Anna Seghers was the only child of the Mainz art and antique dealer Isidor Reiling and his wife Hedwig (née Fuld) . Her maternal grandfather was the Frankfurt lawyer Salomon Fuld . The father was a member and part of the property developer of the new Orthodox synagogue in Flachsmarktstrasse, which was inaugurated in 1879 . She attended a private school from 1907, then from 1910 the higher girls' school in Mainz, today's Frauenlob grammar school . During the First World War she did military service. In 1920 she graduated from high school . She then studied in Cologne and HeidelbergHistory, Art History and Sinology. In 1924 she received her doctorate from the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation on Jews and Judaism in Rembrandt's work .
In 1925 she married the Hungarian sociologist László Radványi , who came from a Jewish family and called himself Johann Lorenz Schmidt from then on . She had two children with him. The couple moved to Berlin , where they lived in the Wilmersdorf district from 1925 to 1933. In 1926 their son Peter was born, who is now called Pierre Radványi . The young author signed her first story Die Toten auf der Insel Djal with Antje Seghers in the 1924 Christmas supplement of the Frankfurter Zeitung . The story Grubetsch appeared in 1927 under the stage name Seghers (without a first name), whereupon critics suspected a man to be the author. She borrowed the pseudonym from the Dutch etcher and painter Hercules Seghers, whom she valued (the name was also spelled Segers ).
In 1928 daughter Ruth was born. That year Seghers' first book Uprising of the Fishermen of St. Barbara was published under the pseudonym Anna Seghers. At the suggestion of Hans Henny Jahnn , she received the Kleist Prize for her first work in the same year . Also in 1928 she joined the KPD and in the following year she was a founding member of the League of Proletarian Revolutionary Writers . In 1930 she traveled to the Soviet Union for the first time . After the seizure of power by the National Socialists Anna Seghers was briefly by the Gestapo arrested; their books were banned and burned in Germany . A little later she was able to flee to Switzerland , from where she went to Paris.
In exile, she worked on magazines for German emigrants, including as a member of the editorial team of the Neue Deutsche Blätter . In 1935 she was one of the founders of the Association of German Writers in Paris. After the start of the Second World War and German troops marched into Paris, Seghers' husband was interned in the Le Vernet camp in southern France . Anna Seghers and her children managed to escape from occupied Paris to the part of southern France ruled by Philippe Pétain . There she tried in Marseilles to get her husband released and to find ways to leave the country. Their efforts finally met with success at the Mexican Consulate General, led by Gilberto Bosques , where refugees were generously issued entry permits. This time formed the background of the novel Transit (published 1944).
In March 1941 Anna Seghers succeeded in emigrating with her family from Marseille to Mexico City via Martinique , New York , Veracruz . Her husband found a job there, first at the Workers' University, and later also at the National University. Anna Seghers founded the anti-fascist Heinrich Heine Club , of which she became president. Together with Ludwig Renn , she launched the Free Germany Movement and published the magazine of the same name. In 1942 her novel The Seventh Cross was published in an English edition in the USA and in German in Mexico by the exile publisher El libro libre (The free book). In June 1943 Anna Seghers suffered serious injuries in a traffic accident that made a long hospital stay necessary. In 1944, Fred Zinnemann filmed The Seventh Cross - the success of the book and film made Anna Seghers world famous; After her death, Hans Werner Henze made this novel the basis of his 9th symphony in 1996 in a rework by Hans-Ulrich Treichel .
In 1947 Seghers left Mexico and returned to Berlin, where she initially lived in West Berlin as a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany . At the First German Writers' Congress in October 1947, she gave a much-noticed speech on exile and the concept of freedom. That year she was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize . In 1950 she moved to East Berlin and was appointed a member of the World Peace Council and a founding member of the German Academy of the Arts . In 1951 she received the GDR National Prize and went on a trip to the People's Republic of China . In 1952 she became president of the GDR Writers' Association and remained so until 1978. In 1955 Anna Seghers and her husband moved to Volkswohlstrasse 81 (since 1984 Anna-Seghers-Strasse) in Berlin-Adlershof , where they lived until her death. The Anna Seghers Memorial , a museum on the author's life and work , has been in the apartment since the end of the 20th century .
