Frank, Leonhard(lā`ônhärt frängk), 1882–1961, German expressionist writer. He gained acclaim with his first novel, The Robber Band (1914, tr. 1928), and it was followed by such works as The Cause of the Crime (1920, tr. 1928), A Middle-Class Man (1924, tr. 1930), and Carl and Anna (1927, tr. 1929), his best-known novel, which he dramatized in 1929. In the Last Coach (1925, tr. 1935) is a volume of short stories. His writing is psychological in approach, antiwar, and shows a compassion for victims of an authoritarian society. Frank fled Germany in 1933 and did not return until after World War II.
Born Sept. 4, 1882, in Würzburg; died Aug. 18, 1961, in Munich. German writer.
Frank was the son of a joiner. Persecuted for publicly criticizing militarism, he was forced to emigrate to Switzerland in 1915. He returned to Germany in November 1918 and became a member of the Revolutionary Council in Munich. He emigrated again in 1933 and lived in France, Great Britain, and the USA. He returned to Munich in 1950. In 1957 he received an honorary doctorate from Humboldt University in Berlin.
Frank won literary success with his first novel, The Robber Band (1914; translated into Russian in 1925 as The Robbers), in which he ridiculed the German bourgeoisie. A humanist and antimilitarist spirit distinguishes his collection of novellas Man Is Good (1917; Russian translation, 1923).
Frank’s realistic writing was influenced by left-wing expressionism, for example, in the novella In the Last Car (1925; Russian translation, 1927) and the novel The Singers (1927; Russian translation, 1928). The autobiographical novel Heart on the Left (1952; Russian translation, 1956) expresses Frank’s sympathetic outlook toward socialism. Frank visited the USSR in 1955.
Frank was awarded the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic in 1955.
WORKSGesammelte Werke, vols. 1–6. Berlin, 1957.
Schauspiele. Berlin, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1958.
Prichina: Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1969.
P’esy. Moscow, 1972.
REFERENCESZhitomirskaia, Z. B. (compiler). Leongard Frank: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1967.
Geschichte der deutschen Literatur, vol. 10. Berlin, 1973.
A. A. GUGNIN