Franz Cain

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Franz Kain (born January 10, 1922 in Goisern ; † October 27, 1997 in Linz ) was an Austrian journalist , writer and politician .


Cain was born as the son of a bricklayer and hacker and attended the Catholic boarding school Stephaneum in Goisern as an external student . After graduating from school, he began training as a carpenter , which he broke off and then worked as a lumberjack .

At the age of 14 he was arrested for the first time in the Austro-Fascist corporate state and sentenced to three weeks' arrest for distributing leaflets from the banned communist youth organization KJV . After the Anschluss of Austria he was arrested again on March 1, 1941 and imprisoned in Linz, Wels , St. Pankraz , Berlin-Moabit , Nuremberg , Munich and Salzburg . It was not until September 1942 that he was sentenced to three years in prison for high treason and transferred to Penal Division 999 two months later . In the course of the war missions that followed, Franz Kain fell into American captivity in Tunisia in 1943 , from which he was only released in 1946. During his time as a prisoner of war he made his first literary attempts.

After returning from captivity, he worked as a journalist for the communist daily newspaper Neue Zeit . From 1953 he was a correspondent for the newspaper Volksstimme in the GDR for a few years . Here he made the acquaintance of contemporary poets and writers from the GDR, such as Bertolt Brecht and Anna Seghers .

From the second half of the 1950s until his retirement in 1982, Franz Kain was editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Neue Zeit . He died of cancer in 1997 in Linz.

Franz Kain joined the KPÖ early on and held various functions in the party until his death. From 1977 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1985 he was councilor of the KPÖ in Linz.

His literary work mainly includes novels , short stories and short stories . Most of his works were first published in the GDR. Franz Kain also actively participated in author readings, including the “ Left Word ” as part of the annual “ Volksstimmefest ” in the Vienna Prater. For a long time he was not recognized as a writer in his native Austria. It was not until shortly before his death that his works were published there by the Library of the Province .

He was a member and functionary of several artists 'associations such as: Grazer Authors' Assembly , March . From 1972 to 1985 he was deputy president of the Mühlviertel artists' guild .


Franz Kain has received several awards, including a. with the Prize of the Minister of Culture of the GDR, the Theodor Körner Prize and the Literature Prize of Upper Austria . In 1979 he was offered the title of professor. He also received awards and medals of honor from the Republic of Austria, the GDR and the USSR . 1994 the Upper Austrian Culture Prize - Grand Prize (Adalbert Stifter Prize) and 1989 Upper Austria Culture Prize for literature.


  • Then came the avalanche , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1954
  • The foehn breaks in , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag 1962; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1995. ISBN 3-85252-065-7
  • The end of eternal rest , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1978; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1996. ISBN 3-85252-109-2
  • Am Taubenmarkt , Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1991, NA 2003. ISBN 3-900878-38-2
  • In Grodek came the evening star , Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1994. ISBN 3-85252-058-4
Stories and short stories
  • Romeo and Juliet on Bernauer Strasse , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1955; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 2001. ISBN 3-85252-419-9
  • Die Lawine , Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1959; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1994. ISBN 3-900878-78-1
  • The Danube flows past , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1969; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1993. ISBN 3-900878-98-6
  • The way to Ödensee , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1974; Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1995. ISBN 3-85252-084-3
  • Das Schützenmahl , Berlin, Aufbau-Verlag, 1986.
  • The snow was soft and warm , Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1989. ISBN 3-900878-17-X
  • Im Brennesseldickicht , Weitra, Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz, 1989. ISBN 3-900878-16-1

Audio book

  • Franz Kain: The way to Ödensee / A radio play , Ed .: StifterHaus, Center for Literature and Language in Upper Austria. ISBN 3-900424-51-9

As part of a new series of projects in the StifterHaus, the radio play was created under the direction of Thomas Hinterberger. The composition of radio play and visual performance was also premiered in the StifterHaus. A volume of stories of the same name by Aufbau Verlag, Berlin, was published in 1973 as the last story by Franz Kain.


  • Wulf Kirsten : A simplician résumé. The Austrian writer Franz Kain (1922–1997). An associative expression of sympathy from afar ; in: “Zwischenwelt. Journal for the Culture of Exile and Resistance ”, Vol. 19, No. 4; Vienna: February 2003; Pp. 43-48. ISSN  1606-4321
  • Judith Gruber : Franz Kain - A monograph. Dissertation. University of Vienna. Vienna 1985
  • Eugenie Kain : "One would have to take the time to take a closer look". edition philosophical-literary series, Land Upper Austria 2002
  • Erik Adam: Life and Work of Franz Kain. In: The ramp. Hefte für Literatur, Linz 1994, pp. 67–77.
  • Judith Gruber-Rizy : Franz Kain - Der zornig Liebende ", In: Raimund Bahr (ed.): Cain and Zand. One home - two lives", Edition Art Science, Vienna - St. Wolfgang 2009, ISBN 978-3-902157 -59-1
  • Judith Gruber-Rizy : Franz Kain und der Krieg ", In: Raimund Bahr (Ed.): Kain und Zand. One home - two lives", Edition Art Science, Vienna - St. Wolfgang 2009, ISBN 978-3-902157- 59-1
  • Richard Wall: Franz Cain. The way to Ödensee or to whom do (t) the mountains belong ", In: Richard Wall: Small luggage. On the move in another Europe", Kitab Verlag, Klagenfurt 2013, ISBN 978-3-902878-06-9

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