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Lion Feuchtwanger

Lion Feuchtwanger

Lion Feuchtwanger, author of The Oppermanns

LION FEUCHTWANGER (1884-1958), the son of Orthodox Jewish parents, was born and brought up in Munich and began his career as a theatre critic and playwright. In 1912  he married Marta Loeffler, later the couple moved to Berlin; they both became committed socialists after the ravages of WW1. Lion Feuchtwanger’s first major work was Jew Suss (1925), a sympathetic portrait of an C18th Jewish financier, a huge bestseller which was translated into many languages. His novel Success, which lampooned the Nazis, came out in 1930. In 1932 the (by now) wealthy and famous Feuchtwangers went to live in the south of France. It was Ramsay MacDonald who suggested that Lion write an anti-Nazi film; this became a novel, The Oppermanns (1933), one of the most widely read accounts of the evolving German tragedy. He published more historical novels (eg. the Josephus trilogy), managed to escape to the USA, and continued writing in California.

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