On October 13, 1947, the prominent Weimar cultural critic and Nazi-era émigré living in New York, Siegfried Kracauer, composed the following letter to Wolfgang Weyrauch in Germany, whom he’d evidently known years earlier, when Weyrauch was a student in Frankfurt and an occasional contributor to Kracauer’s Frankfurter Zeitung:
I have received your letters—including the last one—as well as the books. I am surprised that you now insist on a quick reply, after you never thought to keep up your connections with me throughout the Hitler years and even the years before. Since you overlook this circumstance, I am compelled to mention it. In the meantime things have happened that you know about—things that make it impossible for me simply to resume connections with people over there without being altogether certain of them. Such things are not forgettable. And if it is at all possible to restore trust, it is a far more difficult task than you seem to assume. You also seem to harbor illusions about our life: it has been and it is hard and difficult. i
Six days later, he rewrote the as yet unmailed letter. In the revision, Kracauer replaces the colloquial suggestion that contact might resume after a while with a more personal and concrete—but also less companionable—choice of language, telescoping two of his earlier thoughts, by turning directly to the “things” whose occurrence make it “infinitely difficult to regain trust in people from over there from whom I have not heard in such a long time.” Finally, replacing his statement about the hardships of exile, he simply concluded with: “I do not want to say anything more. There is too much in the way.” ii
Kracauer’s letter to Weyrauch is an example of the genre I call “First Letters” and which I propose to examine for their witness about the dynamics and dilemmas of exile and return. Minimally characterized, they are letters written as soon as possible after the war by refugees from Nazi Germany to someone known to them earlier who had remained in Germany during the Hitler years, including letters in reply to initiatives from German correspondents. I will say more about this genre later and about my reasons for considering it especially worth study, but I want to begin with this concrete case, since there is no general theory to be proposed, given the diversity of writers, occasions, and addressees—only a hermeneutic strategy, and its rationale.
First, the fact that Kracauer postponed mailing the letter and then redrafted it signals its more than ordinary importance to him, although the addressee was quite clearly no more than a casual acquaintance from long ago. Second, there is his remarkable unwillingness to speak more precisely of the “things” that happened, a euphemism for mass-murder that he used three times. The exclusive use of the émigré’s “over there” (drüben) for Germany is another striking linguistic choice for an exceptionally meticulous writer.1 The revision, then, further increases the distance between the writer and the recipient of the letter.
The meaning of this “first letter”—its deep significance in the context of the presumptive end of exile—becomes even clearer four years later, when Kracauer suddenly renews the correspondence. Kracauer tells Weyrauch that he has read a report in the American German-Jewish weekly, Aufbau, according to which Weyrauch had issued a sort of manifesto calling on German writers to support the Jews remaining in Germany. Kracauer recalls that he had rejected Weyrauch years earlier and he avows that this makes it all the more incumbent on him to express his pleasure with this action. He feels much better about this letter, he says, than he did about the earlier one.
Kracauer’s seemingly unconditional rejection of Weyrauch in the “first letter” of 1947 proves to have been subject to revision, after all, except that the terms on which this could happen was not of a sort that could be stated. Weyrauch had to demonstrate without prompting that he was capable of giving recognition to Kracauer, as he had been changed and redefined by his exile, something that could not be done by mere verbal reassurances or by the marks of respect for the great Frankfurt intellectual of earlier years that undoubtedly introduced Weyrauch’s initial approach, for which we lack documentation. In this complex sense, Kracauer’s “first letter” entailed a tacit demand and thus even a tacit offer, notwithstanding the harsh and seemingly categorical language.
Kracauer’s surprising initiative after he accepts Weyrauch’s 1951 action on behalf of Jewish writers in Germany as such a mark of recognition is followed after a month by a longer letter in which Kracauer amusingly—and almost naively-- resumes what may have been a much earlier patronizing but paternal role towards Weyrauch, whom he now urges to leave Worpswede, where he is working as an editor, in favor of “a steady connection with a better newspaper or magazine” [December 16, 1951]iii Although Kracauer now explains at some length why he and his wife will not consider a relocation to Germany, if only because “ the life lived in the meantime is worth continuing” he also insists, “That is no disloyalty, but quite the opposite, as you can see from this letter.””iv The citation of the letter as proof against the charge of “disloyalty” [Untreue] is remarkable not only because it gives further weight to the idea that these letters count as a sort of re-entry into the bargaining relations that had constituted life before exile, in lieu of return but also because it concedes that a charge of disloyalty merits an answer, notwithstanding the “things,” a response unimaginable if the 1947 letter were simply taken out of the context of the end-of-exile process.
The “First Letters” project, which this article is designed to introduce and illustrate, concerns letters by means of which German exiles of the Hitler years resume communications with former connections in Germany after 1945. It is shaped first of all by the observation that it is precisely the density of communicative grounding in the country of origin that qualifies an émigré as an exile. In earlier writings on the subject, I have spoken of the precondition of being disenfranchised from a status activus, in the sense of citizenship, as in the paradigmatic Roman cases, but with the rise of the “public” in the nineteenth century, ouster from an active role in that communicative space suffices, if it then followed by coercion sufficient to induce emigration. With this comes a conviction of righteousness, a denunciation of the political justice that has led to displacement.2
An additional dimension of the concept of exile, as it applies to dynamic situations, is the telos of return, which also implies a view of the host country as nothing more than an asylum. If these questions have been irrelevant, there may have been no exile; if they are moot, so that they do not even require explanation, there is no more exile. The “first letters” project arises out of my recent work on the problematic linkage between "exile and return" in the paradigm of recent studies of exile, and my approach derives from my adaptations of the discourse of "negotiations" to the study of exile acculturation.3 First Letters are a prime locus for specifying the final cause of the years of displacement; they initiate—and sometimes also close—the process of determining whether and how return matters.
Apart from its definitional role in the concept of exile, return also figures in the calculation of what may be stated as the success or bankruptcy of the exile. The application of such terms implies a notion of exile as an enterprise rather than (simply) a destiny. Whatever the precipitating sequence, exile implies a commitment to witness, at minimum, and a hope for vindication, at best. Such a political project, however, is by no means incompatible with a mediated, negotiated outcome; and the “first letters” inquiry is methodologically biased in this direction, by the very nature of its exhibits. The great surprise of this study, in its initial stages at least, is the extent to which exile seems to have been brought near to liquidation in these letters.
