Publishing in Exile

GHI Exhibition on German-Language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s

March 11 - June 30, 2010


Authors who fled Germany and France following the rise of National Socialism often found themselves stranded abroad without publishers, and writing in a language foreign to their host countries. Though several exile presses were established in the early 1930s - Querido Verlag and Allert de Lange in Amsterdam, for example, fascism's steamroller made it necessary for exile presses to find more distant shores over the war years, including those of the United States and Mexico. 

Gottfried Bermann-Fischer, of the Fischer Verlag in Germany, found a New York distributor for his German-language titles in Harcourt Brace Publishers. Bermann-Fischer later was joined by Fritz Landshoff - who had established Querido Verlag in Amsterdam - to become the L.B. Fischer Publishing Corporation. Otto Kallir, who had fled Vienna and founded the St. Etienne Gallery in New York in 1939, published several art and literary titles in German through his Johannespresse. In April 1944, in New York, Wieland Herzfelde established Aurora-Verlag, the successor to his Malik-Verlag and specializing in German authors living in exile in the U.S. And on the California coast, home to many exiled writers, the Pazifische Presse, established in 1942, published 11 volumes by German émigré authors (Thomas Mann, Alfred Döblin, Franz Werfel, among others).

"Publishing in Exile: German-Language Literature in the U.S. in the 1940s" presents books, photos and archival material focusing on the activities of German-language literary publishing in New York and Los Angeles during the period of and immediately following Germany's Third Reich.

Take a visual tour of the exhibit.

This exhibition is a joint project of the Goethe-Institut New York and Leo Baeck Institute.

We thank both institutions for loaning us the exhibition.