Egon Erwin Kisch
In this building known as the House at the Two Golden Bears, Egon Kisch was born in 1885. He once summarized his life story in the following sentence: “I come from Prague, I am Czech, I am German, I am Jewish, I am a communist, I come from a good family – and all of that has been helpful at some point.”
Egon Kisch was an excellent journalist and reporter. His news reports were characteristic of their sensitivity to social topics, and he also had a great storytelling gift. He often tried what it meant to be in the shoes of the people he wrote about. He wrote in German, although his Czech was also exceptionally good. He was a modern cosmopolitan and he travelled the world. Besides Prague, the city mostly connected with his early work, he lived in Berlin in 1920s, then in Paris and Prague by turns and eventually in exile in Mexico. Prague always played an important part in his life though. After the war, he returned to Prague in 1946 to see the city changed from the one he had known. The German language could be no longer heard in the streets which was very depressing for him as a pacifist trying to connect the Czech, the German and other people. He died from a heart failure in 1948, and a state funeral was arranged for him.
Published in German in 1920, Die Abenteuer in Prag [The Prague Adventures] is a collection of articles from the years 1906-1914 that had been originally published in the “Prague Wandering” and “Prague Novelettes” series in the German-language “Bohemia” newspaper. They had also been made available as thin volumes named Aus Prager Gassen und Nächten [The Streets and Nights of Prague] (1911) and Prager Kinder [Prague Children] (1913), and in the pre-war Czech translation as Pražské obrázky [Prague Pictures], Temnou Prahou [Through the Darkness of Prague] and Zapovězené lokály [Forbidden Pubs]. In this book, Kisch tells stories from the streets of Prague in the early 20th century covering the everyday life as well as the underworld and marginalized people.
Photos resource: Památník národního písemnictví