Franz Jung

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Franz Josef Johannes Konrad Jung (born November 26, 1888 in Neisse , Upper Silesia , † January 21, 1963 in Stuttgart ) was a German writer , economist and politician . Jung also published under the pseudonyms Franz Larsz and Frank Ryberg .



Jung was born as the son of master watchmaker Franz Jung and his wife Clara, b. Doering born. From 1898 he attended the Realgymnasium, where he made friends with the later poet Max Herrmann . In 1907 he passed the Abitur and began to study music in Leipzig. But he soon switched to economics, law, art and religion. In Leipzig he became a member of the Arminia fraternity in Leipzig on October 21, 1907 . The honorable resignation took place on April 22, 1908. In 1908 he went to the University of Jena , where he joined the Germania Jena fraternity , from which he was expelled after beating an old man . In 1909, Jung moved to the University of Breslau .

In Breslau he met his future wife Margot, a dancer, whom he married in January 1911. In the same year the son Franz was born, but he grew up with his grandparents in Neisse , as the marriage was marked by constant arguments. At the end of the year Jung moved to the University of Munich , where he wrote his dissertation The Effects of Production Taxes on the Match Industry . However, an advance publication in the Frankfurter Zeitung made it impossible for Jung to also submit the dissertation. In Munich he came into contact with Erich Mühsam , the writers Leonhard Frank , Oskar Maria Graf , Karl Otten and the psychoanalyst Otto Gross .


Das Trottelbuch , Franz Jung's first book (1912). Envelope from Franz Seraph Henseler
Saul , Verlag Die Aktion , 1916
The Gross case . Novella. Konrad Hanf Verlag, Hamburg, 1921

In 1912 Jung's first prose texts appeared in the expressionist magazines Der Sturm and Die Aktion, as well as his first book Das Trottelbuch . In 1913 he moved to Berlin, where he was in close contact with Franz Pfemfert , the editor of the action ; Several early books by Jungs were published by Aktion-Verlag . During this time he became acquainted with his later second wife Clare Otto . When his friend Otto Gross was admitted to psychiatry at the instigation of his father Hans Gross in November 1913, Jung started a campaign that finally led to Gross' discharge in July 1914.

In 1914 Jung began to write for the stock market papers of a large Berlin business publisher. After the outbreak of war, he volunteered for the military. Almost without training, he was deployed to East Prussia, where he deserted in December 1914 without having participated in a battle; He fled via Berlin to Vienna in 1915 with the help of a forged certificate issued to him by Walter Serner , but was arrested there and extradited to Germany. He spent a few weeks in the Spandau fortress prison , after which he was transferred to the insane asylum in Berlin-Wittenau . After his release - to which psychiatric reports from Gross contributed - he became a business editor at Deutscher Kurier and founded the publishing house Die Freie Straße . In 1916 the daughter Dagny was born; In 1917 Franz and Margot Jung separated.

Until 1918, Jung worked on a number of political and cultural projects underground and also dealt intensively with economics. An important publication of this time was the magazine Die Neue Jugend , which he edited , the first Dadaist magazine in Germany. From 1918 Franz Jung was co-editor of Club Dada . During this time Jung made the acquaintance of John Heartfield (whose pseudonym he probably invented), Wieland Herzfelde , George Grosz , Hannah Höch , Richard Hülsenbeck and Raoul Hausmann , with whom he published and appeared.

When the revolution broke out on November 9, 1918 , Jung sat at the head of a troop of soldiers from Potsdamer Platz and occupied Wolff's telegraph office in Leipziger Strasse , from where he was, however, driven out again shortly after by troops loyal to the government.


In 1919 Jung was arrested in the Berlin newspaper district during the revolutionary struggle in which he participated on the side of the Spartacists , but managed to escape to Breslau. Jung joined the KPD and founded several business intelligence services. In 1920 he was expelled from the KPD and founded the Communist Workers' Party of Germany with others . He was sent to Moscow with Jan Appel to promote their acceptance into the Communist International . For the passage to the Soviet Union , the two hijacked the fishing steamer Senator Schröder and drove to Murmansk . The talks with Lenin , Bukharin and Karl Radek were unsuccessful, however.

Back in Germany, Jung was arrested for "stealing a ship on the high seas". In prison he wrote a number of books, including a. the novels proletarian , Joe Frank illustrates the world , the play How much longer? and the essay Die Technik des Glücks , published by Malik-Verlag . He was released on bail in early 1921 and immediately went into hiding.

