Page 201 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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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.
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