Arthur Holitscher, born on August 22nd, 1869 in Pest (Hungary) died on October 14, 1941 in Geneva (Switzerland). The offspring of an upper-class Jewish merchant family from Budapest, Arthur Holitscher worked for six years as a bank clerk for Fiume and Vienna in Budapest, after graduating from high school. In 1895 he went to Paris as a freelance writer where he befriended Rainer Maria Rilke. In 1897 he became editor of the satirical German weekly magazine 'Simplicissimus' in Munich. After years of unsteady travel life between Paris, Budapest, Brussels, Rome, Naples and Munich, he moved to Berlin in 1907. As a travel writer he visited the USA, the USSR, India, China, Japan. The Book about his travels in the United States was the source-text for Franz Kafka's first novel 'Amerika,' also known as 'The Man Who Disappeared' (Der Verschollene), 'The Missing Person', or as 'Lost in America', published posthumously in 1927. In 1933 his books were openly burned by the Nazis. A victim of antisemitism and a political refugee he fled from Germany, and took up residence in Paris, Ascona and finally in Geneva, where he died impoverished, abandoned and almost blind in 1941. His funeral speech was given by the Austrian novelist Robert Musil, the author of 'The Man Without Qualities' (German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften). Many of Arthur Holitscher's works are available in the Gutenberg-DE project, including his travel reports: * America today and tomorrow (1912), new augmented edition (1930) * Three months in Soviet Russia (1921) * Journey through Jewish Palestine (1922) * Troubled Asia (1926) Sources: Killy Literature Lexicon, Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Judaica. More by Eckhard Schulz, "Holitscher, Arthur" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 9 (1972), S. 528-530 [Online-Version]; URL: https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd118973096.html
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