Shortly afterwards, also still in 1921, he and Béla Kun , Max Hoelz and Karl Plättner played a leading role in the March fighting in Central Germany , an armed workers' revolt around Halle and Leuna . After the Reichswehr put down the uprising, he tried to flee to Great Britain together with his future wife Clare in May of that year, but was arrested in the Netherlands and expelled from there to the Soviet Union. In Moscow he initially worked for the Comintern's press department and as managing director of the IAH office. From 1922 Jung directed the reconstruction of the “Solnze” (“Sun”) match factory in Tschudowo near Novgorod . He processed this in his 1924 work The story of a factory . In 1923 he was responsible for the reconstruction of the metalworking plant "Ressora" in Petrograd .

In November 1923, as the police were still looking for him, he returned to Germany under the false name "Franz Larsz". In the next few years he published some literary works, but mainly worked as a business journalist, using the name Franz Larzs and the pseudonym Frank Ryberg. In 1924 Clare and Franz Jung married; the marriage was divorced in 1937. In 1931 Jung met Harriet Scherret , who was now his partner; Their son Peter was born in 1932.

Erwin Piscator Jung had already performed pieces in Berlin halls in the early twenties , including How Long? and The Kanaker (both 1921); in the latter play Piscator had played the part of Lenin . At times, was Jung thereafter 1927/28 dramaturgical staff Piscator stage and 1931 for the organization of the Berlin performances of Brecht -pieces Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (by Ernst Josef Aufricht ) and mother responsibly. Jung tried to return to literature around this time. However, his plays were unsuccessful and it was increasingly difficult to find publishers for his books. In 1928, the proceedings against Jung for hijacking the ship were discontinued.

In addition to his work at the theater, Jung was also increasingly active again in business from the late 1920s. He was involved in the Deutsche Korrespondenz Verlag (Deko-Verlag), in Ernst Josef Aufricht's theater production company, an artist agency and other, not entirely transparent companies. In 1931, Deko-Verlag initiated a deal between the Pomeranian construction works belonging to the union and French partners. The plan was to build a garden city settlement with 30,000 apartments in Marseille based on designs by Le Corbusier . For this, however, Reichsmarks had to be transferred to France, which had just been banned by a foreign exchange ordinance of the German Reich. In June 1932 there was a scandal; Jung's companions were arrested, Jung himself went into hiding once more.

As early as 1930, Franz Jung had re-established the magazine The Opponent at Deko-Verlag , on which Ernst Fuhrmann , Raoul Hausmann and Karl Korsch worked, among others . In 1932, Harro Schulze-Boysen , who had previously been involved in the magazine, took over the editorial office and tried to develop an independent youth movement with the opponents .


From 1933 to 1936 Jung published the press service for economic development together with Alexander Schwab and belonged to the underground group Rote Kampf . At the end of 1936 he was arrested in connection with this. After his release from prison, Jung went to Prague in 1937, where he worked on the SPD 's reports on Germany, and finally to Vienna, where he again set up an economic service. After the annexation of Austria , Jung fled to Switzerland, where he lived in Geneva. In 1939 he was expelled from Switzerland on suspicion of industrial espionage and went to Budapest, where he worked as an insurance agent for Swiss reinsurers. During this time he supported the Red Cross in making it possible for Poles who were stranded in Hungary to flee the Nazis to leave the country.

In 1944 he was arrested first by the Hungarian Arrow Cross and then by the security service , but he managed to escape both times. In 1944 the marriage with Harriet was divorced and Jung married Anna von Meißner (divorced in 1947). In 1945, on the run from Austria to Italy, he was arrested again and interned in the Bolzano concentration camp.


In Italy Jung worked on plays. Deeply shaken by the death of his daughter Dagny, who had died in the psychiatric department of the General Hospital in Vienna in 1945 under unclear circumstances, he wrote The Year Without Mercy .

In 1948 Jung emigrated to the USA, with the former KPD chairwoman Ruth Fischer, who resided there, giving him considerable support. In New York he worked as a business correspondent for German-language newspapers. In 1953 he moved to San Francisco and received US citizenship in January 1955.

