Stephan Hermlin


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Hermlin, Stephan

 

Born Apr. 13, 1915, in Chemnitz (present-day Karl-Marx-Stadt). German writer and translator of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Member of the Academy of Arts of the GDR (1950).

In 1931, Hermlin joined the Communist Youth League of Germany. He worked in a printing office. From 1936 to 1945 he lived in emigration. Hermlin’s first poetry collections, 12 Ballads of Big Cities (1945) and We Will Not Be Silent (1945), both of which were published in Switzerland, resound with faith in the victory over fascism. His collection 22 Ballads (1947), the narrative poem Mansfeld Oratorio (1950), and the poetry collection Flight of the Dove (1952) established him as a leading master of contemporary German poetry. His collection of sketches The Front Rank (1951; Russian translation, 1952) is dedicated to German heroes of the antifascist resistance.

Hermlin has also written short stories and critical essays and has translated the works of French, Hungarian, American, and Latin American poets. He is a member of the administrative board of the Writers’ Union of the GDR. He has been awarded the National Prize of the GDR (1950, 1954) and the Heinrich Heine Prize (1948, 1972).

WORKS

Dichtungen. Berlin, 1956.
Begegnungen, 1954–1959. Berlin, 1960.
Erz̈ahlungen, 2nd ed. Berlin-Weimar, 1970.
Gedichte. Leipzig, 1971.
Lektüre, 1960–1971. Berlin-Weimar, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Poletgolubia. Stikhi. Moscow, 1963.
“Komendantsha.” In Povesti i rasskazy pisatelei GDR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1973.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1974.

REFERENCE

“Stephan Hermlin.” In Geschichte der Literatur der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Berlin, 1974. (Contains bibliography.)

A. A. GUGNIN

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References in periodicals archive ?
Christa Wolf 's belated publication of an account relating her experience as the victim of Stasi surveillance (Was bleibt), as well as discoveries of her own Stasi links, damaged her reputation, while, more recently, it was suggested that Stephan Hermlin had created for himself a spurious anti-fascist biography (Karl Corino, Aussen Marmor, Innen Gips (Dusseldorf: Econ, 1996)).
Kunter's playfulness comes out in other types of poems, in such political pieces as "An einen ostalgischen Dichter" and "Traum von Stephan Hermlin," and in his parodistic "An Conrad Ferdinand," in which the rising and ebbing of "Der romische Brunnen" by Meyer are put into the contexts of both the economic (interest rates) and the sexual: "Zeitweilig Wasser, was da steigt und fallt, / aus Brunnen, romisch, im Sonett.
As someone who has been a literary foot soldier, so to speak, Loest uses the journalistic opportunity to settle scores (with Hermann Kant, Stephan Hermlin, Dietmar Keller) or to score points for his friends (Christa Wolf, but not Walter Janka).