Without in any sense denigrating the sincerity of the emotional expressiveness in many of these letters, especially when they are addressed to old friends, I think that these "first letters" should be understood as opening moves in a (re)negotiation of relationships, under conditions of uncertainty, stating the terms on which the writer offers and seeks "recognition," as well as implying a model of some provisional bargaining rules. The point about such complex negotiations is that the bargaining about the issues "on the table" often includes as well a process of meta-bargaining about the issues deemed negotiable and non-negotiable, about the duration proposed for whatever "settlement" is reached, about the parties who are literally or virtually present at the table, about the constituencies spoken to or for, etc. The reason that the present project cannot be fully comprehended by the attractive and partially applicable metaphor of chess openings, then, is precisely that the rules themselves may be subject to revision in the course of the negotiating game—and there are no winners, in any simple sense.
It is important to underline that the investigation of these “first letters” does not presuppose that the writers are uniformly seeking recognition of some sort of deep conception of their own identities at the end of their enforced absence and silence, justification of their exiles, or validation—although any or all of these objectives may be present. As we saw in Kracauer’s revision of his first draft, the writer may avoid exposing himself as much as possible, given that every letter is a risk (and that many probes from Germany were doubtless ignored). The exiled writers may well vary dramatically in the distance they will be seeking to establish, at least at the outset, in the roles they assume and the functions they propose for the contacts. Again, the study does not presuppose that these letters will necessarily be confessional in nature, since it is precisely a matter of great interest to distinguish how much or how little of themselves the authors are prepared to risk in these initial negotiations. Moreover, the link to the theme of "return" is not to suggest that this correspondence invariably belongs to "return" as a step in a progression of steps: it may be an action in lieu of return or at most an indication of what is likely to be ventured in any return, literal or symbolic.
The profound complexity of these moments is more extensively elaborated in a 3000-word “first letter,” that the one-time Socialist labor lawyer, Ernst Fraenkel—having chosen to serve in Korea as civil legal advisor to the occupation forces, as he explains, rather than assuming some such function in Germany—addressed to both wife and husband in the family of the Social Democratic labor intellectual, Otto Suhr, intimate friends and comrades in arms in underground resistance to the Nazis until Fraenkel’s departure in 1937. Fraenkel describes his early isolation within the political emigration in New York, which appeared deluded to him in its expectations of internal revolution in Germany, and describes the unforced shift in allegiance to America that overtook both him and his wife, not least because of the deep impression on them of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt –although the latter is epitomized in the letter by an occasion when Eleanor Roosevelt appears at an emigrant meeting to show that “she knew how to distinguish between Nazis and Germans who see the struggle for democracy as their own.” Then the ambiguous story of a transition from exile is abruptly brought to a head: The decisive turning set in for me in 1943 [...]. It was at that time that we first heard about the gas chambers in Auschwitz [...]. As it became clear that these were not propaganda reports but facts, I deliberately and in full awareness of the significance of the step cut the cord between myself and Germany and determined never to return to Germany. It would be completely impossible for me to retrieve the impartiality necessary to live and to function in that land. In the relationship between Germans and Jews, now that 5,000,000 Jews have been murdered, I feel solidarity with the Jews—and only with them. I do not believe that it can be expected of any Jew that he will ever in future live in Germany [...]. I was in Germany long enough to know that a considerable proportion of the German population endorsed Hitler’s measures against the Jews. After this campaign has led to massacre, it is not permissible for me as a Jew ever again to make the cause of this people my own. That may sound bitter. I feel very bitter on this question. I believe that this wound can never be healed.v4
Although not a few among the Jewish exiles may have shared some such feelings, as we can also read beneath the surface of Kracauer’s first letter, Fraenkel’s epistolary statement depends on the doubtless much rarer circumstance that he had such deep trust in Suhr himself and such a history of commitment to the German labor movement that he felt both obliged and enabled to speak out in this way. There is no talk of “things” (Dinge) or “over there” (Drüben) here. Yet even this initial categorical statement proved to be only an “opener.” The letter closes with pressing inquiries into the wellbeing of mutual friends and a loving recital of his German way stations, all the places where he had spoken during the Weimar years and where he had been recognized. He refers to a labor functionary whom he does not remember, but who had asked Suhr about him, and he remarks, ““that he did not forget me led me to review once again all the questions discussed in this letter.”” vi He reports, moreover, that he is asked daily by his one or another of his American colleagues how “that” could have happened in Germany—meaning not the atrocities, he notes, but the rape [Vergewaltigung] of such a people as the Germans. Fraenkel concludes, then, in terms that hardly harmonize with his claims of a categorical break with the German years:
And when I think of the thousands of [labor] functionaries that I came to know in the course of almost twenty years, this riddle seems no more soluble now than on the first day. The question will pursue us from Berlin, via Washington to Seoul. It is the black cloud in our life. Will your efforts succeed in extinguishing the memory of the time of shame by erecting a new Germany? I admire your courage and your confidence. vii
Five years later, Fraenkel is nevertheless teaching at the Hochschule für Politik in Berlin, with Suhr as his Director, but the seeming self-contradiction—or what some might censoriously call a self-betrayal—was in fact the outcome of a series of negotiating moves, mostly mediated by Fraenkel’s lifelong friend, Franz Neumann, who used his influence with American authorities to secure Fraenkel a position, in effect, as an American representative in the new German discipline of Political Science. As can be tracked during his first semesters by Fraenkel’s dutiful reports to his American principals in the military government, somewhat embarrassing in their tone of eager deference, he set out to transmute the older socialist versions of self-governance into the American concept of pluralism and its modalities of bargaining within constraints of constitutional principle. Then too, the conjunction of American anti-Communism with the social-democratic resistance to pressures from the East, especially in Berlin, also helped to redefine the terms of discussion between Fraenkel and Suhr. Fraenkel initial resolution on an exclusively Jewish identity proved to be only one of several possibilities.5 The case is so deeply instructive because it shows that even the most profound and seemingly absolute issues may be subjected to negotiated settlements, without dishonor. When Fraenkel eventually sealed his “return” from exile by the assumption of German citizenship, it was a routine matter related to his pension, done after his retirement and after the student protests of the early 1960s, with their strong opposition to American practices and policies, had left Fraenkel bitterly convinced of the failure of his political-educational mission.
