Dimension2: Contemporary German-Language Literature

HEYM, Stefan
Stefan Heym was born Helmut Flieg in Chemnitz in 1913. The son of a Jewish merchant, he fled Nazi Germany and eventually emigrated to the USA, where he joined the Army in 1943 and participated in the "psychological warfar" against Germany. He returned to (East) Germany in 1953 and was elected to the unified German Parliament in October 1994. In the German Democratic Republic, he was critical of the party but remained a supporter of the ideals of socialism; in unified Germany, he decided to be a member of the PDS, the Party of Democratic Socialism, the successor organization of the party that had once ruled East Germany. As an author, he has primarily written works that have a political content and that at the same time are entertaining. An early, very successful book is The Crusaders (written first in English in 1948, published in the GDR under the title Kreuzfahrer von heute in 1950 and, the same year, in the Federal Republic under the title Der bittere Lorbeer). The 1979 novel Collin, published in the Federal Republic, attacks Stalinism and brought, among other repressions, travel restrictions for Heym. He has also played with mythical archetypes and politics in his novel Ahasver (1981).

Auf Sand gebaut (Built on Sand ): Vol. 1, No. 3

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