Tucholsky, Kurt

Tucholsky, Kurt

(ko͝ort to͞okhôl`skē), 1890–1935, German political satirist and journalist. Ranging over a wide variety of subjects and styles, Tucholsky's pacifist, antifascist writing marked a high point in German literary journalism. He wrote under four pseudonyms: Ignaz Wrobel (contemporary satire), Peter Panter (theater and literary criticism, travel), Theobald Tiger (poetry), Kaspar Hauser (character of despair, reflecting the drive that led Tucholsky to suicide). Among his works are Deutschland, Deutschland über alles (1929), and a collection in English translation, The World Is a Comedy (1957), and an anthology of his satirical works, What If (tr. 1969).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tucholsky, Kurt


Born Jan. 1, 1890, in Berlin; died Dec. 21, 1935, in Hindas, near Göteborg, Sweden. German poet and publicist.

Tucholsky studied law at the universities of Berlin and Jena. His first work was published in 1907. He served as a soldier on the Eastern Front from 1915 to 1918. In 1929 he moved to Sweden. In 1933, Tucholsky’s books were burned by the German Nazis, and Tucholsky was deprived of German citizenship. He committed suicide in a state of depression.

Tucholsky’s works include the novella Reinsberg: A Picture Book for Those in Love (1912), the collections of satirical miniatures and poems Pious Chants (1919), With Five Horsepower (1927), Mona Lisa’s Smile (1929), Deutschland, Deutschland, Über Alies (1929), and Learn to Laugh Without Crying (1931), and the sentimental ironic novel Gripsholm Castle (1931). In these works, Tucholsky ridiculed the average German and exposed the bourgeois way of life, chauvinism, and militarism; he was also critical of the world’s tolerance of fascism.


Gessammelte Werke, vols. 1–3. [Hamburg] 1960–61.
[Auswahl] vols. 1–6. Berlin, 1972–74.


Lembrikova, B. S. “Satiricheskie novelly K. Tukhol’skogo.” In the collection Literatura i estetika. Leningrad, 1960.
Schulz, K. P. K. Tucholsky, 4th ed. Hamburg, 1963.
Kleinschmidt, K. K. Tucholsky. Leipzig, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The letters reproduced here represent about one sixth of those extant, but many others, including those to Kurt Tucholsky, Kurt Pinthus, Ernst Deutsch, Paul Wegener and Oskar Kokoschka, have been destroyed or are missing.