Page 201 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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LIPTZIN / REHABILITATION OF ARNOLD ZWEIG
1 9 3
a stepchild o f Germany. I am a forerunner o f the United
Democracies o f Europe and so were Heine, Marx and Freud.”
In July 1945, he expressed the wish to have me understand
the changing scene o f his ideas, that nothing was more necessary
than to find out the real facts o f Jewish life and “ to neutralize
the nonsense coming from wishful thinking, extreme nation­
alism, antique clericalism, and supercompensation o f all sorts
o f inferiority feelings.” He was accepting the Marxian axiom
that existence determined conscience. He no longer believed
in the trumpeted post-war solutions. “ I feel sure that the United
States o f Europe, for instance, had to come and that they will
not come, that the remainder o f the Jewish population in the
world should find an expression o f their common fate and in­
terest and that they will not find it. As there are everywhere
Jews and nowhere a Jewish people, I cannot propose steps for
the solution o f needs, the reality o f which everyone feels. .. .
We are companions o f a fate, which we share with all other
European groups and you in the United State are moved by
vibrations o f our earthquake.”
Zweig’s faith in Zionism had ended in complete disillusion­
ment. In July 1948, two months after the Zionist dream o f his
early years became a reality and a Jewish state came into exist­
ence, Zweig left Israel. He stayed in Prague for three months.
There he began a drama o f the expulsion o f the Jews from
Prague in 1744 by Empress Maria Theresia and their return
after Austria’s defeat the following year. This expulsion fore­
shadowed a similar expulsion two centuries later and their re­
turn after the Nazi defeat. Nowhere in the drama did Zweig
refer to any desire o f Jews to leave for Zion. They rather clung
to the villages and townlets surrounding the Bohemian capital,
never abandoning hope to live there again.
R E T U R N TO G E R M A N Y
In October 1948, Zweig went on to East Berlin, where he
received a hero’s welcome. There he found the adultadon he
failed to receive in Israel. He helped to found the German
Academy o f Arts and was its first president. He received the
International Lenin Peace Prize. He was granted the titles o f
Doctor and Professor. His poems, essays, novels, dramas, and
short stories were published and circulated throughout the Ger­
man Democratic Republic. Yet, despite honors heaped upon
him, he became ever lonelier, ever more unhappy, ever less