Joseph Roth

(1894 - 1939)

Roth enlisted in the Austrian army in 1916 and served in a Polish-speaking unit during World War I; he later claimed he became an officer and was captured by the Russians. In the 1920s he began contributing to the liberal newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung; the work sent him across Germany, central Europe, the Balkans, and the Soviet Caucasus. “I am a journalist, not a reporter,” wrote the author of the novel The Radetzky March. “I am a writer, not a fashioner of lead articles.” A critic of German militarism, he spent much of his life abroad, calling himself only “a hotel citizen, a hotel patriot.” He left Germany in 1933 and settled in Paris, where he died in 1939.

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