Robert Grötzsch

Robert Grötzsch

Na Pískách 1835/32, Praha 6

Grötzsch, who came from a modest background, started to write for the newspaper Sächsische Arbeiterzeitung before the First World War. In 1919 he became editor-in-chief of the newspaper Dresdner Volkszeitung, and also wrote a number of books for children. In 1933 he fled to Prague, where he wrote for „Neuer Vorwärts“, the newspaper of the exile organisation of the German Social Democrats, SoPaDe. In addition, he also wrote a novel in exile, „Wir suchen ein Land“ (We Search for a Country) and a novel about working-class footballers, „Tormann Bobby“ (Goalie Bobby). In 1938 Grötzsch went with the exile organisation to Paris, and in 1941 fled via Lisbon to the US, where he continued to work as a journalist. He died in 1946 in New York.

Historian Swen Steinberg on the Czechoslovak exile of Robert Grötzsch:

Grötzsch expressed his gratitude at the acceptance of German refugees in his 1936 book “Wir Suchen ein Land” (We Search for a Country), which takes as its theme the life – and also the possibilities – of emigrants in Czechoslovakia: “We had to be grateful, grateful for the hospitality and protection that another nation provided to the exiles. It was pleasant to hear Czech spoken around me – it was a daily reminder that islands of humanity still existed.“ [1]

In his 1936 book Grötzsch also describes the border-area resistance movement, which also plays a central role in the work of Edgar Hahnewald. His book is at the same time a detailed reflection of the identity and orientation of German refugees in Czechoslovakia in 1936. In another part of the book he writes about the mood in the refugee centres in Czechoslovakia: „Necessity sent one here, another there. Where? Where? All that remained was wretchedness, grief at the loss of a home, and desire.“[3]

In his 1936 book Grötzsch also describes the border-area resistance movement, which also plays a central role in the work of Edgar Hahnewald. His book is at the same time a detailed reflection of the identity and orientation of German refugees in Czechoslovakia in 1936. In another part of the book he writes about the mood in the refugee centres in Czechoslovakia: „Necessity sent one here, another there. Where? Where? All that remained was wretchedness, grief at the loss of a home, and desire.“[3]

[3]

 

Historik Swen Steinberg o Robertu Grötzschovi:

Czech subtitles

English subtitles

 

Author: Thomas Oellermann

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[1] Robert Grötzsch: Wir suchen ein Land. Roman einer Emigration, Bratislava 1936, s. 12.
[2] Ibid, pp. 136-137.
[3] Ibid, pp. 233.
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