Heym, Stefan

Heym, Stefan

(shtā`fän hīm), 1913–2001, German writer, b. Chemnitz as Helmut Flieg. A Jew, he fled the Nazis (1933), moved to Prague, and settled (1935) in the United States, where he attended the Univ. of Chicago (B.A., M.A.). In New York, he edited an anti-Fascist newspaper in German (1937–39) and wrote his first best-selling novel, Hostages (1942). He fought in World War II and edited anti-Nazi newspapers. A Marxist, Heym was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, left the United States, and settled (1953) in East Berlin. There, he was frequently at odds with the East German regime. Heym's many novels include Goldsborough (1953), The Papers of Andreas Lenz (1963), The King David Report (1972), Ahasver (1981), and the autobiographical Obituary (1988) and The Gals Are Always Gone and Other Clever Sayings (1997).


See studies by P. Hutchinson (1992) and M. Tait (2001).

Heym, Stefan


Born Apr. 10, 1913, in Chemnitz. German writer (writes in English and German).

Heym studied at the University of Berlin. After the fascist seizure of power he emigrated to Czechoslovakia and in 1935 to the USA, where he edited the antifascist weekly Deutsches Volksecho from 1937 to 1939. Called into the American army in 1943, he participated in military operations. Heym condemned the American war in Korea and returned his military decorations to the president. He has lived in the German Democratic Republic since 1952.

Heym’s first novel The Hostages (in English, 1942; Russian translation, 1944) is a picture of the national uprising of the Czech people. Depicting events of World War II in the novel Crusaders (1948; German and Russian translations, 1950), Heym exposed the American military machine. The novel Goldsborough (German translation, 1953; Russian translation, 1955) is devoted to a strike by American miners. The historical novel The Archives of Andreas Lenz (1963) deals with the revolutionary events of 1848–49 in Germany. Heym is the recipient of the H. Mann Prize (1953) and the National Prize of the GDR (1959).


Nazis in USA. [New York] 1938.
Tom Sawyers grosses Abenteuer. Halle an der Saale [1953]. (With H. Burger.)
Die Augen der Vernunft. Leipzig, 1955.
Die Kannibalen und andere Erzählungen. Leipzig [1958].
Reise ins Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten. Berlin, 1954.
Schatten und Licht. Leipzig, 1960.
Der bittere Lorbeer. Munich, 1966.


Ditzel, U. “Literatur über und aus Amerika.” Heute und Morgen, 1954, no. 9. Berlin.


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