Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz(John Grane)

Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, Writer
Writer Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz in the early 1930s.
Courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, F 001 AR 25553

Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz(John Grane)

Für die nächsten zwanzig Jahre sind wir anscheinend auf Tour.

[It appears that we will be on tour for the next twenty years. (ed. trans.)]

Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz describing his unsettled life in exile in a letter to his sister Clarissa, Paris, 30 September 1936

Bornon 19 April 1915 in Berlin
Diedon 29 October 1942 at sea
ExileSweden, Norway, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Great Britain (United Kingdom)

Only a little is known about the life of writer Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, due not least to the circumstances of his exile. His childhood was largely Protestant. However, because of his father’s Jewish origins, he was vilified as a Jew in Nazi Germany. He emigrated to Sweden in November 1935, shortly after the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws.

Just a little while later, in 1936, Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz moved on to Norway, where he finished his first novel, “Menschen neben dem Leben” (People Alongside Life). The book was published in 1937 in Sweden, where it was positively received by the press. Boschwitz then emigrated again, this time to Paris, where he planned to study and continue working as a writer. He probably considered emigrating to the USA but then dismissed the idea.

In August 1937, Boschwitz went to Luxembourg, where the authorities accused him of forging papers and deported him. However, he managed to re-enter the country and moved on to Belgium at the end of 1937. This is where he wrote the novel “Der Reisende” (The Passenger), which he began in November 1938 and finished just a few weeks later. English-language translations were published in the UK in 1939 and in the USA in 1940.

In 1939, Boschwitz emigrated to England. After war broke out, he was interned as an “enemy alien” on the Isle of Man before being deported to Australia in 1940 on board the troop ship “Dunera”. He was detained at the Australian internment camp Camp Hay until 1942. He died on the return voyage to England when his ship, the M.V. Abosso, was torpedoed by German U-boats.

Selected works:
Menschen neben dem Leben” (People Alongside Life) (Novel, 1937)
Der Reisende” (The Passenger) (Novel, 1938/39)

Further reading:
Graf, Peter: Nachwort des Herausgebers. In: Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz: Der Reisende. Roman. Frankfurt am Main: Büchergilde Gutenberg 2018, S. 293–303.
Hamen, Samuel: „Jetzt ist man Luft, schlechte Luft!“ In: d'Lëtzebuerger Land, 05. April 2019, https://www.land.lu/page/article/324/335324/FRE/index.html, zuletzt abgerufen am 15. September 2022.