Born May 24, 1909, in Jihlava, in what is now Czechoslovakia; died June 23, 1957, in Weimar. German writer of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1928. Member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR.
In 1927, Fürnberg took up residence in Prague, where he organized amateur workers’ ensembles that performed antifascist works. During the fascist occupation of Czechoslovakia he took part in underground activities and was subjected to repressive measures. He left Czechoslovakia before the end of the war and remained abroad until 1946. In 1954 he moved to the GDR, where he was made the head of the Memorial Center of Classical Literature in Weimar.
Fürnberg’s philosophical narrative poem “Feast of Life” (1939) joins political themes to a lyric impulse. Historical optimism is the hallmark of the lyric cycles Hell, Hate, and Love (1943) and El Shatt (published 1960) and of the narrative poems Brother Nameless (1947) and The Spanish Wedding (1948). Fürnberg’s collections of verse Wanderer in the Morning (1951) and The Wonderful Law (1956) reflect the development of socialist consciousness. He published translations of works by various Czech poets, as well as short stories, essays, and publicistic articles.
Fürnberg was awarded the J. Fucik Prize of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1953 and the National Prize of the GDR in 1956.
WORKSGesammelte Werke, vols. 1–6. Berlin-Weimar, 1964–73.
In Russian translation:
Brat Bezymiannyi. Moscow, 1958.
Izbrannoe. [Foreword by G. Znamenskaia.] Moscow, 1974.
REFERENCESShor, V. “Ispoved’ dushi.” Zvezda, 1958, no. 12.
Gilenson, B. “Ispoved’ poeta.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1959, no. 1.
Vaisbakh, R. “Narodnost’ i internatsionalizm.” In the collection Esteticheskiepozitsii. Moscow, 1973.
Motyleva, T. “Lui Fiurnberg—kritik i publitsist.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1974, no. 11.
Devekin, V. “Nichego prekrasnei serdtsa net.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1975, no. 12.
Pronin, V. “Serdtsa-antenny.” Literaturnoeobozrenie, 1975, no. 7.
G. N. ZNAMENSKAIA