A “first” letter to the political writer, Dolf Sternberger, from the Germanist, Oskar Seidlin, written after his visit to Sternberger in the uniform of an American army officer, shows how eager some emigrants of Jewish extraction were to avoid permitting the events that had ravaged Fraenkel from creating an abyss between themselves and the German friends with whom they sought above all to be reunited. Fraenkel’s letter suggests, above all, that he had posed precisely the pivotal question about the end of exile, when he announced that he could no longer make the German cause his own. Seidlin, in contrast, writes at a critical moment in his first letter to Sternberger:
That in these days I do not share the fate that should actually have been my own, that I must put pity in place of participation, is an absurd arbitrariness like others that have dogged my life’s career, which seems forever condemned to be at a tangent to inner reality.viii
The passage is so striking because Seidlin’s doubtless sincere empathy with Sternberger and his wife—he speaks of the “shame” that binds his tongue—overlooks that the fate he had escaped would have been in fact quite different from that of the German journalist, who had after all been permitted to serve as editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung until 1943. Seidlin certainly knew, even in 1945, about the murder of his own Jewish parents in a death camp.
The particular circumstances under which Seidlin’s letter was written doubtless contributed to his self-denying gesture of identification, since it was written after a first visit to Sternberger and his wife by Seidlin, where he arrived with all the attributes and privileges of an officer in the American army, while they were living in hardship quite early in the post-war occupation of Germany (1 August 1945). Yet there is more than the momentary embarrassment about the contrast between the well-fed victor and undernourished defeated in Seidlin’s exaggerated deference to the superior spiritual standing of his interlocutor, which amounts almost to abnegation. Seidlin continues:
If you keep this in mind, you will perhaps understand why I was so happy to be with you, because the sidetracked direction of my life suddenly returned to its entelechy, because suddenly the pictures that had become so diffuse came into focus in their “proper” perspective—even if it is a perspective of great misery, which is in fact no longer quite so miserable as long as it is adequate to the inner oneness in essence.ix
Seidlin’s pathetic reiteration of themes from the breviary of high Bildung does not make him forget to send a shaving kit to Sternberger, some shoes, and a variety of canned foods and juices. And it also does not preclude an element of bargaining in the correspondence.
Although the language is guarded, it seems clear that Seidlin wants to be involved as broker in Sternberger’s effort to resume publication of the Frankfurter Zeitung, and that he does not see himself as being in any position to set terms for such a contribution. This may be an awkward—even slightly distrustful—way of characterizing Seidlin’s sincere effort to be of help, but it arises out of passages where Seidlin employs a rhetoric of persuasion, to win Sternberger’s tolerance of influential but quite possibly unpleasant contacts that Seidlin is attempting to connect for him. Seidlin is seeking acceptance as co-participant in a phase of German reconstruction, as an active collaborator and not merely as an onlooker, however sympathetic, and especially not as an external benefactor. If exile is defined as involuntary displacement from a practical civic role, as I I suggested earlier, then return entails some kind of recognized resumption of such a role. The mode of return, can even redefine the conditions of departure, as would be the case with Seidlin, who was only a beginning student when he fled in 1933 because of his exclusion from the university as a Jew, and who doubtless did not see his studious activities as bearing the character of an action in public. It is perhaps only in the light of the negotiations addressed to a kind of return that Seidlin’s years as refugee in America come into focus as an exile, although the exile itself, strangely enough, is made to appear almost without a cause, which Seidlin might have considered as having been vindicated. The situation is fraught with contradictions, and this may be among the grounds for the mannered style and melodrama in the letter, with repeated cries of “O Gott!” to confess his impotence to set things right.
The ambiguous status of exile is a prominent theme in recent cultural theory, with well-known writings by Edmund Said and Czeslaw Milosz serving to shift discussion from the classical political paradigm, exemplified by Cicero, for example, to a more spiritualized concept that transcends the conjunction of exile and return. In a number of articles--including a study of the conceptual controversy itself and another to explore the obstacles in the way of securing recognition as someone returned from exile, as well as specialized studies of 1930s émigrés ranging from the political scientist, Franz L. Neumann, to the literary critics, Hans Mayer and Erich Kahler6—I have attempted to explain why I consider the political concept to be the best starting point even for the developments that Said, Milosz and others have so insightfully identified. The study of “first letters” is a continuation of that inquiry, precisely because it pinpoints the difficulty of conceptualizing “return,” especially in cases of cultural producers, since boundaries have become so fluid and irreversible cultural changes so rapid and deep.
There are, of course, “first letters” that fit easily in the political reading of “exile and return.” The leftist writer, Alfred Kantorowicz, for example, although well placed as Director of the CBS short-wave station in New York City, wrote to the German author, Ernst Kaestner, in March of 1946:
These have been stormy years for us and they can be summed up [by saying that] we are in the fourteenth year of our exile, which we view as exile, now as before, although we have done well in this—in contrast to France—truly hospitable country. x
Kantorowiz made his return a short while later to the Soviet zone of Germany, notwithstanding earlier quarrels with the Communist Party to which he belonged in the years of the great Popular Front movements, and he remained many years in the DDR. A different political writer whose time in exile, as in Germany before and after, was devoted to vehemently idiosyncratic and anti-popular-front politics—pacifist, anarchist, gay—Kurt Hiller, similarly indicated to Kaestner in April of 1946, , “I belong in Germany and will naturally return.” xi He was not at all shy about insisting on the correctness of his political views both before and after his exile, and prided himself not only on having been among the first hundred persons stripped of his citizenship by the Nazis but also on his defiance. He writes Kaestner, whom he restores without question to the status of ally, in recollection of their time together in an oppositional formation within the pro-Communist writers’ group in the last year of the Weimar Republic:
It is only an accident that I am still alive. On the 14th of July 1933, the SS whipped me three-quarters to death in the Berlin Columbia-House. And by the way, I published to the last detail everything that I experienced in the Nazi dungeons… xii
For Hiller, as for Fraenkel, no talk of “things” that happened “over there.” In the event, he did not actually go back to Germany until 1955—naturally to the Federal Republic-- but his activities were all predicated on his return.
