Oskar Maria Graf
Oskar Maria Graf
Schließlich kann ein Schriftsteller wohl von Land zu Land emigrieren, er kann aber nicht aus seiner Sprache und aus seinem Geist emigrieren, das ist der Kernpunkt, den die meisten nicht erkennen.
[In the end a writer can emigrate from country to country but he cannot emigrate from his language and his spirit. That is the core point that most people do not recognise. (ed. trans.)]
Oskar Maria Graf to Siegfried Bernstein, 18 December 1940
|Born||on 22 July 1894 in Berg am Starnberger See, Germany|
|Died||on 28 June 1967 in New York, USA|
|Exile||Austria, Czechoslovakia, United States of America|
An important event at the beginning of Oskar Maria Graf’s exile was his angry protest “burn me!” against the book burnings of 10 May 1933. Yet Graf’s exile had already begun with the burning of the Reichstag on 27 February. At this time Graf was in Vienna and never returned to Germany.
The first years after 1933 were marked by great political, journalist and literary activity. Graf was involved in forging a non-ideological, non-partisan unification of political views within the exile community, in particular between the socialist and communist opposition in the sense of a popular front. After the defeat of social democratic workers in the February battles in Vienna, Graf escaped an impending deportation by fleeing to Brno on 16 February 1934. He lived there until his emigration to the US in 1938.
Oskar Maria Graf moved into an apartment in New York in Hillside Avenue in the north of Manhattan, where he lived until his death. He became president of the newly founded German American Writers’ Association; yet when this dissolved in 1940 due to political rifts after only two years, he completely withdrew from political engagement in the literary world. Although he wrote several novels, he increasingly suffered while writing from the isolation caused by his exile. In 1943, Graf started a weekly meeting for exiles and German-Americans, which existed until a few years ago. Graf created a piece of home in a foreign country. It was not until 1958 that he received American citizenship. His status as a stateless individual made travelling to Europe impossible until this point in time.
Wir sind Gefangene. Ein Bekenntnis aus diesem Jahrzehnt (Autobiographie, 1927)
Bolwieser. Roman eines Ehemanns (Roman, 1931)
Anton Sittinger (Roman, 1937)
The Life of My Mother / Das Leben meiner Mutter (Roman, 1940/1946)
Unruhe um einen Friedfertigen (Roman, 1947)
Bauer, Gerhard: Gefangenschaft und Lebenslust. Oskar Maria Graf in seiner Zeit. München: Süddeutscher Verlag 1987
Bauer, Gerhard E. / Pfanner, Helmut F. (Hrsg.): Oskar Maria Graf in seinen Briefen. München: Süddeutscher Verlag 1984
Bollenbeck, Georg: Oskar Maria Graf mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Verlag 1985
Recknagel, Rudolf: Ein Bayer in Amerika. 3. Auflage. Berlin: Verlag der Nation 1984
Schoeller, Wilfried F.: Odyssee eines Einzelgängers. Texte, Bilder, Dokumente. Frankfurt am Main: Büchergilde Gutenberg 1994