Stephan Hermlin

Stephan Hermlin ( born April 13, 1915 in Chemnitz, † April 6, 1997 in Berlin, Rudolf actually leather ) was a German writer and translator ( from French). Hermlin stood out for his short stories, essays and poetry, and was one of the most famous writers in the GDR.


The son of Jewish immigrants Hermlin grew up in Chemnitz and Berlin. In 1931 he joined the Communist Youth League. From 1933 to 1936, he served an apprenticeship as a printer; at the same time he worked in the resistance. In 1936 he emigrated to Palestine, France and Switzerland.

After his return to Germany in 1945 Hermlin worked as a radio producer in Frankfurt am Main. Since 1947 Hermlin lived in East Berlin and was a staff member in the journal editorial staff of the " Daily Review" ( newspaper of the Soviet Military Administration), of " Ulenspiegel ", " construction " and " meaning and form." Hermlin worked on important committees of the Soviet occupation zone and was after 1949 quickly become one of the most influential writers of the newly founded GDR. In 1949 he wrote his famous poem The ashes of Birkenau, which was set to music by Günter Kochan. As a close friend of Erich Honecker to Hermlin understood at this time as the protagonist of socialist cultural policies, but was also active as a mediator between literature and politics.

In August 1961, Hermlin justified in an open letter to Wolf Dietrich Schnurre and Günter Grass the construction of the Berlin Wall. In December 1962 Hermlin was one of the initiators of a sensational reading of young poets (including with Wolf Biermann, Volker Braun, Bernd Jentzsch, Sarah Kirsch, Karl Mickel ) in the Academy of Arts of the GDR, which initiated the lyric - wave of the 1960s. Hermlin was subsequently relieved of his position as secretary of the class poetry and language cultivation of the Academy. 1968 Hermlin criticized the suppression of the Prague Spring, but this made not public.

1976 was one of the initiators of the protest Hermlin prominent writer against the expulsion of Wolf Biermann. After his commitment to Wolf Biermann Stephan Hermlin received a strict Parteirüge and was henceforth more thoroughly monitored by the Stasi. However, he was not excluded from the SED and expressed itself as a staunch communist. Against the official policy of the East-West confrontation Hermlin organized in December 1981, the Berlin meeting to promote peace, a German - German writers' meetings.

Hermlin was a member of the Writers Union of the GDR, the Academy of Arts of the GDR since 1976 and also the Academy of Arts West Berlin.

1996 presented the Hessian literary editor Karl Corino Hermlin in a TIME article and following in a book unjustified assertions: Hermlin have about claims that his father had perished in a concentration camp, he himself had fought in the Spanish Civil War and was an active member of the French Resistance was. Corino called to some half mainly due to the autobiographical connotations text collection " night light ", so his criticism was based on fictional texts and not on verifiable assertions Hermlin, however, the allegation remains that Hermlin it without comment hinnahm long time that biographers and philologists the literary material believed to be true. After the German - German debate on Christa Wolf's story What's left in 1990 and the literature Stasi debate from 1991 headed the controversy surrounding Hermlin 1996, the third major literary debate of German unity a.

Stephan Hermlin daughters are Andrée -Thérèse leather ( from his marriage to Juliette Leather, born Brandler ), the actress Cornelia Schmaus ( from his marriage to Lily Leather feast ) and Bettina leather ( from his marriage to Gudrun Hermlin ). His son from his marriage to Irina Belokonewa - Hermlin, Andrej Hermlin, is a musician ( founder of the Swing Dance Orchestra ).



  • Twelve ballads of the big cities. Zurich: Verlag Morgarten Conzett & Huber, 1945
  • The lieutenant York von Wartenberg. Narrative. Singen ( Hohentwiel ): Upper Badische printing and publishing house, 1946
  • Views on some new writers and books. [ with Hans Mayer ] essays. Wiesbaden. Limes Verlag, Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1947
  • Journey of a painter in Paris. Narrative. Wiesbaden. Limes Verlag, 1947
  • The time of togetherness. Narratives. Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1949
  • The first rows. Portraits. Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben 1951, Dortmund: World Circle Verlags-GmbH, 1975
  • The flight of the dove. Poems. Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1952
  • Encounters: 1954-1959. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1960
  • Poems and prose. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1966
  • Narratives. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1966, exp. 1974
  • The cities. Poems. Munich, Esslingen: Bechtle, 1966
  • Scardanelli. Radio play. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1970
  • Reading: 1960-1971. Essays, essays, answers to surveys. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1974, Adult version: Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1997
  • The Argonauts. Narrative. Berlin: Children's Book Publishing, 1974
  • Evening light. Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam jun, Berlin. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1979
  • Essays, reports, speeches, interviews. Edited by Ulla Hahn. Munich, Vienna: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1980
  • Poems. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1981
  • Utterances. From 1944 to 1982. Edited by Ulrich Dietzel. Essays, speeches, reports and interviews. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag, 1983
  • Texts. Materials. Images. Compiled by Hubert Witt. Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam jun, 1985.
  • Life period. Collected stories. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1987
  • Poems and adaptations. 1990
  • Narrative Prose 1990
  • In the fighting that time. Speeches. Conversations. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1995
  • Decisions. All narratives. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 1995