The cases of Kantorowicz and Hiller should not lead to the conclusion that the difference between the straightforward “political” model of exile and the more complex and ambiguous one corresponds simply to the difference between the Left and others among the émigrés, leaving aside the cases of active Communists, whose enactment of classical exile and return was organizationally defined. Someone like Hans Mayer, however, who did move to the DDR after his first years of return to Germany, spent the rest of his long life as literary critic and publicist wondering about the relationships among the categories of exile, cosmopolitan, and outsider, all of which he considered appropriate to himself—provided only that the “exile” be recognized as of a kind that permitted no “return.”7 My point at this point in my study is not simply that the term has been rendered problematic by contamination with religious and other extended or metaphoric senses of exile, but also that the conditions of late modernity greatly complicate the circumstances even in cases where the political paradigm would prima facie apply, where we are talking, in short, about individuals who were forced to leave because causes in which they were actively engaged—and that were construed as political by their enemies, if not by themselves—had suffered defeat, who were subject to “political justice” in its most egregious form, and who found themselves in the special situation of the political émigré, forced to negotiate for recognition and livelihood in a more or less welcoming place of asylum.
An intermediate position is occupied by the Bavarian writer, Oskar Maria Graf, whose letters and other writings expressly monitor his changing views of his situation, with the starting point as exile and the end as diaspora. In some respects an anomaly among the urbane literary exiles, his trajectory is nevertheless representative of many others. This development can be followed in a series of “first letters” to different addressees. He is best known in the history of the literary emigration for the open letter, “Burn me!” (Verbrennt mich!), which he published in 1933, after he learned that only one of his books had been banned by the Nazis, and that his rural Bavarian tales had even been placed on an approved list. Bertold Brecht celebrated Graf’s defiance in a poem, Die Bücherverbrennung. While Graf’s writings always had mixed reviews among literary intellectuals, he became a leading figure in the campaigns to constitute a unified anti-Fascist exile, even if this meant accepting strong Communist influence. He was active in Vienna, Brno, and New York; and he attended the Soviet Writers’ Conference in 1934. After 1938, when he came to the United States, he was head of the German American Writers Association in New York, a Popular Front group avoided by anti-Communist exiles, and he campaigned actively in the German-Jewish Aufbau against divisions between Jewish and non-Jewish emigrants, rejecting all forms of nationalism (whether German or Jewish), and insisting on a common loyalty to the German Volk, in the pluralist sense he gave the term. He was unusual among the literary emigrants in the attention he paid to (non-Jewish) German-Americans, speaking across the country against the pro-Nazi voices so prominent there. Graf also published regularly in the Communist-edited “Neues Deutschland” in Mexico City. As the war wore on, however, he withdrew from organizational activities and spoke ever more sharply within his trusted circle of fellow-Bavarians against the “politicians.” In the end, although he never became fluent in English and never enjoyed any literary success in America, he never returned to Germany for more than short visits—and even these were not possible until after his long delayed naturalization in 1958. His case illustrates, among other things, the effects of the exiles’ grave loss of international legal status through the cancellation or expiration of their German passports as well as the corresponding attractions of the American naturalization process, notwithstanding the obstacles some of them faced—not least because of interferences by various American secret services—before they could gain the treasured American passport, which precluded extensive residence abroad.
My “First Letters” search through the Nachlass of Oskar Maria Graf in the Exiles collection at the State University of New York in Albany has left me with three letters, which appear to belong together, although one of them was not sent to Germany at all. On reflection, however, the need for a permissive reading of the “first letters” criteria cannot be surprising, if it is indeed the case that the investigation of these documents offers special insights into the relations between exile and return because of the underlying processes of tacit and express bargaining that they signal. The letters to be examined form part of an integral attempt by Graf to establish the grounds on which he sought recognition from his correspondents in Germany. It would be self-defeating to limit our ability to observe such developments by too rigorous a limitation to a single first letter: I suggest that we think of it as a genre with fluid boundaries.
Oskar Maria Graf presents a case where the case for flexibility applies with special force, first, because he changed his position on “return” so dramatically during the first post-war years, and second, because he was so exceptionally self-reflective about the process. In the first of the three letters to be examined here (written to a fellow émigré in the US), Graf writes: “Naturally, I also want to go home as soon as possible.” xiii8 In the second letter, he reports that he resisted early letters from friends pressing him to return as soon as possible because he was convinced that he could do more good by remaining a while where he was, a position that they now agree with.9 In the third letter, he appears to accept that he was and would remain a German author “in alien lands,” (in der Fremde)10 a situation that is given a name in the course of the following year, when he writes to fellow-emigrants: “After the defeat of fascism, exile finally turns into diaspora. What is meant by this is the end of the time of waiting and the beginning of uprooting and dispersion.” xiv11 The first chapter of his self-exploratory 1959 novel Die Flucht ins Mittelmäßige (The Escape into Mediocrity) is accordingly called, “Exile or Diaspora.”12 A study of Graf’s three letters offers a new perspective on the “liquidation of exile.”
