Arthur Holitscher

Arthur Holitscher ( born August 22, 1869 in Pest, † October 14, 1941 in Geneva ) was a travel writer, essayist, novelist and playwright.


Holitscher came from an upper middle-class, Jewish merchant family and received at a private tutor lessons in German as well as religious instruction at a rabbi. His parents were the Budapest wholesale merchant Eduard Holitscher (ca. 1839-1899 ) and his niece ( daughter of his sister), Hermione Old Town ( 1849-1912 ). Through his mother, who took him for a " no-good ", he learned from the beginning rejection. He always saw himself as an Austrian or German, but not as Hungarian Jews. After his matriculation examination he was a bank clerk at the request of his parents in Budapest, Fiume and Vienna. This profession he was six years back.

From 1890 he began small stories to write Novelletten in the style of German naturalists. His interest was Gerhart Hauptmann, Arno Holz and Johannes Schlaf.

Paris and Munich

Influenced by his personal and literary acquaintance with Parisian anarchist and his reading Knut Hamsun was Holitscher from 1895 freelance writer in Paris. Here he felt very lonely. In the autumn of 1895 the Munich publisher Albert Langen took his first novel White love. 1896 moved to Munich and Holitscher therefore became an editor for Langens magazine Simplicissimus. Thomas Mann is said to have under surveillance Holitscher, and then make him to submit his ruthlessly drawn figure Detlev Spinell in the novella Tristan (1902 ). 1907 moved to Berlin Holitscher and was a lecturer at Cassirer.

Travel and Exile

As a travel writer, he first went to the United States, on behalf of Samuel Fischer ( with Fischer, he had a permanent contract which announced this after the book burning since 1907). From this trip, his most famous work America Today and Tomorrow arose. With this book, he succeeded in 1912, the literary breakthrough. Franz Kafka should it have some of the details for his novel America borrowed.

1933 came Holitschers books on the list of " auszumerzenden literature " and were burned. He fled to Paris and later to Geneva. From 1939 he lived impoverished and abandoned in a neighborhood of the Salvation Army in Geneva, where he died on 14 October 1941 at the age of 72 years. The grave speech on him held Robert Musil.


  • Suffering people, short story, 1893
  • White love, novel, 1896
  • The poisoned fountain, novel in three books, 1900
  • At the Beauty, 1897
  • The sentimental adventure, 1901
  • From the lust and death, 1902
  • Charles Baudelaire, 1904
  • Life with people, 1910
  • The Golem. Ghetto legend in three acts, 1908
  • What are you waiting for?, Novel, 1910
  • America today and tomorrow, travel experiences, 1912
  • Stories of two worlds, 1914
  • In England - East Prussia - Southern Austria. Seen and heard, 1915
  • The American Face, 1916
  • Brother worm, 1918
  • O. Wilde: Ballad of the penitentiary to Reading, translation, 1918
  • Sleepwalker, narration 1919
  • Adela Bourke encounter, novel, 1920
  • Ideals on weekdays, 1920
  • Three months in Soviet Russia, 1921
  • Singing at Palestine, 1922
  • Downstream of the hunger Volga, 1922
  • Journey through the Jewish Palestine, 1922
  • Ecstatic Stories, 1923
  • Frans Masereel, with Stefan Zweig, 1923
  • Life story of a rebel. My memories, 2 volumes, 1924
  • The theater in revolutionary Russia, 1924
  • The Narrenbaedeker. Notes from Paris and London, 1925
  • Ravachol and the Paris anarchists, 1925
  • The restless Asia. Travel to India - China - Japan, 1926
  • My life at this time (1907-1925) ( autobiography, second band ), 1928
  • Travel, 1928
  • It happened in Moscow, novel, 1929
  • Goodbye to America, 1930
  • It happens in Berlin, novel, 1931
  • A man quite free, novel, 1931