Jung, who in the meantime had larynx cancer and had to undergo several operations, first traveled to Germany in 1955 and then again in 1957. At the end of 1960 he finally returned to Europe, where he lived in France and Germany. In Germany, in addition to old friends, he had contact with Helmut Heißenbüttel , who worked for the Süddeutscher Rundfunk , the publisher Jes Petersen and Fritz J. Raddatz , the deputy publishing director at Rowohlt . These endeavored to make Jung's work known again in Germany, got him contracts for the radio and contacts with publishers.

In 1961 Jung's autobiography The Way Down was published by Luchterhand Literaturverlag . As a result, there were hostilities and also lawsuits, because some people, including the actress Trude Hesterberg , felt misrepresented or slandered by the book.

On January 16, 1963, Jung was admitted to the Karl Olga Hospital because of a high fever . There he suffered a stroke that partially paralyzed him. He could no longer read himself and was read to him. On January 21st at 1 a.m., Franz Jung died of a heart attack in Stuttgart at the age of 74 . On January 25th he was buried in the New Cemetery in Degerloch-Sonnenberg. His grave site, which will be continued as the municipal grave, is in Department 6, Row 5, Grave 24.

Fritz J. Raddatz said of Jung: "Franz Jung - one of the most unknown and most read-worthy authors of the German language in the first half of this century".


Bibliography of the works of Franz Jung: Fritz Mierau , life and writings of Franz Jung. A chronicle . Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1980. Walter Fähnders: Franz Jung Bibliography . In: Wolfgang Rieger: luck technique and need for life. Life and work of Franz Jung . Freiburg / Br. 1987, pp. 252-268 (320 titles).

  • The idiot book. Theodor Gerstenberg Verlag, Leipzig 1912. (New edition with a preface by Lutz Schulenburg : Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-89401-773-6 .)
  • Comrades ...! Richard Weissbach Verlag, Heidelberg 1913.
  • Sophie. The way of the cross of humility. Publisher of the weekly DIE AKTION ( Franz Pfemfert ), Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1915.
  • Saul. Publishing house of the weekly DIE AKTION (Franz Pfemfert), Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1916.
  • Sacrifice. A novel. Publishing house of the weekly DIE AKTION (Franz Pfemfert), Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1916.
  • The leap out of the world. Publisher of the weekly DIE AKTION (Franz Pfemfert), Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1918.
  • Merciful, our Queen. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig 1918.
  • Jehan. Saturne publishing house, Mühlheim / Donau 1919.
  • Trip in Russia. Publishing house of the Communist Workers' Party of Germany, Berlin 1920.
  • Joe Frank illustrates the world. Publisher of the weekly DIE AKTION (Franz Pfemfert), Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1921.
  • The big case. K. Hanf Verlag, Hamburg 1921.
  • Proletarian. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1921.
  • The Kanakers - How much longer? Two plays . The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1921.
  • The technique of happiness. Part 1–2. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1921–1923.
  • The red week. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1921.
  • Annemarie. Play in four acts. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1922.
  • Labor peace. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1922.
  • Hunger on the Volga. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1922.
  • The conquest of the machines. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1923.
  • More speed! More luck! More force. A paperback for everyone. The Malik publishing house, Berlin 1923.
  • The story of a factory. Publishing house for literature and politics, Vienna 1924.
  • The new person in the new Russia. Publishing house for literature and politics, Vienna 1924.
  • Shops. A comedy. Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Potsdam 1927.
  • Tortured people. An Upper Silesian industrial novel. 1927 (first published 1987).
  • Peddler. Socially critical novel. Publishing house Der Bücherkreis, Berlin 1931.
  • The way down. Records from a great time. Luchterhand, Neuwied - Berlin - Spandau 1961. New edition Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1988; 2000.
  • My regards beforehand. 1962 (first published in 1966 by Jes Petersen ), printed in: Petra and Uwe Nettelbeck (eds.): Franz Jung: Schriften und Briefe. Salzhausen 1981, pp. 899-903.
  • Building blocks for a new person. About Wilhelm Reich and Ernst Fuhrmann . Zurich: Edition Moderne 1982.
  • Revolt against the fear of life. The Albigensians. Essay. Brinkmann & Bose, Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-922660-11-8 .
  • Spandau diary. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1984.
  • The torpedo beetle. Homage to Franz Jung. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1988.
  • The enchanted. Narrative. From the estate, ed. by Walter Fähnders. BasisDruck, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-86163-101-6 .
  • Jes Petersen: Strontium. Correspondence with Raoul Hausmann and Franz Jung. Edited by Andreas Hansen. BasisDruck, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-86163-113-X .
  • The year without mercy. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-89401-782-8 (written in 1946, first published in 1990 in volume 12 of the Franz Jung edition).