I begin with a few points in Graf’s letter to the liberal aristocrat and fellow emigre, Hubertus Prinz zu Loewenstein. It lays down his program for the initial period of transition, which is centered on the formation of a small group—a change in function of his Stammtisch—to ship individual CARE packages to intellectuals in Munich of whom he has learned that they were imprisoned longest in concentration camps or otherwise conducted themselves with bravery. He defends himself against the charge (made by some) that he is engaging in separatist Bavarian politics: “I know these comrades well and know that not a single package goes to a Nazi.” xvNews of such actions will spread quickly, he asserts, and this will do more good than endless newspaper articles, proclamations from Thomas Mann, or so-called manifestations of sympathy. “It speeds the building of the bridges that must unquestionably be built between the emigration and those who remained at home.” xvi There is increasing talk of a wall between these two, which Nazis exploit. We cannot attempt to act politically, he insists, so long as the population is hungry and cold—and susceptible to any scheme. Emigrants can help to engineer a change from a “condition of the necessary to a condition of the free,”xvii a curious echo of Marx. Graf then offers a cautious answer to Loewenstein’s astonishingly formulated dismay with the “Quislings” who let themselves be used by the occupying powers. He has himself always spoken against being used as “democratic helper” by anyone, he tells him: “I have always stood for the position—not without its dangers, here and elsewhere—that one cannot go before the German people unless one is unconditionally committed to them and to no one else.” xviii13 Nevertheless, he speaks up for two named individuals, former comrades in exile—both active in the Soviet zone—whom he trusts to be doing their best under desperate conditions. It is useless for us to protest the American or Russian occupation policy, he cautions, especially since the worst would be to heighten conflict between them. We have to regain the confidence of the people (Volk) inhabiting the geographical site where Germany once existed. And that cannot be done in the way that Communist and Social Democratic functionaries have proceded, as if there had never been a Hitler. “In this and only in this, in my very modest opinion, lies the task for us intellectuals.” Thomas Mann should have seen it as his duty to say, “I stand by you, you Germans, I am coming.” xix His name alone could have averted some harm. Intellectuals have to make sacrifices. Graf wants to return home as soon as possible, he concludes, but he rejects the notion that there is something remiss in waiting until the worst is over, since every returnee is also another bread-eater. “Regrettably, one can accomplish more, for the time being, if one builds ‘non-material’ bridges by making every effort to gain help.” xx
This letter to Loewenstein provides a helpful context for Graf’s “first letter” to Hugo Hartung, seven months later, in answer to an approach from Hartung a younger writer and sometime collaborator on Simplicissmus in the last pre-Hitler years. As was the case with Kracauer and Weyrauch, their acquaintance was slight and dated back to Hartung’s student years. Yet there is nothing resembling Kracauer’s reproach in Graf’s letter. The contrast, in fact, could not be starker. Graf writes: “In comparison to everything that you had to bear in Hitler’s Hell, our exile naturally was something like a walk in the park [etwas gemütliches].”xxi He admits that they had some deprivations, but notes that he was used to living under modest circumstances. And he insists that he was never homesick because “One remained so to speak in one’s own world, really and truly in Bavaria and ‘at home’.”xxii” He is delighted that Hartung has clung to his books and gets pleasure from them still. Graf follows with a paragraph dense with details about his activities since 1933, highlighting the talks he gave in Austria, under Social Democratic auspices, as well as his lectures to “freedom-minded German-Americans”xxiii in the United States. Graf’s emphasis on his steadfast grounding in a localized German milieu—important, I think, in contrast to the counter-images of the exile he challenged in his Aufbau articles against anti-German tendencies, especially in Jewish emigrant circles (like the group organized by Hannah Arendt)—did not however mean that he did not draw the line against Nazism without euphemism or reserve. In a sentence reminiscent both of his offhand earlier remarks about hardship and of his well-known démarche at the beginning of exile, he writes, “Finally, I went so far as to republish the books that Hitler had burned, and even to peddle them myself, since I had so little luck with them in the USA”xxiv He follows with a remarkably sanguine claim: “Overall, it was a great satisfaction to me that all of my friends, comrades, and even my native village remained anti-Nazi.”xxv This blanket certificate of purity leads to a brief report on the many pleas for help he receives and the effort of his Austrian-German Stammtisch companions to find money for individual packages. He letter continues with news about émigrés, and some others, who had been variously involved with Simplicisssmus and would presumably be known to Hartung. Before asking Hartung whether he would also like a package and cautioning him that this may take a while, he sums up his reading of the present situation in Bavaria—Hartung may still be elsewhere in Germany (his postwar book dealt with his participation in the Heimwehr defense of Breslau)—in order to explain his own stand:
How thinks look politically in Bavaria will doubtless also be familiar to you. Despite all “de-nazification,” the Nazis are quite lively there. For the moment, I have no desire to go home. I also wish for no office from anyone and want to remain what I have always been, an independent writer. At first all my friends wrote urgently that I should come home right away, and they were very disappointed that I barely reacted to these pleas, and when I gave my reasons, they had no understanding for them. Now they all write that it would be better if I stayed here for a long time, since I could be of more use here than at home.xxvi
That he concludes the letter with a paragraph of equal length about the prospects of sending a package recalls the bridge-building rationale and method he had described to Loewenstein. He offers and he asks recognition as a member of a literary contingent that is “at home” amid a “freedom-minded” German people—in principle if not (yet) in fact--, that is engaged in mutual aid.
The third letter to be considered, however briefly, is written more than three years after the letter to Loewenstein and is flecked with anger and estrangement, as well as some constructive literary advocacy, although it also—as with the letter to Hartung—treats the recipient as a sort of ally in a common struggle. He is writing to Hans Brandenburg, an essayist, whom he addresses as someone he’d seen now and then in the Munich years, and whose artist wife he also recalls fondly. He even identifies the social occasion when they had last met. This is not a reply to an approach from Germany, as in the case of Hartung, but an initiative by Graf, a letter to express appreciation for an article Brandenburg published in a literary journal. At the very outset, Graf distances himself from the stereotypical exile. He speaks of Brandenburg’s periodical as “praiseworthy” but immediately pleads, “please, do not take this as written in the school-teacherish emigrant manner!”xxvii Brandenburg’s article, called “Literary Self-Respect,” is primarily an attack on the younger literary generation that accepts a simple reversal of valences from the evaluations of the Nazi era, evidently acting, according to Brandenburg, out of submissiveness to the cultural policies of the occupying forces, as well as a lack of cultivation [Bildung], a group that is even prepared, Brandenburg charges, to chime in with denunciations of the habits of mind and spirit that animate the great German literary tradition, notably its “inwardness.” Graf elaborately congratulates Brandenburg for setting forth opinions on literature that he claims to have always shared. If the earlier letter to Hartung was a bridge-building exercise between those who emigrated and those who remained at home, taken as two collectivities, this letter is written much more as from a much edited version of his own literary persona—Graf speaks for himself alone—and altogether remote from any thought of representativeness or return. In the term used by Graf a year later, it is a letter from the diaspora.
