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Bermann, Richard Arnold


BERMANN, RICHARD ARNOLD (1883–1939), Austrian author and journalist. Bermann was born in Vienna to an assimilated Viennese Jewish family, but spent much of his childhood in Prague. In 1906 he received his doctorate in philology; he began his career as a writer while still a student. From 1912 he was correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt under the pseudonym of Arnold Hoellriegel; he traveled widely as a foreign reporter and "pacificist" war correspondent for the newspaper Die Zeit during World War i. After the war he continued his career as a journalist, travel writer, and film critic. He visited Palestine with Arthur Rundt, and their book Palaestina (1923) was a glowing account of early Zionist achievements. Both men were careful, however, to disclaim any personal adherence to Jewish nationalism. In Vienna, he maintained a close friendship with author Leo *Perutz, and also knew *Freud, Viktor *Adler, and Otto *Bauer. Bermann's most popular book, Das Urwaldschiff (1927; The Forest Ship, 1931), described an adventurous trip up the Amazon. The subject of Derwischtrommel (1931), which appeared in English as The Mahdi of Allah (1931) with an introduction by Winston Churchill, was the Sudanese struggle against the British in the days of General Gordon and Lord Kitchener. After the Nazis occupied Vienna in 1938, Bermann attempted to flee three times to the United States. After being arrested and imprisoned, he was finally able to find refuge in the U.S. that same year, where he continued his resistance to the Nazis as director of the American Guild for German Cultural Freedom in New York, an organization which supported persecuted authors. He died in 1939 in the artists' colony of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, n.y.

add. bibliography:

R.A. Bermann (alias A. Hoellriegel, "Die Fahrt auf dem Katarakt. Eine Autobiographie ohne einen Helden," H.-H. Mueller (ed.), Deutsche Intellektuelle im Exil. Ihre Akademie und die "American Guild for German Cultural Freedom" (1993); idem, Oesterreicher – Demokrat – Weltbürger (1995); H.-H. Mueller, "Arnold Höllriegel – der Journalist Richard A. Bermann," in: Relation. MedienGesellschaftGeschichte (1996), 73–78.

[Sol Liptzin /

Lisa Silverman (2nd ed.)]

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