Ludwig Renn

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Renn, Ludwig


(pen name of Arnold Friedrich Vieth von Golssenau). Born Apr. 22, 1889, in Dresden. East German author. Member of the German Academy of Arts in Berlin since 1952.

The son of a nobleman, Renn studied in Göttingen and Munich. He fought in World War I. In 1928 he became a member of the Communist Party of Germany; until 1932 he served as secretary of the Union of Proletarian Revolutionary Writers. He fought in the National Revolutionary War in Spain and later emigrated to Mexico. In 1947, Renn returned to his homeland.

Renn’s work is permeated with humanist ideas and a hatred of fascism and imperialistic wars. His novel War (1928) realistically depicts World War I through the eyes of an ordinary soldier. The Decline of the Nobility (1944) sharply criticizes the German officer class. Renn has also written many books for children and young people. His awards include Hero of Labor (1964), the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic (1955, 1961), and the H. Mann Prize (1962).


Zu Fuss zum Orient. Berlin, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Krushenie. Moscow, 1929.
Na razvalinakh imperii. Moscow, 1964.


Toper, P. M. Liudvig Renn. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Why the recurrent unsubstantiated assertion that Junger's In Stahlgewittern is an overrated work, when it is one of the most significant and readable pieces of war writing in German, in a different class from the politically acceptable but uninspired Krieg by Ludwig Renn, for example?
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Yet, the Spanish Civil War was like no other war before or since, for it attracted intellectuals in such numbers that the names read like a Who's Who of the established and up-and-coming writers of the 1930s: Andre Malraux, Gustav Regler, Ludwig Renn, John Cornford, Louis Fischer, Christopher Caudwell, Arthur Koestler.
The file on Ludwig Renn interested me especially because I had known him when he visited this country in 1937.
(The narrator and principal character of the work is named Ludwig Renn.) The stark simplicity of the novel emphasizes the uncompromising brutality of combat.
Like other authors of war novels -- Remarque, Ludwig Renn (1889 - 1979) -- he described the horrors he experienced, but in contrast to them, he used his brilliant stylistic talents not in condemnation of war, but in praise of it.
Egon Erwin Kisch, Bodo Uhse, and Ludwig Renn, once famous for their exploits in the Spanish Civil War and elsewhere, are not so well known now.