When in 1957 Walter Janka , the head of the Aufbau Verlag , who published her books, was tried for alleged “ counterrevolutionary conspiracy”, Anna Seghers did not take a public position. When Heiner Müller was expelled from the Writers' Union in 1961, she voted against it. In 1975 she was awarded the World Peace Council's Culture Prize and honorary citizenship of (East) Berlin. In 1978 she resigned as President of the Writers' Union and became its Honorary President. Her husband died that same year. In 1979 Anna Seghers remained silent about the exclusions of nine critical authors from the Writers' Union. In 1981 she was given the honorary citizenship of her native Mainz. She died on June 1, 1983 and was buried in the Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof in Berlin after a state act in the Academy of Arts of the GDR .
Anna Seghers' early works can be assigned to the New Objectivity . In exile literature , she not only played an important role as an organizer, but also wrote two of the most important literary novels of the time, Transit and The Seventh Cross . Her later novels , published in the GDR , are committed to socialist realism . They show a schematic guiding of figures and irritate with their loyalty to the party, which can be attributed not least to the numerous official functions (e.g. as president of the Writers' Union ). In contrast to the novels of the fifties and sixties, the late narratives retain their literary validity. Right up to old age, Seghers demonstrated a narrative freshness in it, which was not least due to the fact that she repeatedly took up materials from the Renaissance , East Asia, the Caribbean or Mexico, which she was both sensitive and knowledgeable as well as with great inventiveness and creative talent - beyond all clichés - knew how to tell great literary stories.
- 1924: Jew and Judaism in the work of Rembrandt . Dissertation as Netty Reiling. Reclam-Verlag, Leipzig 1981. With a foreword by Christa Wolf . 3rd edition 1990. ISBN 3-379-00608-4
- 1924/1925: diary. (Found and edited by Christiane Zehl-Romero in the estate. Aufbau Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-351-03496-2 .)
- 1924: The legend of the repentance of Bishop Jehan d'Aigremont of St. Anne in Rouen. Narrative. (Found by Christiane Zehl-Romero in the estate and edited together with the diary. Aufbau Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-351-03496-2 .)
- 1924: The dead on Djal Island.
- 1925: Jans must die (Discovered in the estate by Pierre Radvanyi after her death.) Aufbau-Verlag , Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-351-03499-3 .
- 1928: Revolt of the fishermen of St. Barbara . Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag , Potsdam.
- 1930: On the way to the American embassy and other stories. (Also contains: Grubetsch , Die Ziegler und Bauern von Hruschowo . ) Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Potsdam.
- 1932: The Companions . ( full online edition )
- 1933: The head wage .
- 1935: The way through February .
- 1936: The Trial of Joan of Arc at Rouen 1431 , radio play.
- 1937: The rescue .
- 1938: The most beautiful sagas of the robber Woynok , sagas of Artemis .
- 1941: The shelter .
- 1942: the seventh cross . El libro libre , Mexico 1942.
- 1943: The excursion of the dead girls .
- 1944: transit .
- 1945: the end
- 1946: The three trees .
- 1946: Mail to the Promised Land .
- 1946: The saboteurs .
- 1947: The celebration. Drama Fragment. (In: Sinn und Form , Heft 6/2014, ISBN 978-3-943297-20-1 . P. 785-791)
- 1948: Soviet people. Biographies according to their reports .
- 1948: The Argonaut ship .
- 1948: Slavery reintroduced in Guadeloupe .
- 1949: The dead stay young .
- 1949: The wedding of Haiti .
- 1950: the line.
- 1950: The tinker .
- 1951: Crisanta . Insel Verlag, Leipzig ( Insel-Bücherei 99/4.)
- 1951: The children .
- 1952: The man and his name .
- 1953: The beehive .
- 1954: Thoughts on the GDR . In: Essays … 1980, as an excerpt in: Andreas Lixl-Purcell (Ed.): Memories of German-Jewish Women 1900–1990. RUB 1423, Reclam Lpz. 1992 and more, ISBN 3-379-01423-0 , pp. 402-408.
- 1958: bread and salt .
- 1959: The decision .
- 1961: The light on the gallows , story.
- 1963: About Tolstoy. About Dostoevsky .
- 1965: The strength of the weak : ( Agathe Schweigert , The Leader , The Prophet , The Reed , Reunion , The Duel , Susi , Tuomas presents the Sorsa peninsula , The homecoming of the lost people )
- 1967: the real blue . A story from Mexico.
- 1968: The trust .
- 1969: Belief in the earthly .
- 1970: letters to readers .
- 1970: About artwork and reality .
- 1971: crossing , a love story .
- 1972: Strange encounters. ( Tales of the unearthly , the meeting point , the travel encounter )
- 1977: Stone Age , re-encounter .
- 1980: Three women from Haiti .
- 1990: The Just Judge (created in 1957, not published at the time for political reasons).
