Franz Theodor Csokor

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Memorial plaque for the German and Austrian refugees in Sanary-sur-Mer , among them Franz Theodor Csokor

Franz Theodor Csokor (born September 6, 1885 in Vienna ; † January 5, 1969 there ) was an Austrian writer and playwright. He is considered one of the most important expressionist dramatists in Austria. His most successful and best-known piece is November 3, 1918 , which thematizes the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy . The author's preoccupation with antiquity and Christianity is reflected in many of his works.


Csokor came from a middle-class family; the name Csokor is Hungarian and means (flower) bouquet . In his youth he lived in Mödling a few kilometers south of Vienna from 1890 to 1908 and graduated from high school there in 1905 . He then began studying art history, but did not complete it. He felt called to be a dramatist at an early age and wrote his first plays before the First World War. He spent 1913/14 in Saint Petersburg , was drafted as a soldier in the First World War and was ultimately employed in the war archive in Vienna in a literary group with Stefan Zweig , Alfred Polgar and Felix Salten . From 1922 to 1928 Csokor was dramaturge at the Raimundtheater and at the Deutsches Volkstheater in Vienna.

Since 1933, Csokor was a staunch opponent of National Socialism and signed a statement at the PEN Congress in Dubrovnik in which the PEN opposed the " conformity " of the German literary scene by the National Socialist regime and the exclusion of Jewish Germans from the Reich Chamber of Culture . He refused to join the Association of German Writers Austria founded in 1936 .

After the " Anschluss of Austria " to the German Reich in 1938, he emigrated to Poland , where friends took him in. He witnessed the bombing of Warsaw by the German air force in 1939 , fled from there to Bucharest and soon on to Yugoslavia, where he survived the bombing of Belgrade in 1941 . From there, in order not to fall into the hands of the Germans, he fled to the Dalmatian island of Korčula , which was initially ruled by fascist Croatia , then annexed by fascist Italy as Curzola. A wealthy lady found him a place to stay there.

After the fall of Mussolini in 1943, he and other older refugees were brought by a partisan sailing ship to Bari in the already liberated part of Italy before the Wehrmacht landed on the island . After the conquest of Rome by the Allies in 1944, he saw the end of the war there. He was very close to terrorist attacks against civilians and hostage shootings, but luckily he was not affected by them.

From 1951 he lived in Vienna 3rd, Neulinggasse 11.

He now worked for the BBC and was able to return to Vienna in a British uniform, despite the existing travel restrictions. In December 1946, as Carl Zuckmayer mentioned in his memoir , he took part in the Zurich world premiere of Zuckmayer's drama Des Teufels General in American uniform .

In 1947 Csokor became president of the Austrian PEN Club , for which he remained active well into old age. From 1951 he lived in the 3rd district of Vienna , thus in the British sector of the city until 1955 . In 1968, Csokor also became vice president of the International PEN Club.

As a staunch humanist, Csokor stood up for peace, freedom and human rights in his dramas. His work has always been closely linked to the labor movement.

Awards and honors

Csokor was awarded the honorary title of "Professor" by the state.

He rests in a grave of honor in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 32 C, number 55).

The Austrian PEN Center has been awarding the Franz Theodor Csokor Prize named after him since 1970 .

In 1975, in the Kaiserebersdorf district of Vienna's 11th district, the Csokorgasse was named after him.

In 1994 the Austrian Post issued a special postage stamp in his honor.

Tomb of Franz Theodor Csokor
List of honors



  • The red road , 1918
  • The hour of death , 1919
  • Society of Human Rights , 1929
  • Occupied Territory , 1930
  • November 3, 1918 , 1936; Ephelant 1993. ISBN 3-900766-07-X .
  • God's General , 1939; Ephelant 1993. ISBN 3-900766-07-X .
  • Calypso , 1942
  • The Prodigal Son , 1943; Ephelant 1993. ISBN 3-900766-07-X .
  • Caesar's widow , 1954
  • Pilate , 1954
  • Lifts the Stone , 1957
  • Jadwiga , 1966
  • The Millennial Dream , 1966
  • Alexander , 1969
  • The Emperor Between the Times , 1969


  • Hildebrand's homecoming, a German legend , 1905
  • Shot in the business (The Otto Eissler case) , 1925
  • Across the threshold , short stories, 1937
  • The key to the abyss , novel, 1955
  • The second crowing of the cock , short stories, 1959
  • A Few Shovels of Earth , Tales, 1965
  • Not even on land today. Letters and poems from exile. Also includes: The Black Ship and Witness to a Time . Ephelant, 1993, ISBN 3-900766-05-3 .


  • The Forces , 1912
  • The dagger and the wound , 1917
  • Eternal departure , 1926
  • The Black Ship , 1945, 1947; 1993
  • Always begins , 1952


  • As a civilian in the Polish war , Allert de Lange, Amsterdam 1940
  • As a civilian in the Balkan War , Ullstein, Vienna 1947
  • On strange streets. 1939–1945 , Kurt Desch publishing house, Vienna / Munich / Basel 1955
  • Witness of a time: letters from exile 1933–1950 , Langen-Müller, Munich 1955
  • Autobiographical sketch by Franz Theodor Csokor, approx. 1914 to Franz Brümmer ; In: Digital edition of the lexicographical estate of Franz Brümmer


  • Lilly Adler: The dramatic works of Franz Theodor Csokor . Univ. Diss. Vienna 1950.
  • Joseph P. Strelka (Ed.): Always is the beginning. The poet Franz Theodor Csokor . Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1990, ISBN 3-261-04254-0 .
  • Eckart Früh: F. Th. Csokor, a Frondeur . In: November 3, 1918. The prodigal son. God's general . Ephelant, 1993, ISBN 3-900766-07-X , pp. 249-254.
  • Harald Klauhs: Franz Theodor Csokor. Overview of life and work up to 1938 (= Stuttgart works on German studies; 204). Heinz, Akad. Verl., Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-88099-208-8 .
  • Ulrich N. Schulenburg (ed.): Life pictures of a humanist. A Franz Theodor Csokor book . Löcker, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85409-182-6 .
  • Paul Wimmer: The playwright Franz Theodor Csokor (= playwright, plays, perspectives; 4). Wagner, Innsbruck 1981, ISBN 3-7030-0086-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Culture magazine Medelihha: declaration of love to a city , issue 12/2014
  2. ^ Gregor Gatscher-Riedl: A black and yellow requiem in the local history supplements to the official gazette of BH Mödling , 4th edition, 2018 p. 25
  3. Carl Zuckmayer: As if it were a piece of me. Hearing of friendship. Fischer Taschenbuch Nr. 1049, Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1969, ISBN 3-596-21049-6 , p. 470.
  4. ^ Art and culture in Vienna: FT Csokor's grave of honor , accessed on July 27, 2014
  5. Also contains: The Prodigal Son and God's General .
  6. (caption :) (...) “3. November 1918 "(...) . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna October 31, 1965, p. 9 , bottom right ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  7. Also contains: November 3, 1918 and The Prodigal Son .
  8. Also includes: November 3, 1918 and God's General .
  9. In: Even today not on land. Letters and poems from exile. (See prose).
  10. Excerpt in FTC, July 25th in Zwischenwelt. Zs. The Theodor Kramer Gesellschaft vol. 27 # 4, February 2011 ISSN  1606-4321 p. 46f.