Stephan Hermlin was born in Chemnitz (Karl-Marx-Stadt) on March 13, 1915. Antifascist resistance is at the root of all his creative efforts. At the age of 16 he became a member of the Communist Youth Party (KJV). From 1933 until 1936 he went undercover in Berlin, joining the illegal fight against National-Socialism. In 1937 he participated in the Spanish Civil War, and in 1939 he made contact with the French Resistance. With the help of the Maquis, an underground group in southern France that became the nucleus of the Resistance, he escaped from the German occupation forces to Switzerland, where he stayed in internment camps until the end of the war. Hermlin returned to Germany in 1945, first to Frankfurt am Main, where he worked in radio broadcasting. His first volume of poetry, Zwölf Balladen von den Großen Städten, had appeared before the end of the war in Switzerland. Since that time he has become one of the most prolific writers of East Germany, which he made his home in 1947. His contributions to the literary scene after the war include poetry, translations, short stories, essays, as well as his work as editor. This study focuses on one aspect of his poetry. It tries to analyze the book Der Flug der Taube (1952) within its historical context and as a phase in Hermlin's development as a lyrical poet.



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