- 2019: Fly outside with a double door. (Previously unpublished letters and conversations with Achim Roscher)
- The uprising of the fishermen (Director: Erwin Piscator , 1934 USSR)
- The Seventh Cross (Director: Fred Zinnemann , 1944 USA)
- The dead stay young (Director: Joachim Kunert , 1968)
- The duel (Director: Joachim Kunert, 1969)
- From Our Time (Episode 2, 1970)
- The great journey of Agathe Schweigert (Director: Joachim Kunert, 1972)
- The reed (Director: Joachim Kunert, 1974)
- The light on the gallows (Director: Helmut Nitzschke, 1976)
- The daughter of the delegates (Director: Wojciech Fiwek , 1977)
- The shelter (Direction: Ursula Schmenger , Hannes Wlasinger , 1981)
- The man and his name (Direction: Vera Loebner , 1983)
- The crossing (Director: Fritz Bornemann , 1984)
- The real blue (Director: Christa Mühl , 1986)
- The uprising of the fishermen of St. Barbara (Director: Thomas Langhoff , 1988)
- The just judge (Director: Torsten C. Fischer, 2000)
- Transit (Director: Christian Petzold, 2018)
- 1950: The Trial of Joan of Arc in Rouen 1431 - Director: Herwart Grosse ( Deutschlandsender )
- 1955: The Seventh Cross - Director: Hedda Zinner ( Broadcasting of the GDR )
Honors and prizes
- 1928: Kleist Prize
- 1947: Georg Büchner Prize
- 1951: Stalin Peace Prize
- 1951: National Prize of the GDR (further 1959, 1971)
- 1954: Patriotic Order of Merit in silver
- 1958: German Peace Medal
- 1959: Awarded the honorary doctorate Dr. phil. hc from the University of Jena
- 1960: Patriotic Order of Merit in Gold
- 1961: Johannes R. Becher Medal of the Kulturbund
- 1965: Karl Marx Order (others 1969, 1974)
- 1970: Order of the Red Banner of Labor
- 1970: Star of Friendship between Nations
- 1975: Great star of friendship among peoples
- 1975: Culture Prize of the World Peace Council
- 1975: Honorary citizenship of Berlin, capital of the GDR
- 1978: Honorary President of the Writers' Union
- 1980: Appointed Labor Hero
- 1981: Honorary citizen of Mainz
- The Anna-Seghers-Oberschule is located near her last apartment - the Anna Seghers Memorial in Berlin-Adlershof .
- The IGS Anna Seghers School in Mainz is named after her.
- In Berlin-Neu-Hohenschönhausen there is the Anna Seghers Library .
- The public library in Mainz was named after Anna Seghers; the place in front as well.
- The Anna Seghers Street in Bremen , Obervieland district, the district Habenhausen, got its name.
- Monika Melchert: In the protection of eagles and snakes. Anna Seghers in exile in Mexico, Quintus-Verlag, Berlin, 2020, ISBN 978-3-947215-84-3 .
- Monika Melchert: Wild and tender dreams. Anna Segher's years in exile in Paris 1933–1940 , Bübül Verlag, Berlin, 2018, ISBN 978-3-946807-24-7 .
- Daniel Hoffmann: Post to the Promised Land. A Jewish story . In: Argonaut ship . Yearbook of the Anna Seghers Society, Volume 22, 2013, ISBN 978-3-942476-92-8 , pp. 219–229.
- Monika Melchert: Coming back to a cold country. Anna Seghers in Berlin from 1947 to 1952 . Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-942476-17-1 .
- Walter Fähnders, Helga Karrenbrock (ed.): Authors of the Weimar Republic (= Aisthesis textbook . No. 5 ). Bielefeld 2003, ISBN 3-89528-383-5 .
- Birgit Schmidt: When the party discovers the people. Anna Seghers, Bodo Uhse, Ludwig Renn u. a. A critical contribution to the popular front ideology and its literature . Münster, ISBN 3-89771-412-4 .
- Pierre Radvanyi: Beyond the Stream. Memories of my mother AS Aufbau, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-351-02593-9 .
- Christiane Zehl Romero: Anna Seghers. A biography 1900–1947 . Structure, Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-351-03498-6 .
- Christiane Zehl Romero: Anna Seghers. A biography 1947–1983 . Structure, Berlin 2003, ISBN 978-3-351-03497-9 .
- Christiane Zehl Romero: Anna Seghers. Letters 1924–1952 . Ed .: Almut Giesecke. Structure, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-351-03473-3 .
