Book presentation
01 Nov 2022 · 6.00 pm

Im Gehäuse des Wahns. Deutsche Schriftsteller im sowjetischen Exil

Venue: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin, 3. Etage, Trajekte-Tagungsraum
Organized by Patrick Eiden-Offe

Book presentation of Tribunale als Trauma. Die deutsche Sektion des sowjetischen Schriftstellerverbands. Protokolle, Resolutionen und Briefe (1935–1941) with the editors Anne Hartmann and Reinhard Müller

Moderation: Patrick Eiden-Offe

The closed session of the party group of the Union of Soviet Writers’ German section in September 1936 set a beacon: over the course of four agonizingly long evenings, the discussions centered around crimes and guilt, lacking awareness, and the lessons that were to be learned from the Moscow show trial against the “Trotskyist bandits.”

The documents from the years 1935 to 1941 which are published for the first time in the volume Tribunale als Trauma shed light on a dramatic event that did not just begin, but also did not end that fall. In the enclave of exiled authors, the omnipresent terror turns inward. At close quarters, people keep a close eye on one another as everyone struggles for political acceptance and one’s own survival. The documents may be read as a chronicle of an inner disruption that, on the one hand, breaks up myths about the literary exile in the Stalinist Soviet Union and, on the other hand, explains the silence of its actors during the post-war period—including Johannes R. Becher, Willi Bredel, Georg Lukács, Herbert Wehner, and Friedrich Wolf. These records from Moscow’s archives which are published for the first time open up a new perspective on the history of the German-speaking literary exile in the Soviet Union.