Hans José Rehfisch

Rehfisch, Hans José


(pen names Georg Turner, René Kestner). Born Apr. 10, 1891, in Berlin; died June 9, 1960, in Scuol, Switzerland. German writer.

The son of a physician, Rehfisch was educated as a lawyer. He was a soldier during World War I. From 1931 to 1933 and from 1951 to 1956, he headed the Union of German Playwrights and Composers. In 1933 he was arrested by the Nazis, and in 1936 he emigrated, returning in 1950 to West Germany. He made the first of many visits to East Germany in 1957.

As early as the 1920’s, Rehfisch’s effective and politically topical plays were widely popular. In The Dreyfus Affair (1929) he drew on historical materials to denounce militarism and anti-Semitism. Captain Grizel’s Hour (1933) warned of the approaching fascist dictatorship. One of his best plays, The Boomerang (1960; first presented in East Germany), deals with the 1872 trial of A. Bebel and W. Liebknecht. Rehfisch also wrote the novels The Witches of Paris (1951) and Lysistrata’s Marriage (1959).


Ausgewählte Werke, vols. 1–4. Berlin, 1967.
Die Hexen von Paris: Roman. Berlin, 1967.
Lysistratas Hochzeit. Berlin, 1967.


Sashenkov, E. “Poslednee slovo bol’shogo dramaturga.” Teatr, 1960, no. 12.
“Golos pravdy razryvaet ‘bonnskoe molchanie.’” Inostrannaia lit-ra, 1962, no. 4.