In 1933 thousands of intellectuals, artists, writers, militants and other opponents of the Nazi regime fled Germany. They were, in the words of Heinrich Mann, 'the best of Germany,' refusing to remain citizens in this new state that legalized terror and brutality. Exiled across the world, they expressed the fight against Nazism in prose, poetry, painting, architecture, film and theater. Weimar in Exile follows these lives, from the rise of national socialism to the return to their ruined homeland, retracing their stories, struggles, setbacks and rare victories. The dignity in exile of Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Doblin, Hans Eisler, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Anna Seghers, Ernst Toller, Stefan Zweig and many others provides counterpoint to the story of Germany under the Nazis.
"Jean-Michel Palmier's book establishes more fully than any other the extent of emigration of Germany's greatest minds and talents, and that neither the exiles nor Germany ever fully recovered" - Financial Times. What fascinates the late Jean-Michel Palmier, in this magisterial study, is the speed and thoroughness with which Weimar culture...was destroyed by the Nazis, never to return" - Independent "A monumental study, an impressive testament to the experiences, achievements and far-reaching influences of the refugees" - Scotsman * "A monumental work." - Le Monde * "Jean-Michel Palmier published books on Georg Trakl, Hegel, Lenin, Lacanand Marcuse, as well as studies on German expressionism and a great work on the fate of anti-Nazi intellectuals, Weimar in Exile, celebrated by the Academie francaise. Everything fascinated him. He was a scholar who anxiously, almost mystically, quested after knowledge, and reminded one of amedieval philosopher even more than of a Renaissance man of letters. He was obsessed with art and culture. He was a surveyor of the past who tracked its faintest traces." - Le Monde Diplomatique "This is an extraordinary book: in its historical breadth, its command of literature, documents, and archival material, its ambitious scope, and its sweeping judgments." - Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
Jean-Michel Palmier was Professor of Aesthetics at Universite Paris I, specializing in German artistic movements of the 1920s and 30s. Weimar in Exile was awarded the Prix Eugene Piccard for a work of modern history by the Academie Francaise.