Stefan Zweig, German writer whose works have been banned in the fatherland and who is now here, today disavowed any desire to be readmitted to the ranks of literati who are acceptable to the Nazi government.
There was widespread criticism of Herr Zweig recently when the periodical, “Deutsche Buchhaendler Boersenblatt”, published a personal letter from the writer to his publishers in Germany, Insel Verlag. The letter purported to indicate that he looked with favor upon the policies of the Hitlerite government.
In a statement made public today, Herr Zweig said:
“To avoid all misinterpretation, I wish to explain that the letter in question was directed by me to the Insel Verlag, who have been my German publishers for more than a quarter of a century, in reply to their express inquiry. I gave no authorization whatever for its publication, which might suggest an attempt on my part to secure for myself more favorable treatment in Germany.
“There is nothing further from my mind than the thought of shutting myself out from the common fate of my comrades, and brethren in blood, and I would despise any attempt on my part to surrender my moral independence in return for any advantages whatsoever.
“I declare openly and unambiguously that the fate of my comrades and brethren in blood is obviously a thousand times more important to me than all literature.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.