Anna Seghers

(1900 - 1983)

In 1928, having completed a doctoral thesis on the representation of Jews in Rembrandt’s paintings, the author born Netti Reiling joined the Communist Party and adopted the pseudonym Anna Seghers, which she likely selected in homage to the seventeenth-century Dutch printmaker Hercules Seghers. In the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire, she fled Germany for Paris, where she published fiction and worked as an antifascist organizer until the Nazi invasion of France. She wrote most of her novel Transit in Marseille while securing her family’s passage from Europe to Mexico, where she became a citizen in 1946. Seghers moved back to Germany a year later; she eventually settled in East Germany, where she spent the rest of her life.

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