and writers who remained in the Reich (for example, Gerhard Hauptmann, Georg Kaiser, Ernst Wiechert, Richard Strauss, William Furtwangler, Ricarda Huch, Hans Carossa, Gottfried Benn, Ernst Junger, and Walter von Molo), and even after the War writers such as Frank Thiess claimed that their presence in the Reich was an expression of the unique exile known as Die Innere Emigration (Inward Emigration)--a status which Theatre under the Nazis, unfortunately, only suggests.