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Writing the Lives of Those that Stayed Behind. Georg Hermann’s Long-Lost Exile Novel ‘Die daheim blieben’

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Godela Weiss-Sussex
Bedford Room, G37, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

In the winter of 1939–40, exiled in the Dutch city of Hilversum, Georg Hermann was working on a novel that he regarded as one of his most important. Entitled Die daheim blieben (Those that Stayed Behind), it was to be composed of four parts and tell the story of a large, diverse German-Jewish family in Berlin from March 1933 to November 1938. He was unable to complete the novel or see it published, and it was long thought to have been lost. Recently, however, the manuscripts of the first two parts were discovered among papers held by Hermann’s grandson, George Rothschild. After careful editing by Godela Weiss-Sussex, the text was finally published for the first time by Wallstein Verlag (Göttingen) in September 2023. 

In her talk Godela Weiss-Sussex, Professor of Modern German Literature at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (University of London), considers the story of the manuscript and its journey to publication, and introduces the novel’s content, characters and contexts. The talk gives a flavour of an extraordinary text that the author himself judged to be the ‘very best Georg Hermann’.

This lecture will be held in person at the University of London Senate House and online. All are welcome to attend. Advance online booking is essential - contact [email protected] or use the link below.

This event is jointly organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, and the Research Centre for German & Austrian Exile Studies at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of London.