- Carl Zuckmayer
Carl Zuckmayer (
December 27, 1896– January 18, 1977) was a German writerand playwright.
Nackenheimin Rheinhessen, he was four years old when his family moved to Mainz. With the outbreak of World War I, he (like many other high school students) finished school with a facilitated "emergency"-" Abitur" and volunteered for the Army. During the war he served on the western front. In 1917, he published first poems in the pacifist publication "Die Aktion".
After the war, he took up studies at the
University of Frankfurt, first in humanities, later in biologyand botany. In 1920, he married his childhood friend Annemarie Ganz, but they were divorced already one year later, when Zuckmayer had an affair with actress Annemarie Seidel.
His first ventures into literature and theatre were complete failures. His first drama "Kreuzweg" (1921) fell flat and was delisted after only three performances, and when he was chosen as dramatic adviser at the theatre of
Kiel, he lost his new job after his first, controversial staging of Terence's "The Eunuch". In 1924 he became dramaturgat the " Deutsches Theater" in Berlin, jointly with Bertolt Brecht. After another failure with his second drama "Pankraz erwacht oder Die Hinterwäldler" he finally had a great public success with the comedy "Der fröhliche Weinberg" ("The Merry Vineyard") in 1925, which won him the Kleist Prize.
Also in 1925, he married the Austrian actress
Alice Herdan, and they bought a house in Henndorfnear Salzburgin Austria. Zuckmayer's next play "Der Schinderhannes" was again successful. In 1929, he wrote the script for the movie " Der blaue Engel" (starring Marlene Dietrich) based on the novel "Professor Unrat" by Heinrich Mann. That year, he was also awarded the Georg Büchner Prize, another prestigious German languageliterary award.
In 1931, his play "
Der Hauptmann von Köpenick" premiered and became another success. But when the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, his plays were prohibited. Zuckmayer and his family moved to their house in Austria, where he published a few more works. After the " Anschluss", he was expatriated by the Nazigovernment, and the Zuckmayers fled via Switzerlandto the United Statesin 1939, where he first worked as a script writer in Hollywoodbefore buying a farm in Vermontand working as a farmer until 1946.
World War II, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and worked for the U.S government. He returned to Germanyas a cultural attaché, participating in the post-war investigations. His play " Des Teufels General" ("The Devil's General"; the main character is based on the biography of Ernst Udet), which he had written in Vermont, premiered in Zürichon December 14, 1946. The play became a major success in post-war Germany; one of the first post-war literary attempts to broach the issue of Nazism. It was filmed in 1955 starring Curd Jürgens.
Zuckmayer kept writing: "Barbara Blomberg" premiered in
Konstanzin 1949, "Das kalte Licht" in Hamburgin 1955. Having shuttled back and forth between the U.S. and Europe for several years, the Zuckmayers left the U.S. in 1958 and settled in Saas Feein the Valaisin Switzerland. In 1966, he became Swiss citizen, and he published his memoirs entitled "Als wär's ein Stück von mir" ("As if it were part of myself"). His last play "Der Rattenfänger" premiered in Zürichin 1975. Zuckmayer died 1977 in Vispand was interred on January 22, 1977in Saas Fee.
Zuckmayer had been granted numerous awards, such as the
Goethe Prizeof the city of Frankfurtin 1952, the " Bundesverdienstkreuzmit Stern" in 1955, the Austrian "Staatspreis für Literatur" in 1960, " Pour le Mérite" in 1967, and the Austrian "Verdienstkreuz am Band" in 1968.
* [http://www.carl-zuckmayer.de/Zuckmayer/Biographie/biographie.html Tabular biography] (in German).
* [http://www.babydoe.org/zuckmayer.htm Biography] in English.
* [http://www.carl-zuckmayer.de/Zuckmayer/zuckmayer.html German Carl-Zuckmayer-Society] (in German; has a bibliography and filmography).
NAME= Zuckmayer, Carl
DATE OF BIRTH=
December 27, 1896
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
January 18, 1977
PLACE OF DEATH=
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