- Christiane Zehl Romero: Anna Seghers. Letters 1953-1983 . Ed .: Almut Giesecke. Structure, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-351-03474-0 .
- Irina Wittmer : Excursion of the dead brides. Eight fictional encounters with Anna Seghers and the Jewish Mainz . In: Krautgarten . No. 55 , 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-028847-0 , pp. 23–30 (partial print from private print).
- Anita Wünschmann: Anna Seghers. Jew, communist, citizen of the world - the great narrator of the 20th century . Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-933471-68-0 .
- Friedrich Albrecht: The narrator Anna Seghers 1926–1932 (= New Contributions to Literary Studies . Volume 25 ). Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1965, DNB 450042669 (Revised dissertation under the title: Das Frühwerk Anna Segher (1926–1932) ).
- Friedrich Albrecht: Efforts. Works on the work of Anna Seghers 1965–2004 . Peter Lang, Bern 2005, ISBN 3-03910-619-8 .
- Friedrich Albrecht: The adventurous life of the poet Anna Seghers. Texts by Anna Seghers, selected and presented for young readers . Bertuch, Weimar, ISBN 3-937601-58-9 .
- Bernd-Rainer Barth : . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
- Sonja Hilzinger: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , pp. 162-164 ( version ). In:
- Anette Horn: Controversial Legacy and Innovation: The Novella Die Reiseegegnung by Anna Seghers in the literary-political context of the GDR in the 1970s, contributions to literature and literary studies of the 20th century No. 22, edited by Eberhard Mannack . Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-631-54024-8 .
- Christina Salmen: Anna Seghers: The most beautiful stories. With an afterword by Gunnar Decker . Structure, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-351-03495-5 .
- Oskar Neumann: So we see a way: In memory of Anna Seghers . In: Antifascism or defeats prove nothing but that we are few (= dialectic , 7). Pahl-Rugenstein, Cologne 1983, ISBN 3-7609-0844-6 .
- Kurt Batt: Anna Seghers. Trial over development and works . Röderberg, Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-87682-470-2 (first Reclam, Leipzig: 1973)
- Rolf Michaelis : Obituary. In: Die Zeit , No. 24/1983
- Christa Wolf : Encounters with Anna Seghers. In: Continued attempt - essays, conversations, essays, Reclam jun. Leipzig, 1979, Reclam UBB 773
- Literature by and about Anna Seghers in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Anna Seghers in the German Digital Library
- Anna Seghers. In: FemBio. Women's biography research (with references and citations).
- Works by and about Anna Seghers at Open Library
- www.anna-seghers.de with pictures
- Annotated link collection of the university library of the FU Berlin ( Memento from October 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (Ulrich Goerdten)
- Anna Seghers in exile Text excerpts
- Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for German Exile Literature
- uni-potsdam.de Scientific biography of the Univ. Potsdam
- Anna Seghers: The GDR and its writers / 1974 (PDF; 65 kB)
- Anna Seghers Archive in the Archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
- Marcus Patka: Chronicle of the cultural and political events in Mexican exile, organized by various organizations 1937–1949. (Seghers: 47 listings)
- Evening show - conversation with the poet Anna Seghers on the occasion of a visit (TV report from October 5, 1965) via the ARD media library . Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- About the synagogue consecrated in 1879 in Flachsmarktstrasse of the Israelite Religious Society in Mainz ( memento from September 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) by Rabbi Leo Trepp on November 9, 2004; Web access: August 14, 2011. The Orthodox Jewish community called itself the Israelite Religious Society and was led by Rabbi Marcus Lehmann . The synagogue was destroyed during the November pogroms in 1938 .
- Biography of A. Seghers on the website of the Aufbauverlag ( Memento from June 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
- Decker, p. 288 below in Salmen, edition 2008.
- Anna Seghers - Exile in France. ( Memento from November 9, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) Student project, University of Potsdam.
- Anna Seghers in Mexico ( Memento from June 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Life and work in exile in Mexico.
- A deep shame . In: Der Spiegel . No. 30 , 2000 ( online - Anna Seghers in 1947, exactly three weeks after her arrival in Berlin).
- Anna-Seghers-Strasse. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near Kaupert )
- "The Celebration" - Drama fragment discovered by Anna Seghers. Website of the Anna Seghers Society; accessed on December 16, 2014.
- The East German writer Anna Seghers (...) . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna November 21, 1970, p. 11 , column 2, below ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
- Anna Seghers Memorial
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Radványi, Netty (real name); Reiling, Netti (maiden name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||November 19, 1900|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Mainz|
|DATE OF DEATH||June 1, 1983|
|Place of death||East Berlin|