About

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English translations of German journalistic texts first published between the wars, and mostly previously unpublished in English translation.

The focus will be on the Berlin magazine Die Weltbühne (the world stage), but there are no fixed limits, so my first contributions are from Karl Kraus, who wrote and published Die Fackel (the torch) in Vienna, from 1899 until his death in 1936.

I will add my own historical context, notes, comments and interpretations to posts .

The question driving this is, “How did Europe go from the situation at the end of the First World War to Fascism, the Second World War, and the Holocaust?” Don’t expect an answer!

I want to present some of those who, “fought against the catastrophe with the typewriter” to English-speakers who have no access to German. How did the situation appear to those who saw fascism coming and tried to oppose or even prevent it?

I have, however, not just chosen texts which address this question directly; the authors whom I have translated were commentators and feature writers, Feuilleton or Reportage in German. I am interested in how they saw the world, and they wrote some beautiful texts. I am trying to preserve as much as I can of the humour, irony and general style. That poses the question of the possibility, aims and limits of translation. I will try to address that for myself and this blog.

This is on the one hand a simple repository of translations, a resource for users who already have a relationship to the context, but I also want to make it accessible to casual readers who do not bring the context with them, so I will try to provide some, in the Context pages.

This is my first venture into blogging, so bear with me. I welcome feedback, and hope that someone somewhere out there derives some value and pleasure from it.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m very impressed with your blog – I just finished Eric Weitz’s “Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy” and I was looking for more to read. I’ll certainly be digging through your posts for a while. Thank you!

  2. Hi there, fantastic blog. Can I recommend an addition to the ‘Existing English Translations’ section?
    The Vienna Coffeehouse Wits, 1890-1938 trans. by Segel, is a good source of feuilleton material.
    Great work though!

  3. What a wonderful idea for a website, I was considering doing something quite similar in order to bring both the works of Ossietzky and Tucholsky to a wider, English speaking public so the general mood of the (almost) blind-gropings-around of the Weimar Republic in terms of the cultural, historical and political schisms that had opened the way to fascism. It is a great tool to be used and an insight that is lost on the non-German speaking general public who may miss the important interventions of those who wrote for the Weltbuehne. If even a single person enjoys reading any of the texts, I would consider that a success.
    Are you willing to take submissions of texts to help speed along the project? I have been going through the collected Tucholsky (Rowohlt) and have recently ordered the collected Ossietzky (Oldenburg) and have free time.

    • Pleased you like it. As you can see from the dates of postings, I have serious capacity restrictions. If you’re serious about contributing, send me anything you do. You’ll get the credit.

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