KURT TUCHOLSKY AND THE ORDEAL OF GERMANY 1914-1935 by Harold L. Poor

KURT TUCHOLSKY AND THE ORDEAL OF GERMANY 1914-1935

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tucholsky was a social satirist, a cultural critic, a political commentator, and a chanson-poet for the Weimar Republic's cabarets. This study of the man with four pseudonyms casts more light on the political Tucholsky than did the recent anthology What If--? (edited by Ross & Zohn--1967). Poor reconstructs the personal life of the merchant-banker's son, his two failed marriages, his voluntary exile from Germany in the 30's. . . and the paradoxes of his career: one of the writers most-hated and first-attacked by the Nazis, he was conspicuously ambivalent toward his Jewish background. And, although he predicted the Nazi takeover and its W.W. II-making foreign policy, he failed to grasp the differences between the old imperialists, the Weimar chauvinists, and the rising fascists. Tucholsky's inability to find a political home typified leftist intellectuals, says Poor, discussing at length his relations with the cowardly socialists and Stalin-ruled communists. The book appeals primarily to a nostalgic and/or cultural-historian audience which will be disappointed by its simple, often banal style; for general readers it does offer an introduction to a very important period and a witty, cosmopolitan, quite tragic man.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners