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Discussion about History, Marx and Hans Fallada

Spotted on the web, a discussion about the “Wrong side of history”. The full comments can be found by clicking on the previous link, but here are the excerpts dealing directly with Hans Fallada.


(Nigel Jones, UK) / Posted on July 12th, 2010

Nigel Jones writes:


I am reading two remarkable books at the moment which give unforgettable insights into what “ordinary Germans” felt and experienced about the regime once its reckless policies had plunged Germany into war once more. One is the novel Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (I give it the English title of its latest translator, Michael Hoffmann: the German original is Jeder Stirbt fur sich allein [apologies for the absence of umlauts from my keyboard]). Hastily written at the war’s end, this was based on the true life case of a couple of working-class Berliners Otto and Elise Hampel, who were guillotined for distributing postcards around the city with anti-Hitler and anti-war messages–the result of their disillusionment after the death of Elise Hampel’s brother at the front. Fallada is an interesting writer, best known for his portayal of the effects of the Great Depression on another couple in his novel Little Man, What Now? ( A German Death of a Salesman) and an autobiographical picture of his own lifelong addiction to drink and drugs, The Drinker. (He took an OD soon after completing Alone in Berlin–possibly in despair at the compromises he had to make as a writer living under Hitler throughtout the Third Reich.



Alain de Benoist, France / Posted on July 14th, 2010

Alain de Benoist writes:

I would like to thank the WAISers who sent responses and comments to my 10 July post: Jordi Molins i Coronado, David Gress, Ernie Hunt, Nigel Jones, and Sardar Haddad.


I was pleased to see Nigel Jones (12 Kuly) quoting the name of Hans Fallada (actually it was a pen-name, taken from the Brothers Grimm tales. His real name was Rudolf Ditzen). I have read most of Fallada’s books. Though his Kleiner Mann, was nun? (Little Man, What Now?) is the best known of his works, I think the most interesting one is Bauern, Bonzen und Bomben (1931), a powerful evocation of the great revolt of the Landbewegung, the movement of the Schleswig-Holstein peasants under the Republic of Weimar (Ernst von Salomon wrote about the same topic, with Die Stadt).

Hans Fallada wrote about the anti-Hitlerian Resistance after WWII (his Jeder stirbt für sich allein was published in 1947, a few months after his death), but he was never personally involved in this movement. Under the Third Reich, he lived in Carwitz (Mecklenburg) and was at that time particularly prolific, with books like Wir hatten mal ein Kind (1934), Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frißt? (1934), Märchen vom Stadtschreiber, der aufs Land flog (1935), Altes Herz geht auf die Reise (1936, a book translated into French during the Nazi occupation, in 1941, with a foreword of Alphonse de Châteaubriant), Hoppelpoppel –wo bist du? (1936), Wolf unter Wölfen (1937), Der eiserne Gustav (1938), Süßmilch spricht (1939), Der ungeliebte Mann (1940), Das Abenteuer des Werner Quabs (1941), Damals bei uns daheim (1942), Heute bei uns zu Haus (1943), etc. In 1945, Fallada went to live in East Berlin, where he was invited by Johannes R. Becher to work for the Täglichen Rundschau.