Tau, Max

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TAU, MAX (1897–1976), publisher and author. Tau, who was born in Beuthen, Upper Silesia, was for many years the literary director of the publishing house of Bruno Cassirer and a book reviewer for the Frankfurter Zeitung and other journals. In 1938 he immigrated to Norway and in 1942, during the persecution of the Jews there, he took refuge in Sweden. After World War ii he attained an important position in Norwegian publishing. Among the important authors he introduced in Norway, there were many Jews and some Israelis. He also introduced Norwegian authors in Germany (even before the war). Among his most significant achievements was the creation of a "Peace Library" which, he hoped, would become internationally important and would help revive respect for the human being. His many honors included the first award of the German publishing trade's peace prize (1950), and a school in Kiel, Germany, that was named after him.

Tau himself wrote several novels and autobiographical books in German, published in Norwegian and German, in which he described his parental Jewish home, German-cultural life, his absorption into Norwegian society and, above all, his faith in humanity. They include Tro på mennesket (1946; Glaube an den Menschen, 1948), Denn ueber uns ist der Himmel (1955), Das Land, das ich verlassen musste (1961), Ein Fluechtling findet sein Land (1964), and På forsoningens vei (Auf dem Wege zur Vesoehnung, 1967).


En MosaikkMax Tau (Norwegian, 1967); Baumeister einer bruederlichen Welt. Max Tau: Dokumente einer Ehrung (1966).

[Oskar Mendelsohn]