Stefan Zweig - a Viennese writer with pacifist-humanistic ideas

Who was this profound poet, lyricist and dramatist? Born in Vienna, he spent a lot of time in Salzburg, Switzerland and London. Why did he move to Brazil? Why did he choose to commit suicide there at the age of 61?

 

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Stefan Zweig was born on November 28, 1881 in Vienna and came from a middle-class Jewish family. At the birthplace in the center of Vienna, Schottenring 14 a plaque commemorates it.
From an early age he was interested in literature and theater. He studied German, Romance and Philosophy in Vienna and Berlin. He traveled a lot and yet Vienna remained for the time being his center of life.
He was a convinced pacifist and went temporarily to Switzerland in 1917. Prior to that, during the First World War, he worked at the Vienna War Press Quarters. From 1919 - 1934 he lived with his first wife Friederike in Salzburg, after which he chose London, where he moved, however, without his wife.
His works were initially committed to Viennese impressionism and neo-romanticism, later influenced by Freud's psychoanalysis. No one else was able to captivate the reader with the depiction of human psychic life, like Stefan Zweig.
1922 he released "Amok, Novelle einer Leidenschaft", 1927 "Verwirrung der Gefühle“. He celebrated international successes with "great moments of humanity and with novel biographies, such as "Marie Antoinette" or "Maria Stuart".
The "Chess Novel" (1941) is considered one of his great works. His large, widespread autobiography "The World of Yesterday" was released posthumously in 1942.
1941 übersiedelte er nach Brasilien, wo er sich, unter schweren Depressionen leidend, gemeinsam mit seiner zweiten Frau Lotte im Jahr 1942 das Leben nahm. In einem Abschiedsbrief stand, dass Zweig durch die Zerstörung der „geistigen Heimat Europa“ seine Kräfte durch die langen Jahren heimatlosen Wanderns erschöpft“ seien..
In 1941 he moved to Brazil, where he suffered from severe depression. He commited suicide together with his second wife Lotte in 1942. In a farewell letter he wrote that by the destruction of the "spiritual home of Europe" his forces are exhausted by the long years of homeless wandering "..

 

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