It is also not a letter to someone about whom Graf can claim to know that he was anti-Nazi: it is rather a letter to someone whose political equivocations appear, for example, in a remark that it has never harmed Stendahl “that his novels march under the glorious eagle of the man who had brought about the greatest misery for his fatherland and the peoples of Europe.” xxviii14 Graf ignores the state of mind suggested by this equation of Hitler and Napoleon—or the implied justification of German writers far beyond the company of the generously configured “inner emigration,” and he takes Brandenburg’s anti-French animus, expressed at the outset of the article, in stride, while softening it a bit. Where Brandenburg had unpleasantly mocked what he portrayed as the French penchant for elevating their writers, even of the second or third rank, to transcendent glory as expressions of French national spirit, Graf refocuses the passage on the term ‘nation’ and presses the point that Germans are driven to “dreadful things [Dinge!]” whenever they confuse their quality as Volk with nation—in proof of which he lists not only Hitler but also Bismarck and Wilhelm II, a parallel in the manner of Bavarian anti-Prussianism and remote from his earlier anti-Fascist convictions. Graf does draw the line at Brandenburg’s statement that “The [Nazi] dictatorship, within the limits of its volkisch doctrine, tolerant towards the literary life,”xxix,“ although he objects only, quite mildly, that he found Brandenburg’s remark “somewhat too mild.” What he really welcomes, however, is Brandenburg’s claim that the postwar occupying powers have adopted the distinctions between “desirable and undesirable,”15 just as in the “Hitlerei,” although he curiously overlooks Brandenburg’s pointed remark that it looked for a long while “as if the higher level of public valuation was due only to such authors as had been emigrants, converts, or racially persecuted—if only because of their wives.”xxx In fact, Graf proceeds—whether disingenuously or not—to urge Brandenburg to recognize the surprisingly good work done by some writers in emigration, citing Hermann-Neisse, Anna Segher, Plevier, Speyer, and Schäffer, not to speak of Stefan Zweig, Carl Zuckmayer, and Thomas Mann. Where he seconds Brandenburg most forcefully, however, is on the “shameful and crushing theater of exhibitionist self-mutilation”xxxi—a passage he quotes approvingly from Brandenburg—that is evidenced by young Germans who somehow feel “liberated” and who dismiss their own honored ancestors. Graf then takes a shocking turn of his own:
Germans and Jews seem to have the same inexplicable self-hatred, and doubtless this is the motive of their mutual enmity.xxxii
He cites the “clever” [Jew], Weininger, writing in 1903 at the age of 23, in support of the thesis that people hate in others what the hate in themselves, which is a strange authority for advancing such a “balanced” view in 1949. This tactlessness may have its origins in Graf’s disappointed struggles against the separation between Jewish and non-Jewish emigrants—and it is reinforced by a falsely good-humored reference in the next paragraph to the “thoroughly anti-Semitic but nevertheless lovable Raab”“” as one of the older German writers without whom, as he writes, “it never would have been possible for me to live so unchanged and intact in all the lands of my exile.” xxxiiiIn conclusion, then, he marvels at the lack of real literary criticism among the younger generation. “Nothing enrages me more than having someone write with condescending praise about me or my books, which are honestly wrought.”xxxiv
It is a tired letter, as it seems to me, with only very small aims, rising above a very routine performance only in the evidently shrewd selection of German writers that he exempts from his blanket condemnations, as in his small list of distinguished emigrants. The question of “return” is off the table. It is possible to read into the vehement denunciation of the occupying forces’ meddling in literary matters chagrin at the banning of his own youthful “revolutionary” book by the British authorities; and his remarks about ignorant but favorable reviews of his own books may have to be set against the review in the same journal only a few numbers earlier, of his Unruhe um einen Friedfertigen [Disturbances about a Peacable Man] by a conservative emigrant writer of his own generation, almost certainly Jewish, who praises Graf’s Bavarian genre scenes but sneers at the political story Graf attempts to tell. “That Graf allows himself a bit of anti-clericalism need not be taken too seriously; that is just a sort of left-over from his old ‘revolutionist’ days.”xxxv is Max Fischer’s patronizing introduction to the dismissive judgment that the less political Graf is the better is it for his authorship. The reviewer concludes, “where the love of his distant Bavarian home overwhelms the New York author, he deserves, despite the quite narrow limits of his abilities, the honorable name of poet.”xxxvi It was doubtless better for Graf when his books were burned. Now he was nothing but one of those freedom-minded German-Americans, a New York author afflicted with nostalgia for “home.” Graf’s last novel, Die Flucht ins Mittelmäßige, a story of defeat that his contemporary critics thought had also defeated the author, may be read as a sequel to this last “first” letter.
In recent years, much scholarship has transmuted exile into a metaphor for a spiritually exalted, synchronic, emancipated, limitless, and creative state of estrangement from quotidian concerns. Our sampling of first letters shows a number of the most persistent and difficult questions confronting exile as confronted by historical actors banished from their native scenes of action. First are precisely the everyday concerns of asylum, livelihood, and isolation that engross all but the most privileged exiles. Second is the practical relation to the play of power and resistance that shaped their past and shapes their prospects. Third is the disrupted and unfinished business with those they are compelled leave behind, friends or foes, as well as the effort to negotiate new enterprises with their fellows and their hosts. Fourth, are the diverse and often alternating emotional stresses of rage, shame, confusion, and defiant missionary aspiration, under conditions of disorientation and uncertain recognition. Fifth, and often encompassing the others, is the consuming question of return, which is often understood as a necessary moment in the concept of exile, with the time of exile being charged with anticipation of return and the moment of return being correspondingly imbued with the remembrance of exile. Exile and return are interdependent and even co-present.We have captured a number of exiles at a critical moment with regard to that conjunction. The selection is admittedly almost accidental, but our sample nevertheless permits us to identify not only the factors above that speak against a turning away from the older model, but also some considerations that help to explain the view that this classical formation may be obsolete, if only because of the ever greater elusiveness of return during the past century, as the binary opposition between exile and home loses some of its meanings. The rapid reclasssifications of social identities – which may appear as an opportunity in the case of reception in comparatively open cosmopolitan scientific or cultural elites or as a sentencing in the case of relegation to the swarm of bureaucratically administered refugees – may drain myths of return of their emotional or political relevance. The sense of redemptive mission which has often represented the prospect of return in the history of exiles appears to lose coherence or point. Corresponding to these rapid changes in the conditions of political exile are the swift and fundamental structural changes that typically accompany the transformations that open the way to “return,” as the localized polities, societies, and cultures are incorporated in wider contexts of power and meaning and as the politics of memory are subjected to control by agencies and technologies unknown to earlier times.
The “first letters” capture the tension between these tendencies and foster a thick description of exile in the twentieth century, in place of an abstract choice of models. That is the aim of the project.
1 That “drüben” was not merely a geographical expression but a political reference to Nazi Germany is suggested by its use in a letter from Hermann Kesten to Franz Schoenberger, where Kesten says scornfully of a non-Jewish émigré writer that he had painstakigly kept his distance from the emigration and evidently “flirted” with over there. (Er hat sich bis 1936 peinlich von aller Emigration ferngehalten, und wohl liebgeaugelt mit drüben.)” Franz Schoenberger/Hermann Kesten. Briefwechsel im Exil, 1933-1945. Ed. By Frank Berninger. (Göttingen: Wallstein, nd) 138.
