University Studies of the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



1957 by The University of Nebraska


The present monograph is the first of several of my studies dealing with the German literature that originated in exile since 1933. By calling it "German Literature in Exile" it is kept in mind that it is not a homogeneous literary entity but a part, although an important one, of the whole of German Literature, of which the Austrian and Swiss Literatures are essential components with individual characteristics. The designation used is basically a Formalkategorie for reasons of necessary reference. There are, however, traits of distinction: a militant humanism and a preoccupation with problems peculiar to the existence in exile. The study also deals with the question whether any writing dealing with the "problems of the day" deserves consideration as serious literature.

The survey of the poetry written in exile tries to give an exposition of the basic concern of the writers expelled from Germany. Nostalgia and determination to fight back and to adjust to the new environment mark many of the lyrics; resignation and Weltschmerz were present, but the dominant note was a vigorous militancy against the nationalsocialist rule at home and "fascism" everywhere. For a large part the poetry was Kamplpoesie. "Private lyrics" were found seldom; experimental and abstract-symbolic poetry was practically absent.