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Neumann, Alfred


NEUMANN, ALFRED (1895–1952), German novelist. Born in Lautenburg, West Prussia, Neumann studied in Munich. For several years he was literary adviser to the Munich publishing house of Georg Mueller. In 1938 he settled in Nice and from there emigrated to the U.S. in 1941. Neumann moved from Los Angeles to Florence in 1949 and died in Switzerland. Together with Heinrich Mann, Max *Brod, Alfred *Doeblin and Lion *Feuchtwanger, Neumann was responsible for the revival of the German historical novel.

His first great work, Der Patriot (1925), dramatized in English as Such Men are Dangerous, dealt with the assassination of Czar Paul of Russia. Der Teufel (1926) was set during the reign of Louis xvi of France. Rebellen (1927) and Guerra (1929) were concerned with the uprising of the Carbonari and the Risorgimento movement in 19th-century Italy. His other historical novels include Koenig Haber (1926), in which the central character recalls the rise and fall of Joseph Suess *Oppenheimer ("Jew Suess"); Koenigin Christine von Schweden (1936); Neuer Caesar (1934); Kaiserreich (1936); and Die Volksfreunde (1941), concerning the government of Napoleon iii, the occupation of Paris in 1870, and the uprising of the commune in 1871. In his Es waren ihre sechs (1949) he was inspired by the resistance movement of the White Rose (Weisse Rose) among Munich students opposing National Socialism.

In 1950, an editon of his collected works (Gesammelte Werke) was published in two volumes. A selection of his work (Eine Auswahl aus seinem Werk) in one volume was edited by G. Stern in 1979. In 1977 Neumann's Correspondence with Thomas *Mann appeared (ed. P. de Mendelssohn).


F. Lennartz, Deutsche Dichter und Schriftsteller unserer Zeit (19598), 552–5. add. bibliography: K. Umlauf, Exil, Terror, Illegalität. Die aesthetische Verarbeitung politischer Erfahrungen in ausgewaehlten Romanen aus dem Exil 19331945 (1982); G. Stern, "Alfred Neumann," in: G. Stern, Literatur im Exil (1989), 249–81; G.F. Probst, "Alfred Neumann's and Erwin Piscator's Dramatization of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' and the Role of Theatre as a Contribution to America's War Efforts," in: Exile and Enlightenment (1987), 265–72; G. Stern, "The Image of America in Exile Literature: Alfred Neumann's Unpublished Film Script 'Commencement Day'," in: H.D. Osterle (ed), Amerika (1989), 19–28.

[Rudolf Kayser /

Kurt Feilchenfeld (2nd ed.)]

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