2 David Kettler, “’Les émigrés sont les vainçus.’ Spiritual Diaspora and Political Exile.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Crossroads I, 3 (2004) 269-282.
3 David Kettler and Zvi Ben-Dor, “Introduction:The Limits of Exile,” Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads, Vol. 3, No. 1 (April 2006), 1-10; David Kettler, “Exile and Return: Forever Winter,” Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads, Vol. 3, No. 1 (April 2006) 181-200. The theme of “exile and return” is also a prime motif of other contributions to this volume. See especially Zvi Ben-Dor, “Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Israel,” 135-162, and Simon Lewis, Dennis Brutus and the Stations of Exile,” 45-62.
4 “Brief vom 23.März 1946 an Familie Suhr,” in Ernst Frankel., Gesammelte Schriften. Band 3.Neuaufbau der Demokratie in Deutschland und Amerika. (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1999) 389-395
5 Cp. Fraenkel’s position on the “Jewish Question” ten years later: Gesammelte Schriften, 2, 583-594
6 “Negotiating Exile: Franz L. Neumann as Political Scientist,” pp. 205-224 in Caroline Arni et al., Hrsg., Der Eigensinn des Materials. Erkundungen sozialer Wirklichkeit. Frankfurt a. M./Basel: Stroemfeld, 2007; “The Symbolic Uses of Exile: Erich Kahler at Ohio State University” Pp. 269-310 in Alexander Stephan, ed., Exile and Otherness. Oxford, Bern: Peter Lang 2005.
7 David Kettler, “A German Subject to Recall: Hans Mayer as Internationalist, Cosmopolitan, Outsider and/or Exile,” New German Critique 96 (June, 2006) 171-181. The availability of the East German political formation, with its anti-Fascist founding myth, obviously opens alternative modes of “return” to individuals close to the Communist Party, but even there the “return” often played out in paradoxical ways, in view of the distrust attached to returnees who had not been subjected to the fine—and deadly—sieve of Moscow under Stalin. See Karin Hartewig, Zurückgekehrt. Die Geschichte der jüdischen Kommunisten in der DDR. Köln, Weimar, Wien: Böhlau, 2000.
8 Letter to Prinz Loewenstein, 9. Feb. 46. SUNY Albany Exile Archives
9 Letter to Hugo Hartung, 3. Sept. 46, SUNY Albany Exile Archives
10 Letter to Hans Brandeburg, 27. April 1949 , SUNY Albany Exile Archives
11 Letter to Gustav und Else Fischer, 21. November 1950, SUNY Albany Exile Archives
12 Oskar Maria Graf, Die Flucht ins Mittelmäßige. Ein New Yorker Roman. [Oscar Maria Graf Werkausgabe, Band VIII] München und Leipzig: List Verlag,  1994.
13 Compare Ernst Fraenkel’s letter to Otto Suhr, above. Graf’s “Volk” is properly translated as “people,” since he consistently uses it to refer to a diverse population and eschews the strong collectivist sense of the term.
14 Brandenburg had been the great publicist of the choreographer Laban, who was in turn long enmeshed in National Socialist cultural projects, although eventually criticized
15 Brandenburg’s choice of the terms “unerwünscht" echoes the language posted in German shops to exclude Jews, and may be taken as intended to invoke that supposed similarity.
i Ich habe Ihre Briefe erhalten – auch den letzten – und die Buecher. Es wundert mich, dass Sie nun auf einer eiligen Antwort bestehen, nachdem Sie waehrend der ganzen Hitlerzeit, und auch schon die Jahre vorher, nicht daran gedacht haben, die Verbindung mit mir aufrechtzuerhalten. Da Sie diesen Umstand uebergehen, muss ich ihn nennen.. Inzwischen sind die Dinge geschehen, um die Sie wissen. – Dinge die es mir unmoeglich machen sozusagen auf Anhieb hin Verbindungen wieder aufzunehmen mit Menschen von drueben deren ich nicht ganz sicher bin. Solche Dinge vergessen sich nicht. Und wenn sich ueberhaupt Vertrauen wieder herstellen laesst, da verloren gegangen ist, so ist das jedenfalls eine schwerere Aufgabe als Sie anzunehmen scheinen. Auch scheinen Sie sich ueber unser Leben Illusionen zu machen: es war und ist hart und schwer.
DLA Marbach. Handschriftenbeständen. Signatur: Kracauer. Zugangsnummer: 72.1905-72.1906.
ii “Ich moechte nicht mehr sagen. Es liegt zuviel dazwischen.“
iii eine ständige Verbindung mit einer besseren Zeitung oder Zeitschrift” ….” mehr im Zentrum [zu] leben, in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, oder so.”
iv “das inzwischen gelebtes Leben ist des Weiterlebens wert,”…. Das ist keine Untreue, ganz im Gegenteil. Sie ersehen das aus diesem Brief”.
v Die entscheidende Wendung setzte bei mir in Jahre 1943 ein […] In dieser Zeit hörten wir das erste Mal von den Gaskammern in Auschwitz. […] Als es sich herausstellte, daß hier nicht Propagandameldungen, sondern Tatsachen vorlagen, habe ich gewußt und im vollen Gefühl der Bedeutung des Schrittes das Band zwischen Deutschland und mir zerschnitten und beschlossen, nie wieder nach Deutschland zurückzugehen. Es ware mir völlig unmöglich, die Unbefangenheit aufzubringen, die notwendig ist, um in jenem Lande zu leben und zu wirken. In dem Verhältnis zwischen deutschen und Juden fühle ich mich, zumal nachdem 5,000,000 ermoderdet worden sind, mit den Juden—und nur mit ihnen solidarisch. Ich glaube, daß es keinem Juden zugemutet werden kann, in Zukunft in Deutschland zu leben, […] Ich war lange genug in Deutschland um zu wissen, daß ein sehr erheblicher Teil der deutschen Bevölkerung die Maßnahmen gegen die Juden gebilligt hat. Nachdem dieser Feldzug zur Ausrottung geführt hat, ist es für mich als Juden nicht angängig, noch einmal die Sache dieses Volkes meiner eigenen zu machen. Das mag sehr bitter klingen, ich fühle sehr bitter in dieser Frage. Ich glaube, daß diese Wunde nicht geheilt werden kann.
vi “Daß er mich nicht vergessen hat, hat mich alle die Fragen, die in diesem Brief behandelt sind, noch einmal durchdenken lassen.”
