Lion Feuchtwanger would have turned 125 on July 7. Founded in his honor, USC's Feuchtwanger Memorial Library partnered with Villa Aurora to present a series of screenings, readings, and other cultural events over the past year--marking the 125th anniversary of his birth and 50th anniversary of his death. The libraries also recently published Against the Eternal Yesterday: Essays Commemorating the Legacy of Lion Feuchtwanger.
Against the Eternal Yesterday features an autobiographical essay by Lion Feuchtwanger titled "The Writer L.F.: His World and Times--An Accounting," as well as writings by family members, scholars from the International Feuchtwanger Society, novelist Tanja Kinkel, German Consul General Christian Stocks, journalist Volker Skierka, and others who shed light on Feuchtwanger's childhood in Munich, rise to fame in pre-World War II Germany, and exile in the south of France and Southern California.
July 7 marks the official end of the International Feuchtwanger Year, which included numerous events commemorating Feuchtwanger's contributions to the understanding of history, politics, German emigre culture, and the craft of historical writing. Most recently, Berlin's Senate for Education, Science and Research proposed naming one of the city's schools after Feuchtwanger.
The German-Jewish historical novelist was singled out by the Nazis as an enemy of the state, and his work was publicly burned. He escaped Europe during World War II and made a home in Pacific Palisades, along with Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and other prominent emigres. Today, Feuchtwanger is best known for Jew Suess, Success, The Oppermanns, Goya, and his Josephus trilogy--as well as the personal memoirs Moscow 1937 and The Devil in France. You can learn more about Feuchtwanger and our publication, Against the Eternal Yesterday by visiting the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library's Web page.
Lion Feuchtwanger during the 1950s. Photo by Florence Homolka
Sigbert, Lion, and Ludwig Feuchtwanger ca. 1912
In 1939, Feuchtwanger was briefly detained in Camp des Milles in southern France after the outbreak of World War II. His wife Marta enlisted the help of publishers, colleagues, and friends in France and England to effect his release.