Simone, André

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SIMONE, ANDRÉ (Otto Katz ; 1895–1952), Czech journalist and Communist activist. Born into a bourgeois German family, he became a Communist in his youth, contributing regularly to the Communist press in Czechoslovakia and later in Germany. He joined the kpd in 1922, when he moved to Berlin to work for the publishing house of Leopold Schwarzschild. Siding with L. *Trotsky, he left the party in 1926. Beginning in 1927, he worked for the German theater director Erwin Piscator and, starting in 1929, in close cooperation with Willi Muenzenberg (1889–1940), for the Universum library of the Internationale Arbeiterhilfe (iah). In 1930 Katz escaped a tax trial, leaving for Moscow, where he managed the Mežrabpom film company. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Katz was called to Paris to support Muenzenberg in his anti-Fascist work. From 1936 to 1939, Katz was involved in the Spanish Civil War, leading the Republican press agency "Agence d'Espagne" in Paris under his assumed name André Simone. In 1938, he joined the editorial staff of L'Ordre. After the outbreak of World War ii he escaped to the United States and, in the summer of 1940, went on to Mexico. There he was among the founders of the Mexican branch of the kpd, the journal Freies Deutschland, and the publishing house El Libro Libre. In 1942, however, he worked as an advisor for the Latin American trade union, and in 1944 became an editorial staff member of the pro-Zionist Tribuna Israelitica. Returning to Prague in 1946, he was readmitted to the Communist party and was appointed foreign affairs editor of the party organ Rudé Právo and editor of the political review Svetové rozhledy ("World Views"). In the *Slánský trial in 1952, he was among those accused of "Trotskyite-Titoist-Zionist" activities, sentenced to death, and executed. In 1963, Simone was fully rehabilitated and in 1968 was posthumously awarded the Order of the Czech Republic. Among his works are Neun Männer im Eis (1929), Das Braune Netz (1935), Spione und Verschwörer in Spanien (1936), J'accuse. The men who betrayed France (1940), Men of Europe (1941), and La batalla de Rusia (1943).


W. Sternfeld / E. Tiedemann (eds.), Deutsche Exil-Literatur 19331945 (21970), 257; bhde 1 (1980), 352–3; Handbuch österreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren jüdischer Herkunft 18. bis 20. Jahrhundert 1 (2002), No. 5004.

[Avigdor Dagan /

Johannes Valentin Schwarz (2nd ed.)]

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Simone, André

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