Carl Zuckmayer

Carl Zuckmayer . Outstanding figure from the German language literary scene. He participated in World War One . He also had an outstanding career as a screenwriter. During the Nazi regime he emigrated to the United States , where he continued his career, he returned to Europe after the end of World War II .


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
    • 1 Professional career
    • 2 Works of great popularity in the theater
    • 3 Death
  • 2 External links
  • 3 Sources

Biographical synthesis

He was born on 27 December as as 1896 in Nackenheim , Germany . Within a family of upper middle class entrepreneurs.

Career path

At the beginning of the 1920s he began to collaborate as a playwright in different theaters. Between 1926 and 1938 he lived in a small town near Salzburg , from where he emigrated to Switzerland in 1938 and, a year later, to the United States . There he worked as a farmer, and continued to hand over his literary work, until, in 1945 , he returned to Germany as civilian manager of the United States government . In 1958 he settled permanently in Switzerland .

His literary beginnings are located within the expressionist movement, as can be seen in the works titled Kreuzweg (Crossroads, 1920 ) and Pankraz erwacht oder Die Hinterwäldler (Pancracio wakes up or those from behind the forest, 1925 ). Despite this clear line, the rest of his literary production cannot be framed at all within a specific movement, although at first he leaned decisively towards popular character theater , as he did in the play that gave him fame, Der fröhliche Weinberg (The Merry Vineyard, 1925), in which, using the dialect as a literary resource, he perfectly described the social environment in which the piece takes place. Katharina Knie (Catalina Knie, 1929 ), focused on the circus environment, also belongs to this same group .

Works of great popularity in the theater

Due to its popularity and importance for German theater, we must highlight:

  • The Captain of Kopenick( 1931 ), based on a supposedly real event that occurred in 1906 , relates how the vicious circles of the Prussian militaristic bureaucracy prevent a former prisoner from returning to normal life. He takes justice into his own hands, rents a captain’s uniform, gets a squad of soldiers to follow him in the middle of the street, occupies the town hall with them, has the documents he needs spread and takes, by the way, the municipal safe. She was taken to the cinema and created the term köpenickiade for those tricks in which a citizen brings out the public powers.
  • The Devil’s General, based on the character of General Ernst Udet , introduces an aviation general who believes he can use the Nazi dictatorship to satisfy his passion for flying, so he collaborates with her, despite morally rejecting her. The consequence of that pact with the devil is tragic and reflects the powerlessness and passivity of the German army, within which the resistance was born when it was too late. He was also the author of the cantata Mainzer Umzug (The Mainz Procession, 1962 ), with music by Paul Hindemith .


He died on 18 January as as 1977 in Visp , Switzerland .


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