Bruno Apitz

Bruno Apitz. Jewish German writer . Survivor of the concentration camp of Buchenwald .


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 Revolutionary trajectory
    • 2 Death
  • 2 Publications
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 Source

Biographical synthesis

He was born on 28 April as as 1900 in Leipzig , Germany . Twelfth child of a family of working class, a marriage of proletarians, whose union is undone by the conditions social prevailing.

He studied until the eighth grade, but at the age of 14 he began working as a rubber stamp maker, a job that was truncated when World War I broke out that same year . In his political teens, he joined the Communist Party in 1927 and worked there as an agitprop official at the Communist Party district headquarters in Leipzig .

He was a multifaceted man with multiple talents: writer , sculptor , humorist, actor, and violinist, but he was never able to develop optimally. During the storage period it originated numerous sculptures of wood , including most acclaimed wooden sculpture “The last face “, which is now in Berlin on permanent display at the German Historical Museum . After the war he worked as an editor at the “Leipzig People’s Daily”, as executive director of the Leipzig Municipal Theater , as well as the director of the gamefrom amateur theater groups and as a playwright at DEFA. In addition, he was a member of the German Academy of Arts and a member of the GDR’s PEN Center .

Revolutionary trajectory

The life itself is responsible for making him an enemy of war in 1917 took part in a strike of workers in a munitions factory, he is arrested for the crime of attempted high treason and punished by the justice class of the imperialism of the Warmongering Germany to a deprivation of liberty . In prison, he had his first great artistic experience, which moves him and shakes him deeply: he discovers the world of Shakespeare’s dramas .

After the pardon that took place shortly before the 1918 revolution , he again sought professional contact with art , finding him first as an assistant in a bookstore, later as a theater author , and finally as a member and employee of the Revolutionary Proletarian Union of Writers , of communist affiliation.

The seizure of power by Hitlerist fascism produces a drastic turn towards the worst. The terror regime of the Nazis represents a constant and imminent danger to his life . As well as the end of any possibility of an effective activity as a writer.

In May of 1933 he was arrested and confined for months in one of the first concentration camps. Due to the fact that after being released he resumes contact with the party, which continues to work underground, the Gestapo ( secret state police ) arrests him again in the autumn of 1934 , he is sentenced to three years presidio. At the end of this period, not only it does not get him free, but is taken to a concentration camp , and remains imprisoned until the release of the same in April of 1945 .

During 8 of those years he was prisoner 2417 of a concentration camp that began operating in 1937 , and which later would reconvert not only a symbol of the anti- humanity of the Nazi state, but also a symbol of human heroism, of the international anti-fascist solidarity, and the unwavering determination to never give up in the fight for a world of peace and freedom.

Shortly before his 45th birthday, Bruno transposes the threshold to a new world and brings his experiences with him: the full story of Buchenwald, staying there constitutes the most important experience of his entire life. A decade after the liberation, in the year 1955 he has the opportunity to bring to the role his novels of Buchenwald and takes three years to reach the conclusion of the manuscript.


He passed away in Berlin on April 7 , 1979 .


From 1955 was a writer independent in Berlin and wrote his experiences in Buchenwald in the novel ” Naked Among Wolves ” ( 1958 ) was one of the books most read in the German Democratic Republic , was a central part of the plan of studies in the subject of German literature and served as the basis for the film and radio versions . Overall, over three million copies have been sold worldwide and translated into more than thirty languages. The success of “Naked Among Wolves” made him famous overnight , not least because it was the first best-seller of his country’s literature in general.

Due to the success of his famous work, it could never be built again. Novels “The Rainbow” ( 1976 ) and “latent” (posthumous and unfinished 1984 ) and the novella “Esther” (in the concentration camp of Buchenwald in 1944 , written in 1959 for the first published time), just include the public attention or recognition. The same is true for the actual fact report “That was Buchenwald!” ( 1946 ) to whom he reports on horror and misery in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

He was a leading member of East German literary creation and the author of the flagship in the fight against fascism , but this could not be avoided too quickly, he fell into oblivion after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and until today is considered as “one – author of the book”.


In 1958 National Prize was 3 years Class and in 1963 in the collective film of National Price 1 Class, the highest status award of the GDR awarded.


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