15 May

Hans Fallada

Posted By Politybooks

Hans Fallada, born Rudolf Wilhelm Adolf Ditzen in Greifswald, Germany took his pen name from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. After a childhood and youth plagued with illness and misfortune, he enjoyed his first major international success as a novelist with Little Man, What Now? in 1932, a masterful portrayal of social conditions during the twilight years of the Weimar Republic. Officially declared an ‘undesirable author’ by the Nazis in 1935, he came under increasing pressure from Joseph Goebbels to write works that overtly supported National Socialism. Fallada suffered lifelong from alcohol and drug addiction, and was committed to a prison for ‘mentally ill criminals’ in September 1944. At great personal risk, he continued to write in secret, penning a novel about alcoholism, The Drinker, as well as A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison Diary, published by Polity, which is a powerful and troubling testimony of life in the Third Reich.