Born Aug. 15, 1901, in Kleinwittenberg; died Sept. 7, 1973, in Wittenberg. German writer (GDR); member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1965); received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wittenberg (1971). Member of the Communist Party of Germany from 1921.
Lorbeer was a fitter by trade. In the 1920’s he published several poems and short stories devoted to the struggle of the proletariat against the forces of reaction (Poems by a Young Worker, 1925). He was one of the founders of the Union of Revolutionary Proletarian Writers of Germany (1928). Lorbeer’s novel A Man Is Being Tortured (1930) and the play Phosphorus (1931) were first published in the USSR in Russian. Lorbeer was persecuted by the Nazis and twice imprisoned in a concentration camp (1933-34 and 1937). After Germany’s liberation from Nazism he took an active part in bringing about democratic changes in East Germany.
Lorbeer’s outstanding work is the trilogy The Rebels of Wittenberg (1956-63), which depicted the Reformation and the complex life of M. Luther. Lorbeer is the author of prose works (Seven Is a Lucky Number, 1953) and of poetry collections (Man Sings in All the Streets, 1950). He received the National Prize of the GDR (1961), the H. Mann Prize (1959), and the L. Feuchtwanger Prize (1971).
WORKSGesammelte Werke in Einzelausgaben, vol. 1. Halle, 1971.
Die Strassen gehn. Halle, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Matrosy pribyli. Moscow, 1930.
REFERENCE“Hans Lorbeer.” In Proletarischrevolutionare Literatur, 1918-1933. Berlin, 1970.
D. V. IGNAT’EV