A work edition in 14 volumes has been published by Edition Nautilus .


  • Helge Dvorak: Biographical Lexicon of the German Burschenschaft. Volume I: Politicians. Volume 3: I-L. Winter, Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-8253-0865-0 , pp. 35-36.
  • Walter Fähnders : Franz Jung (1888–1963). In: German dramatists of the 20th century . Edited by Alo Allkemper u. Norbert Otto Eke. Berlin 2000, pp. 173-183.
  • Wolfgang Rieger: luck technique and need in life. Life and work of Franz Jungs, with a Franz Jung bibliography by Walter Fähnders, ça ira Verlag , Freiburg im Breisgau 1987, ISBN 3-924627-09-6 (dissertation University of Freiburg im Breisgau 1987, 268 pages, 21 cm).
  • Walter Fähnders: Between aesthetic and political avant-garde: Franz Jung and his 'journey (s) in Russia'. In: Germany and the Russian Revolution 1917–1924 . Edited by Gerd Koenen u. Lev Kopelev . Munich 1998, pp. 431-461.
  • Walter Fähnders: The "Expressionist" Franz Jung. In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Germanistenverband 58, 2011, H. 2, S. 146–156.
  • Walter Fähnders: "... that production is happiness". Franz Jung and the work problem. In: Archive for the history of resistance and work 2001, No. 16, pp. 23–72.
  • Walter Fähnders: Franz Jung and the left press . In: Culture as a window to a better life. Festschrift for Rainer Noltenius . Ed. Fritz Hüser-Gesellschaft ud management v. Volker Zaib. Bielefeld 2003, pp. 77–125.
  • Walter Fähnders, Andreas Hansen (ed.): From the idiot book to the torpedo beetle. Franz Jung in literary criticism 1912–1963 . Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2003.
  • Walter Fähnders, Andreas Hansen (ed.): From the idiot book to the torpedo beetle. Franz Jung in literary criticism 1912–1963. Supplements 1 . Berlin: Distillery, 2006.
  • Walter Fähnders, Andreas Hansen: “The magic of people reappearing and disappearing”. Commentary on the first print by Franz Jungs “Don't be afraid ...”. In: Archive for the history of resistance and work 2001, No. 16, pp. 89–96.
  • Walter Fähnders, Andreas Hansen: “The film also beckons.” Commentary on the first print of Franz Jung's script 'Vorbesthung'. In: Jahrbuch zur Literatur der Weimarer Republik 2, 1996, pp. 42–59.
  • Walter Fähnders, Helga Karrenbrock: Franz Jung and the theater avant-garde. With a first print of his scenario 'Children's Ballade'. In: Literature Language Culture . Edited by Wolfgang Asholt / Siegfried Kanngießer. Osnabrück 1996, pp. 24-40.
  • Martin Glaubrecht:  Jung, Franz. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 671 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Arnold Imhof: Franz Jung. Life work effect 1974.
  • Helga Karrenbrock: The jump out of the world. On Franz Jung's expressionist prose. In: Prose of Expressionism . Study book 1. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2001, pp. 165–186.
  • Fritz Mierau: The disappearance of Franz Jung. Stages of a biography , Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 978-3-89401-294-6 .
  • Michael Rohrwasser : From the life of a good-for-nothing. Franz Jung as an Upper Silesian author. In: Maria Katarzyna Lasatowicz , Jürgen Joachimsthaler (Ed.): Assimilation - Demarcation - Exchange. Interculturality in language and literature. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 978-3-631-34894-9 , pp. 346–365.
  • Ernst Schürer (Ed.): Franz Jung. The Life and Work of a Rebel New York: 1994.
  • Jennifer E. Michaels: Franz Jung. Expressionist, Dadaist, Revolutionary and Outsider New York: 1989.
  • Jung, Franz . In: Hermann Weber , Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographical Handbook 1918 to 1945 . 2nd, revised and greatly expanded edition. Karl Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02130-6 .

Web links

To texts

Commons : Franz Jung  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

About Franz Jung

Individual evidence

  1. Bodo Pieroth : Legal studies in literary testimony - Franz Jung , in: JURA - Legal training 1993, p. 532 f.
  2. Franz Jung's funeral