Tucholsky and France

Stephanie Burrows
12 December 2001
279 pp
Paperback: 978-1-902653-62-4

In his final 'Q-Tagebuch' report to Hedwig Müller dated 19 December 1935 Tucholsky declared: 'Daß ich mein Leben zerhauen habe, weiß ich. Daß ich nicht allein daran schuld bin, weiß ich aber auch. Mein Gott, wäre ich in Frankreich geboren...!' Combining biographical investigation with an analysis of Tucholsky's published journalism, this study sets out to assess the significance of the contact with France and French culture in Tucholsky's life and work. It shows the extent to which he was influenced by the French cultural and intellectual tradition, and by his first-hand experience of France. It provides new insights into Tucholsky's life in France, notably his involvement with French freemasonry and the importance of his contacts in French literary, pacifist, and political circles. This study also considers the role Tucholsky played, or attempted to play, in improving Franco-German relations, and reveals the extent of his efforts to promote rapprochement, not only in Germany, but also in France, through behind-the-scenes contact with politicians and diplomats, through lectures, and through his published journalism.