Jobst C. Knigge
Hemingway and the Germans
Hamburg 2018, 148 Seiten
Germany was not at all Hemingway‘s first choice in Europe like Spain, Italy and France. But the country, its people and its culture played a special role in his life. He made several trips to German speaking countries, some as a reporter,some for long vacations. Here he learnt so much German that he could communicate with the people. He liked to show off his knowledge calling himself „Hemingstein“ and scattering his books with German expressions.
During the Spanish Civil War he associated himself with some communist fighters from Germany like Alfred Kantorowicz, Hans Kahle and Gustav Regler. He kept his friendship and supported them financially in their exile and helped some to enter the USA. In the Second World War he followed the US-Army from Normandy to the Hürtgenwald and described the battles with the Germans. He did not have prejudices. There were the bad and the good Germans. The good ones were those who fought Fascism, but also the ones who shared Hemingway‘s ideals of personal courage and defiance of death. He especially appreciated Erwin Rommel, Ernst Udet and Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.
Hemingway was attracted by persons of German origin like his first love Agnes von Kurowsky or his wives Pauline Pfeiffer and Martha Gellhorn. With actress Marlene Dietrich and screen writer Peter Viertel he kept lifelong friendships. Hemingway never forgot that it was the German magazine „Der Querschnitt“ that offered him the possibility to publish his first works. Ernst Rowohlt was among the first foreign publishers to discover Hemingway‘s talent.
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