viiUnd wenn ich an die Tausende von Funktionäre denke, die ich in fast 20 Jahren kennen gelernt habe, dann erscheint mir das Problem so unlösbar wie am ersten Tag. Die Frage […] ist die schwarze Wolke über unserem Leben. Wird Euer Bemühen erfolgreich sein, durch die Errichtung eines neuen Deutschland das Andenken an die Zeit der Schande auszulöschen? Ich bewundere Euren Mut und Eure Zuversicht.”
viii Dass ich in diesen Tagen nicht teilhabe an den Schicksal, das eigentlich mein Teil gewesen ware, dass ich Teilhaben ersetzen muss durch Anteilnehmen – ist eine jener skurillen Willkürlichkeiten meines Lebenslaufes, der bestimmt scheint, sich immer schief zur inneren Wirklichkeit zu verhalten.”
ix Wenn Ihr dies im Sinne behaltet, wird Euch vielleicht verständlich werden, warum ich mit Euch so glücklich war, weil hier plötzlich die abgebogene Lebensrichtung in ihr Entelechie zurücktrat, weil plötzlich die diffus gewordenen Bilder wieder in die ‘richtige’ Perspektive zusammenschossen – sei es auch in der Perspektive grossen Elends, die so gar nicht mehr elend ist, wenn sie nur der inneren Wesensgehörigkeit gemäss ist.
x Es waren ja fuer uns alle stuermische Jahre: sie summieren sich, wir sind im 14. Jahre unseres Exils, das wir nach wie vor als Exil betrachten obwohl es uns in diesem – im Gegensatz zu Frankreich – wirklich gastlichen Lande wohl ergangen ist.
xi “Ich gehöre nach Deutschland und kehre s e l b s t v e r s t ä n d l i c h zurück.”
xii Das ich lebe ist ein Zufall. Denn am 14/7 1933 hat mich die SS im Berliner Columbia-Haus dreivierteltot gepeitscht. Übrigens habe ich alles nazideutschen Kerkern Erlebte… haargenau publiziert.
xiii “Auch ich will natürlich, sobald es nur geht, heim.”
xiv „Nach der Niederlage des Faschismus wird das Exil endgültig zur Diaspora. Damit ist das Ende der Wartezeit und der Beginn einer Entwurzelung und Zerstreuung gemeint.”
xv “Ich kenne diese Genossen genau und weiss dass kein Packet an einen Nazi kommt.”
xvi „Es baut die Brücken, die zwischen Emigration und Daheimgebliebenen unbedingt gebaut werden müssen, schneller auf.“
xvii Zustand des Notwendigen zum Zustand des Freiheitlichen
xviii Ich vertrat dabei stets den hier- und andernorts nicht ungefährlichen Standpunkt, daß man vor das deutsche Volk nicht hintreten kann, wenn man sich nicht in allem eindeutig zu ihm und nur zu ihm bekennt.
xix “Hier und nur hier ist, meiner ganz unzulänglichen Meinung nach, die Aufgabe für uns Intellektuelle.” .... „Ich stehe bei Euch, ihr Deutschen, Ich komme.”
xx “Leider kann man zunächst mehr tun, wenn man ideele Brücken baut, indem man hier alles aufbietet, um Hilfen durchzusetzen.”
xxi Im Vergleich zu allem, was Ihr in der Hitlerhölle mitgemacht habt, war unser Exil natürlich fast etwas Gemütliches.
xxii Man blieb sozusagen in seiner eigenen Welt, wirklich und wahrhaftig in Bayern und ‘daheim.’
xxiii freiheitlichen Deutschamerikanern
xxiv Schliesslich ging ich sogar dran, meine eigene, von Hitler verbrannten Bücher selber aufzulegen und persönlich zu verkaufen, weil ich ja damit in USA wenig Glück hatte.
xxv Ueberhaupt … hat es mir ungemein wohlgetan, dass alle meine Freunde, Genossen und sogar mein Heimatdorf antinazistisch geblieben sind.
xxvi Wie es politisch derzeit in Bayern aussieht, wird Ihnen wohl auch bekannt sein. Trotz aller „Entnazifizierung“ sind die Nazis dort sehr munter. Ich habe zunächst wenig Lust, heimzugehen. Ich begehre auch kein Amt von irgendwem und will bleiben, was ich immer war, ein unabhängiger Schriftsteller. Zuerst schrieben mir alle Freunde stürmisch, ich soll rasch heimkommen, sie waren sehr enttäuscht, als ich darauf kaum reagierte und als ich begründete, warum dem so sei, verstanden sie’s gar nicht. Jetzt aber schreiben sie alle, es sei besser ich bliebe noch lange hier, da könnt ich mehr nützen als daheim.
xxvii bitte, fassen sie das nicht emigrantisch schullehrerhaft auf
xxviii daß über seinen Romanen die glorreichen Adler des Mannes rauschten, der größtes Unglück über sein Vaterland und die Völker Europas heraufbeschworen hatte.
xxix Die Diktatur war, innerhalb ihrer völkischen Doktrinen, dem literarischen Leben gegenüber tolerant
xxx als ob größere Öffentlichkeitsgeltung nur noch solchen Authoren zustünde, die Emigrierte, Konvertiten, oder rassisch—sei es auch nur wegen ihrer Frau—Verfolgte waren
xxxi “beschämenden und niederschmetternden Schauspiel exhibitionistischer Selbstzerfleischung”
xxxii Deutsche und Juden scheinen den gleichen unerklärlichen Selbsthass zu haben, und sicher steckt darin das Motiv ihrer gegenseitigen Feindschaft.
xxxiii gut antisemitischen aber dennoch liebenswerten Raab…. [wäre es mir] nie möglich gewesen, so unverändert und unagefochten in all meinen Exilländer zu leben.
xxxiv Mich ärgert nichts so, als wenn ein Irgendwer gnädig lobend über mich oder über Bücher, die ehrlich erarbeitet sind, schreibt.
xxxv Daß bei Graf ein wenig antiklerikale Stimmung einfließt, darf man nicht so tragisch nehmen, das ist noch so ein Restbestand aus seiner Revoluzzerzeit,
xxxvi wo die Liebe zur fernen bayerischen Heimat den New Yorker Autor überwältigt, da verdient er trotz den recht engen Begrenzung seines Könnens den Ehrenname des Dichters.