Zuckmayer, Carl

(1896-1977)
   dramatist; best known for the satire Der Hauptmann von Kopenick (The Captain of Kopenick). He was born in the Rhineland village of Nackenheim; his well-established family (his father ran a factory that produced the tin sheathing for wine bottles) moved to Mainz when he was five. A Gymnasium student in 1914, he took emergency finals (Not-abitur) to join the army. After he gained a reserve commission, he was dubbed the "reading lieutenant." His first poetry appeared in Die Aktion* in 1917. Although he was highly decorated, he was a pacifist by the end of World War I.
   Zuckmayer was an idealist, seeking harmony—indeed, divinity—among liv-ing things. Believing that peace would bring international harmony, he entered the Workers and Soldiers Council* in Mainz and then joined the revolutionary students council at Frankfurt. Although he studied economics and biology, his passion was the theater*; in 1920 his play Kreuzweg (Crossroads) enjoyed a short run at Berlin s* Stadttheater. In 1922 he became dramaturge of Kiel s municipal theater; however, his 1923 production of the comedy Eunuchs pro-voked such a scandal that he was fired. Zuckmayer never warmed to Expres-sionism*; while his plays contain magical and fantastic qualities, they are firmly set in reality—thus setting him apart in the early 1920s. In 1923, while he was working in Munich, his relationship with Bertolt Brecht* helped him ripen his realistic style. He joined Brecht in 1924 at Berlin s Deutsches Theater and pre-miered his play Der frohliche Weinberg (The merry vineyard) the next year. An earthy folk comedy centered on characters who meet on the estate of a vineyard owner, Weinberg s refreshing realism aroused immediate praise and earned him the Kleist Prize. Focusing on ordinary people and simple emotion, and balancing tragedy and comedy, he went on to write several more popular stage works. In 1929, the year he received both the Georg Büchner Prize and the Heidelberg Festival's Dramatist Prize, he wrote the filmscript for The Blue Angel.
   Fritz Kortner* convinced Zuckmayer to write about a 1906 incident in which a shoemaker (Wilhelm Voigt), after doing military drill for thirty years in prison, masqueraded as an army captain, arrested the Burgermeister of Kopenick (a Berlin suburb), and looted the city's treasury. The play was first staged in 1931 in Berlin; its gentle ridicule of the unwarranted prestige of the army brought instant and widespread acclaim. Der Hauptmann von Kopenick was performed continuously throughout Germany until the NSDAP came to power.
   Zuckmayer served in 1932 with the Iron Front (Eiserne Front), a militant branch of the Reichsbanner* that worked for President Hindenburg s* reelec-tion. Of Jewish ancestry on his mother's side, he fled Germany in 1933 and settled near Salzburg. Until the 1938 Anschluss he remained in Austria,* writing poetry and prose. He escaped to Switzerland in 1938 and eventually reached the United States, where he bought a farm in Vermont. The Devil's General,a poignant play about an anti-Nazi pilot serving in the Luftwaffe, was written in Vermont. His autobiography, Als war's ein Stuck von mir (translated as A Part of Myself), was completed in 1966. He returned to Europe in 1947 and lived from 1958 in Switzerland.
   REFERENCES:Arnold Bauer, Carl Zuckmayer; Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Zuckmayer, Part ofMyself.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • ZUCKMAYER, CARL — (1896–1977), German playwright. Though born of a Jewish mother, Zuckmayer was raised as a Catholic in the Rhineland town of Nackenheim. During World War I he served as an officer on the Western Front and from 1919 worked in the theater and as a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Zuckmayer, Carl — ▪ German playwright born December 27, 1896, Nackenheim, Germany died January 18, 1977, Visp, Switzerland  German playwright whose works deal critically with many of the problems engendered by two world wars.       Zuckmayer served for four years… …   Universalium

  • Zuckmayer, Carl — (1896 1977)    Playwright. Zuckmayer was the most popular comic playwright during the Weimar Republic, and in the seasons immediately after World War II his straight plays dominated repertoires in the Western occupation zones. During the 1950s… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Zuckmayer, Carl — (1896 1977)    German playwright. He was born in Nackenheim. Although he had a Jewish mother, he was raised as a Catholic. From 1919 he worked in the theatre and as a freelance writer. In 1924 he joined Bertholt Brecht at Berlin s Deutsches… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Zuckmayer, Carl — ► (1896 1977) Dramaturgo alemán. Autor de El capitán de Köpenick y El general del diablo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Zuckmayer — Zuckmayer, Carl …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Carl Zuckmayer — (1920) Carl Zuckmayer (* 27. Dezember 1896 in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen; † 18. Januar 1977 in Visp, Schweiz, Grab in Saas Fee) war ein deutscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Carl Zuckmayer — (December 27, 1896 ndash; January 18, 1977) was a German writer and playwright.Born in Nackenheim in Rheinhessen, he was four years old when his family moved to Mainz. With the outbreak of World War I, he (like many other high school students)… …   Wikipedia

  • Carl Michael Bellmann — Carl Michael Bellman. Gemälde von Per Krafft d. Ä. 1779 (Nationale Porträtgalerie, Schloss Gripsholm) Carl Michael Bellman (Aussprache) (* 4. Februarjul./ …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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