Allert de Lange publishing house (1933-1940)

Subject: Exile publisher Allert de Lange
Title page of the publisher's catalogue for the German-language books of Allert de Lange publishers, Amsterdam, 1939
Monacensia. Literary archive and library, Munich. HK B 2708

Allert de Lange publishing house (1933-1940)

The German Department of the Dutch publishing house

In April 1933, the Dutch couple Hilda and Siegfried van Praag approached the Dutch publisher Gerard de Lange with an urgent request for support in publishing German writers who had fled abroad after Hitler had come to power. And so a German-speaking department was set up within the Dutch publishing house Allert de Lange which, alongside Querido (also based in Amsterdam), was to become the most important publishing location for German literature in the years from 1933 to 1940.

Management, programme supervision and editing were taken care of by Walter Landauer and Hermann Kesten. Both had worked together since 1928 at the Gustav Kiepenheuer publishing house in Berlin. Together with Fritz H. Landshoff, who became head of the German Department at Querido almost at the same time, they had made Berliner Verlag one of the most progressive publishing houses of the Weimar Republic. Despite the difficult economic conditions, they managed to lend the Allert de Lange publishing house its own literary style through their network of authors. A total of 92 books by 49 different authors, including works by Max Brod, Alfred Neumann, Joseph Roth, Ödön von Horváth, Annette Kolb and René Schickele were published in German during this period by Allert de Lange.

Thanks to the business acumen of Walter Landauer, the publisher even succeeded temporarily in offering books to stores in the German Reich as the result of a partnership with the E. P. Tal publishing house in Vienna, under whose imprint the books were sold. However, the already limited market for German books shrank even further following the German invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia.  After the occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940, the publishing house was dissolved and the stocks destroyed by the Gestapo.

Further reading:
Schoor, Kerstin: Verlagsarbeit im Exil. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der deutschen Abteilung des Amsterdamer Allert de Lange Verlages 1933-1940. Amsterdam-Atlanta: Rodopi 1992.
Winkler, Andreas: Hermann Kesten im Exil (1933-1940). Sein politisches und künstlerisches Selbstverständnis und seine Tätigkeit als Lektor in der deutschen Abteilung des Allert de Lange Verlages. Mit einem Anhang unveröffentlichter Verlagskorrespondenz von und an Hermann Kesten. Hamburg: Hartmut Lüdke Verlag 1977