Stefan Zweig

Letters on Judaism

Edited and annotated by Stefan Litt
(German title: Briefe zum Judentum)
ca. 295 pages
Stefan Zweig
Foto: Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig was born on November 28, 1881 in Vienna and died on February 23, 1942, in Petrópolis near Rio de Janeiro. He studied philosophy as well as German and Romance philology in Berlin and Vienna, travelled throughout Europe, to India, North Africa, North and Central America. In 1938, Zweig emigrated to Great Britain, subsequently left for New York in 1940/41 and then Brazil, where he died by suicide in 1942.

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Stefan Zweig, one of the most successful German-language authors, came from a wealthy Jewish family in which, however, Jewish tradition played only a very small role. His correspondence from 1900 to 1940, with Martin Buber, Anton Kippenberg, Romain Rolland, Felix Salten and Chaim Weizmann, among other, presents unmediated insights into the world-renowned writer’s thought on Judaism and on Zionism, which could only be discerned in this form from few of his works until now.

This edition, compiled and annotated by Stefan Litt, comprises 120 letters, most of which were hitherto unpublished, and makes the first attempt at examining Zweig’s attitude towards Judaism more closely.


»... a keen observer of the human soul, and even when looking at himself there were no delusions.« Jakob Hessing, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»[The] insights into Zweig’s state of mind alone constitute the value of Stefan Litt’s edition, which also gathers a lot of unpublished correspondence.« Dirk Schümer, DIE WELT

»Even though the reality of violence and absurdity broke him in the end, his Jewish background became and remained an important source of his thinking. This too made his objections and confessions impressively clear.« Wilhelm von Sternburg, Frankfurter Rundschau