Melchior Vischer

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melchior Vischer , origin. Emil Walter Kurt Fischer , (born January 7, 1895 in Teplitz-Schönau , † April 21, 1975 in Berlin ) was a German writer and director of Bohemian origin.


Fischer was born in Teplitz in 1895 as the son of Magister pharm. Maximilian Alexander Fischer and his wife Emilie Griessel were born. After graduating from high school, Vischer was drafted into the military. During the First World War he was soon promoted to ensign and was later promoted to lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He was badly wounded in Galicia (shot in the neck) and saw the end of the war in a hospital near Prague .

After his recovery, Vischer studied German , art history , philosophy and mathematics in Prague . At the same time he worked for the pro-government newspaper Prager Presse . While working as a journalist in Prague, he met the actress Eva Segaljewitsch, whom he later married. In 1920 he made his debut with Second Through Hirn (an incredibly fast rotating short novel). With this publication, Vischer became one of the most important representatives of Dadaism in Prague.

During these years he was u. a. friends with Franz Kafka and Ernst Weiß . Through her he came into contact with Alfred Döblin and Robert Musil . With Tristan Tzara was a lively epistolary contact. It was through him that Vischer met Francis Picabia , who wanted to publish some of Vischer's poems. Together with Tzara, Picabia planned a Dadaist anthology (working title Dadaglobe ), which never came about.

In 1923 he was honored with the honorable mention at the awarding of the Kleist Prize by Alfred Döblin . In the same year he went to Germany with his wife. Here he worked as a dramaturge and director at various theaters in Würzburg , Bamberg , Baden-Baden and Frankfurt / Main . Vischer was unable to assert himself as a theater director and did not achieve any major success.

In 1927 Vischer and his wife settled as a freelance writer in Berlin . He lived very withdrawn and there was no contact whatsoever with colleagues such as B. Herwarth Walden and his circle. Vischer was also unable to gain a foothold in Berlin's theaters. For financial reasons, Vischer began (partly with his wife) to write trivial serial novels on commission. He sent his biography of the Danish-Russian army reformer Burkhard Christoph von Münnich to his fellow writer Oskar Gluth on May 27, 1938 with the comment: "(Y) the further one moves away from our jubilee century, the happier one is (...) of this work I am to my actual area (...) - if the beautiful Austrian (r) .- Hungarian monarchy had not dissolved, I would be somewhere (...) as a high school professor of history - returned (... ) ".

Some biographical accounts of Vischer's life indicate that Vischer published two books for young people in 1940 and 1942 under his maiden name Emil Fischer , because as Melchior Vischer he was banned from writing and his biography of Jan Hus was banned by the National Socialists. The Hus biography is seen as an opposing position to the National Socialist ideology.

However, this assessment of Vischers' role during the Nazi era is also contradicted: As early as 1983, Geerken referred to Vischer's unclear position in the Third Reich. "Taking newly discovered documents and texts into account, Jäger (1997, 1999) revised Vischer's role at the moment He refers to Vischer's membership in the NSDAP (No. 2948559), letters with (among other things) the statement by Vischer that he has been close to the National Socialist ideology since 1928, and a text published in 1932 under the pseudonym Heinrich Riedel (Die Sudetendeutsche Tragedy), which Jäger rates as “sedition.” The assertion that Vischer's Jan Hus biography was banned by the Nazi regime is also called into question, as on the one hand there are no concrete indications for a ban, on the other hand the 1940 edition in several German and Austrian libraries can be found, with about copies in the University Library of Vienna with several stamps of the German imperial eagle with swastika in oak leaves and signatures from 1940. According to Christian Jäger, the biographies written by Vischer (Münnich, Jan Hus) can be interpreted as compatible with National Socialist ideology.

In 1944 his wife died of cancer. Since then, at the latest, Vischer has practically no longer maintained any contact with his environment. After the end of the war, Vischer earned his living as a wage clerk for several Berlin newspapers and magazines. In 1951 he went to East Berlin , because he was promised a new edition of his works, especially his biography of Hus. Since Vischer did not see his wishes fulfilled, he returned to West Berlin bitter . There he married a second time, but due to his dire financial situation, this marriage was soon divorced. Melchior Vischer died on April 21, 1975 in Berlin at the age of 80.

Vischer's early work was shaped by Dadaism and yet had its own character. Vischer found his artistic home in late Expressionism, even if he had little in common with Herwarth Walden and his circle and his storm .


  • The Titan (1919)
  • Second through brain (1920)
  • The Tea Master (1920), (1976, edited by Hartmut Geerken )
  • Tramp and Empress (1921)
  • The Rabbit (1922)
  • Chaplin (1924)
  • Elisabeth goes to the sound film (1932), (together with his wife Eva)
  • Münnich (1938)
  • Jan Hus (1940)
  • Peke-Wotaw. A German Boy Among Indians (1940), (as Emil Fischer, Illustr. Karl Staudinger )
  • Mak Woh. The White Indian Chief (1942), (as Emil Fischer)
  • Unpublished letters and poems. With an afterword by Raoul Schrott . Edited by Franz Josef Weber, Karl Riha . Siegen: University of Siegen, 1988. (Forgotten authors of modernity. 32.)


  • Hartmut Binder (Ed.): Prager Profiles. Forgotten authors in the shadow of Kafka . Gebr. Mann Verlag , Berlin 1991
  • Peter Engel: The man who called himself Melchior Vischer . Neue Zürcher Zeitung , 13./14. September 1986
  • Peter Engel: From Prague avant-garde to Berlin entertainment writer. The Changes of Melchior Vischer. In: Hartmut Binder, Ed .: Prager Profile , pp. 417–437
  • Hartmut Geerken , Ed .: Epilogue, to M. Vischer: Second through the brain, the tea master, the rabbit and other prose. edition text + kritik , Munich 1983, pp. 187–206
  • Sigrid Hauff, Ed .: Epilogue , to M. Vischer: Soccer players and Indians. Chaplin . Two plays. Edition Text + Critique, München 1984, pp. 275–295
  • Christian Jäger: The Anbiedermann as arsonist. Melchior Vischer and National Socialism, in Walter Delabar, Horst Denkler a . a. Ed .: Scope of the individual. German literature in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Weidler, Berlin 1999, pp. 169-184
  • Christian Jäger: From F to V - and back again. Melchior Vischer and the minority literature. In: Jahrbuch zur Literatur der Weimarer Republik, 3, 1997, pp. 139–171
  • Alexander Lang: Critique of civilization in the work of Melchior Vischer . University of Vienna , diploma thesis 2012
  • Rebeccah Dawson: "Death is more heroic on the soccer field ...". The cult of athletic in Melchior Vischer's "Soccer Players and Indians". The Journal of Sport Literature, Aethlon 27, 2.

Web links

References and comments

  1. Engel, Peter: From Prague avant-garde to Berlin entertainment writer. The Changes of Melchior Vischer. In: Binder, Hartmut (ed.): Prager Profiles.
  2. This [namely a review of Hus biography] writes in Nazi Germany from 1941 Theodor Heuss , who voted for the authorization on March 24, 1933 , about Melchior Vischer, who publishes books in Nazi Germany. All of this is strange, remains dark and undefined. "Hartmut Geerken: Epilogue. P. 194
  3. a b c Christian Jäger: The Anbiedermann as arsonist. Berlin 1999. p. 169ff.
  4. Alexander Lang: Criticism of civilization in Melchior Vischer's work. P. 50.
  5. This title was later used by Ed. Thomas Rietzschel for an entire anthology of expressionist authors. Reclam, Leipzig 1982, 377 pages