Seghers, Anna

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Seghers, Anna

(ä`nä sēgərs), 1900–1983, German novelist, whose original name was Netty Reiling Rádvanyi. She won fame with her first novel of social protest, The Revolt of the Fishermen, (1929, tr. 1930), but in 1933 she was forced to leave Germany. In Mexico she wrote The Seventh Cross (1939, tr. 1942), a poignant story of escape from a concentration camp. Other works include Transit (1942, tr. 1944) and a study of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky (1963). After World War II she settled in East Berlin.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Seghers, Anna


(pseudonym of Netti Radványi, née Reiling). Born Nov. 19, 1900, in Mainz. German writer (German Democratic Republic). Became a member of the Communist Party of Germany in 1928 and of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in 1947.

Seghers, the daughter of an antiquarian, studied at the universities of Cologne and Heidelberg. From 1933 to 1947 she lived abroad in France and Mexico. Seghers’ early works, including the novella The Uprising of the Fishermen of St. Barbara (1928; Russian translation, 1930) and the novel The Fellow Travelers (1932; Russian translation, 1934), are devoted to the communist revolutionary struggles in various countries. The novella The Price on the Head (1933; Russian translation, 1935) and the novel Liberation (1937; Russian translation, 1939) describe the lives of German peasants and workers on the eve of the fascist accession to power. The novel The Pathway Through February (1935; Russian translation, 1935) depicts the heroic struggle of the Viennese workers in February 1934. The novel Seventh Cross (published in English, 1942; in German, 1946; and in Russian translation, 1949), concerning the escape of a communist from a concentration camp, reflects the indomitable faith of the best people of Germany in the future of the German people. The central figure of the novel Transit (1943; published in 1948; Russian translation, 1961) is a German antifascist emigrant, who participates in the French struggle against the occupation forces. The novel The Dead Remain Young (1949; Russian translation, 1951), set in Germany from 1918 to 1945, traces the destinies of Germans belonging to various social strata. The hero of the novella A Man and His Name (1952; Russian translation, 1955) is a former Hitlerite, who as a result of a spiritual rebirth has found his place in the new, democratic Germany. In the epic novels Decision (1959; Russian translation, 1961) and Faith (1968; Russian translation, 1969), Seghers raises critical questions engendered by the division of Germany into two states. She is an outstanding master of socialist realist literature. Her prose is marked by skillful psychological analysis and by profound moral problems.

Seghers is a member of the World Council of Peace and the Committee on the International Lenin Prizes. She has been elected the chairman of the Union of German Writers several times and is also a member of the German Academy of Arts. A recipient of the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations in 1951, she also won the National Prize of the GDR in 1951 and 1959. Seghers has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of the USSR and the Order of the Great Star of Friendship Among Peoples of the GDR.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–8. Berlin, 1953–55.
Das Vertrauen: Roman. Berlin-Weimar, 1968.
Über Kunstwerk und Wirklichkeit, vols. 1–2. Berlin, 1970–71.
In Russian translation:
Zdravstvui, budushchee. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Sila slabykh [Rasskaiy]. Moscow, 1967.


Gal’perina, E. “A. Zegers.” Novyi mir, 1952, no. 8.
Motyleva, T. Anna Zegers. Moscow, 1953.
Motyleva, T. Roman Anny Zegers “Sed’moi krest.” Moscow, 1970.
lur’eva, L. “Tvorchestvo A. Zegers posle 1949.” In the collection Literatura GDR. Moscow, 1958.
Anna Zegers: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1964.
Albrecht, F. Die Erzählerin Anna Seghers, 1926–1932. Berlin, 1965.
Diersen, I. Seghers-Studien. Berlin, 1965.
Neugebauer, H. Anna Seghers: Ihr Leben und Werk. Berlin, 1970.


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