Arnold Zweig Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Arnold Zweig’s numerous novels and collections of short stories or novellas have assured his place in literary history. The publication of Der Streit um den Sergeanten Grischa (1927; The Case of Sergeant Grischa, 1928), a novel adapted from his play for which he could find neither a publisher nor, until 1930, a producer, brought Zweig his first major success, although his earlier novel, Die Novellen um Claudia (1912; Claudia, 1930), was well received. Zweig published three volumes of poetry between 1910 and 1958. His essays and letters appear in ten volumes published between 1920 and 1968.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

In 1915, Arnold Zweig was awarded the Kleist Prize for his drama Ritualmord in Ungarn. World War I and the rise of Nazi Germany intervened before he again received such public recognition. In 1939, however, he attended a meeting of the PEN Club in New York City, where he was warmly received by such personages as Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann, both, like Zweig, exiles from Nazi Germany. In that year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received Zweig in the White House.

Living as an exile in Palestine from 1933 until 1948, Zweig, stripped of his German citizenship in 1935, returned to Berlin by official invitation in 1948. The next year, he was elected to the Volkskammer, the parliament of the recently formed German Democratic Republic. As a member of the World Peace Council, he was a delegate in 1949 to the World Peace Conference in Paris. In 1950, he received Germany’s National Prize for Literature and was elected president of the German Academy of the Arts. The University of Leipzig awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1952. Zweig received his most prestigious international award, the Lenin Peace Prize, in 1958.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Feuchtwanger, Lion. “The Case of Sergeant Grischa: Germany’s First Great War Novel.” Chicago Tribune, December 1, 1928, sec. 2, p. 21. An insightful review by a noted German novelist.

Fishman, Solomon. “The War Novels of Arnold Zweig.” Sewanee Review 49, no. 4 (October/December, 1941): 433-451. An overview of Zweig’s war novels published before 1941. Provides the best place for the general reader to begin further study.

Freud, Sigmund, and Arnold Zweig. The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig. Edited by Ernst L. Freud. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970. An informative source.

Kahn, Lothar. “Arnold Zweig: From Zionism to Marxism.” In Mirrors of the Jewish Mind: A Gallery of Portraits of European Jewish Writers of Our Time. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1968. Analyzes Zweig’s philosophic evolution and his impact.

Pfeiler, William K. “Arnold Zweig.” In War and the German Mind. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941. Published a number of years after Zweig’s forced departure from Germany, this assessment shows how living in exile affected his writing and his thinking. A valuable assessment written even as Zweig’s literary and intellectual development were undergoing substantial changes.

Salamon, George. Arnold Zweig. New York: Twayne, 1975. A comprehensive treatment of Zweig’s works in English. The bulk of the book explores Zweig’s war novels. An excellent overview for the general reader. Also contains biographical information on Zweig and a brief bibliography.

White, Ray Lewis. Arnold Zweig in the U.S.A. New York: Peter Lang, 1986. Reprints many American reviews of English translations of Zweig’s works and evaluates his changing reputation in the United States.