Leonhard Frank

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Frank, Leonhard


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.


Gesammelte 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.


Zhitomirskaia, Z. B. (compiler). Leongard Frank: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1967.
Geschichte der deutschen Literatur, vol. 10. Berlin, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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La Motte, Georges Duhamel, Leonhard Frank, Ernst Friedrich, and Joe Sacco.
An intensely powerful portrait by Kirchner of the Expressionist poet and writer Leonhard Frank, executed when the artist was recovering from a mental breakdown in a Swiss sanatorium in 1917, sold at the top end of its estimate, for just over 1m [pounds sterling].
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The essay on the Pazifische Presse, the little press that managed to publish works by Leonhard Frank, Alfred Doblin, Thomas Mann, Franz Werfel, Lion Feuchtwanger, and others, is excellent.