Hermlin, Stephan

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hermlin, Stephan


Born Apr. 13, 1915, in Chemnitz (present-day Karl-Marx-Stadt). German writer and translator of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1950).

In 1931, Hermlin joined the Communist Youth League of Germany. He worked in a printing office. From 1936 to 1945 he lived in emigration. Hermlin’s first poetry collections, 12 Ballads of Big Cities (1945) and We Will Not Be Silent (1945), both of which were published in Switzerland, resound with faith in the victory over fascism. His collection 22 Ballads (1947), the narrative poem Mansfeld Oratorio (1950), and the poetry collection Flight of the Dove (1952) established him as a leading master of contemporary German poetry. His collection of sketches The Front Rank (1951; Russian translation, 1952) is dedicated to German heroes of the antifascist resistance.

Hermlin has also written short stories and critical essays and has translated the works of French, Hungarian, American, and Latin American poets. He is a member of the administrative board of the Writers’ Union of the GDR. He has been awarded the National Prize of the GDR (1950, 1954) and the Heinrich Heine Prize (1948, 1972).


Dichtungen. Berlin, 1956.
Begegnungen, 1954–1959. Berlin, 1960.
Erz̈ahlungen, 2nd ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1970.
Gedichte. Leipzig, 1971.
Lektüre, 1960–1971. Berlin-Weimar, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Poletgolubia. Stikhi. Moscow, 1963.
“Komendantsha.” In Povesti i rasskazy pisatelei GDR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1973.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1974.


“Stephan Hermlin.” In Geschichte der Literatur der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Berlin, 1974. (Contains bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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