Das Wort (German: The Word) was a monthly literary magazine which was published in Moscow in the period between 1936 and 1939. The magazine is known for its editors, including Willi Bredel, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Bertolt Brecht. Its subtitle was Literarische Monatsschrift (German: Literary Monthly).[1]

Das Wort
Former editorsFritz Erpenbeck
CategoriesLiterary magazine
First issueJuly 1936
Final issueMarch 1939
CountrySoviet Union
Based inMoscow

History and profileEdit

Das Wort was launched in Moscow in 1936 following the recommendation of the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern.[2] The first issue appeared in July 1936.[3] Its editors were Willi Bredel, Leon Feuchtwanger, and Bertolt Brecht.[2] Fritz Erpenbeck also briefly edited the magazine in 1936.[4][5] Of them only Bredel was in Moscow.[6] The goal of the magazine was to become a literary organ of German exiles who left Germany after the Nazi rule.[2] It also attempted to support the Popular Front policy by gathering together the anti-Fascist Germans.[3]

Maria Osten headed the Paris office of the magazine.[1][2] Das Wort supported the concept of world literature.[6] It focused on the debate concerning the versions of realism which were legitimate and needed to attack against Fascism.[7] However, it did not pay attention to the discussions about the controversial forms of experimentalism common in German expressionism and early modernism.[7] Between September 1937 and July 1938 the magazine featured various articles which contained discussions about expressionism.[6] In these writings Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Bloch and Hanns Eisler defended expressionism against György Lukács and Mikhail Bakhtin.[6] In the poems and fictions published in Das Wort the contributors argued that their true heimat was the Soviet Union.[2] Some parts of Bertolt Brecht's play entitled Furcht und Elend des III were first featured in the magazine.[7] Das Wort ceased publication in March 1939.[3]


  1. ^ a b Zlata Fuss Phillips (2011). German Children's and Youth Literature in Exile 1933-1950: Biographies and Bibliographies. Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag. p. 163,211. ISBN 978-3-11-095285-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e Katerina Clark (Summer 2001). "Germanophone Intellectuals in Stalin's Russia: Diaspora and Cultural Identity in the 1930s". Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. 2 (3): 529–551. doi:10.1353/kri.2008.0043. S2CID 161893311.
  3. ^ a b c James W. Seward (1990). The German exile journal Das Wort and the Soviet Union (MA thesis). Portland State University. pp. 1–4. doi:10.15760/etd.5988.
  4. ^ "Erpenbeck, Fritz" (in German). Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  5. ^ David Pike (2012). German Writers in Soviet exile, 1933-1945. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-8078-6580-4. OCLC 939890795.
  6. ^ a b c d Katerina Clark (Fall 2002). "M. M. Bakhtin and "World Literature"". Journal of Narrative Theory. 32 (3): 268–269, 275. JSTOR 30224583.
  7. ^ a b c John J. White (January 2005). "Bertolt Brecht's "Furcht und Elend des III. Reiches" and the Moscow "Realism" Controversy". Modern Language Review. 100 (1): 138–160. JSTOR 3738060.

External linksEdit