Peter Suhrkamp, Annemarie Seidel

»So Now Farewell! And Take Good Care« - Letters 1935-1959

Edited by Wolfgang Schopf

Rights available


»Authentic-biographical material« by Peter Suhrkamp was, until now, considered »destroyed«, as his first biographers, Siegfried Unseld and Helene Ritzerfeld, stated. As it turned out, they were mistaken: For the correspondence between Suhrkamp and Annemarie Seidel has survived, 450 letters in total. The correspondence between the publisher and the actress called »Mirl«, whom he had been married to since 1935, extends up until Suhrkamp’s death on March 31st, 1959. For the first time, it conveys a candid, detailed impression of his character and his work.

The documents show which battles Peter Suhrkamp fought with the Nazi bureaucracy in the early years of the Third Reich as the director of S. Fischer Publishers – and how he lost them; how he survived in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, how he appeared as a people’s educator in detention camps over the course of the new beginning after 1945, what lead to the founding of his own publishing house.

Previously, Suhrkamp’s private motivations, his attitudes towards books and authors have almost exclusively been conveyed by testimonies of third parties. In these letters, Suhrkamp, himself in the unfreest of circumstances, lets his wife partake in all his deliberations – and the both of them face us as chroniclers of a quarter of a century of German history, culture and literature.


»This book conveys a sense of why Suhrkamp was one of the great publishers of the 20th century.« Erdmut Wizisla, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»This correspondence is a great and simultaneously a painful sad read.« Tilmann Lahme, FAZ

»This correspondence is valuable not only because of its insights into the publishing busieness, but also because oft he private perceptions. What Suhrkamp and Seidel report one another colours a whole era.« Edwin Baumgartner, Wiener Zeitung

»Under his leadership, Suhrkamp Publishing House became and institution. Everyone knows this. But it’s only now, from the letters, that we learn how much power, perseverance and hardship this commitment entailed, how much toughness and vigour.« Klaus Bellin, neues-deutschland.de