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Feuchtwanger and Remigration


Edited By Ian Wallace

This volume contains a selection from the proceedings of a conference organised by the International Feuchtwanger Society titled ‘To Stay or not to Stay? German-speaking Exiles in Southern California after 1945’. The conference, held in September 2011 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and at Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades, explored the decision faced by all German-speaking exiles in Southern California at the end of World War II whether to return to Europe or stay in the United States.
The volume opens with an analysis of the experiences of post-1945 remigrants as reflected in a major exile publication, Der Aufbau. Six chapters focus on the particular case of Lion Feuchtwanger, illuminating the circumstances which led him to remain in California after 1945. Subsequent chapters throw fresh light on other members of the German-speaking literary community in California. Studies focusing on remigration from the UK and the Soviet Union widen the discussion, as do chapters on the problems faced by professional musicians exiled in East Asia and in Palestine. The volume concludes with the experience of remigrants in the media and film industry during the early post-war years.
Der vorliegende Band enthält ausgewählte Vorträge, die auf der von der Internationalen Feuchtwanger Gesellschaft organisierten Konferenz «Bleiben oder Zurückkehren? Deutschsprachige Exilanten in Südkalifornien nach 1945» gehalten wurden. Die Konferenz, die im September 2011 an der Universität von Südkalifornien in Los Angeles und in der Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades stattfand, beschäftigte sich mit der weitreichenden Entscheidung, die die deutschsprachigen Exilanten in Südkalifornien nach Ende des zweiten Weltkrieges treffen mussten: Sollten sie nach Europa zurückkehren oder in den Vereinigten Staaten bleiben?
Der Band beginnt mit einer Analyse der in der wichtigen Exil-Publikation Der Aufbau beschriebenen Erfahrungen von Remigranten nach 1945. Sechs Kapitel haben den speziellen Fall Lion Feuchtwangers zum Thema und untersuchen die Umstände, welche zu seiner Entscheidung führten, nach 1945 in Kalifornien zu bleiben. Die darauffolgenden Kapitel erörtern neue Erkenntnisse über andere Mitglieder des deutschsprachigen Literatenkreises in Kalifornien. Untersuchungen zur Remigration aus England und aus der Sowjetunion sowie zu den Problemen exilierter Musiker in Ostasien und Palästina erweitern und ergänzen die Diskussion. Der Band schliesst mit Beiträgen zu den Erfahrungen der Remigranten in den Bereichen Medien und Film im Deutschland der frühen Nachkriegszeit.


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PART 2 The Case of Lion Feuchtwanger


MARJE SCHUETZE-COBURN Lion Feuchtwanger in Los Angeles Scholars and historians point to Lion Feuchtwanger as one of the ‘lucky’ émigrés who found success and recognition during his years in Los Angeles. For this novelist and playwright not only found work but also seemed to thrive in this foreign culture so far from his homeland. Despite Feuchtwanger’s achievements while living in Southern France and later in Southern California, his individual situation closely fits the characterization of the German exile experience as expressed by Jost Hermand: ‘Before Hitler came to power, these people had never had the intention of leaving Europe, for better or worse. Because they had found it necessary to do just that, they now felt uprooted. They did not consider themselves émigrés, but refugees, living in exile […]’.1 Perhaps more so than for his fellow exiles, personal circumstances combined with historic events to powerfully shape the course of the writer’s life. Feuchtwanger did not voluntarily leave Europe even though he rec- ognized the dangers of Hitler and wrote openly of his concerns about the National Socialists. He predicted in 1931 that artists and intellectuals would face ‘extermination’2 – as he phrased it – with the emergence of the Third Reich. Furthermore, he claimed that: ‘Most do expect [extermination], and those who are able, are today already preparing to emigrate. When among intellectual circles in Berlin, one has the impression that this is a 1 Jost Hermand, ‘Forced Out of Hitler’s Reich: Five Eminent Madisonians’, in: Cora Lee Kluge, ed...

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