by [Zweig, Stefan. (1881-1942)] Zweig, Friderike Maria. (1882-1971)
Used; Like New/Used; Like New. A small collection of interesting autograph letters in English from the first wife of the important Austrian novelist and biographer who was one of the most important writers in German in the inter-war period. One letter is addressed to a literary agent and written on the Zweigs' Salzburg letterhead, dated September 20, 1935. Four further letters, from 1944-1953, were written in New York after Friderike Zweig's emigration and are addressed to Shea Tennenbaum [also spelled Tenenbaum], a Yiddish writer and journalist who was evidently an admirer of Stefan Zweig's work.Â Also included is a newspaper clipping from the New York Post reporting on Zweig's suicide in 1942 and interviewing Friderike Zweig: "though she was overcome by grief she was not surprised by the news that he and his second wife had ended their lives yesterday."The letters are written in pen on various sizes of notepaper and are overall in fine condition, with some light age wear, folds and light toning. All but the 1935 letter include the original envelopes, two with the return address of the Writers' Service Center, and some of which bear later notes in another hand, some in Hebrew.Â In her letter to a Miss Strassman [1 p., September 20, 1935], ZweigÂ expresses pleasure at their meeting: "...My husband too was very fond of meeting you." She notes that they have not received a book and requests assistance in procuring "the collection of 'Hausexemplare' which you saw in my husband's room... He just left me again for Paris and London." Â She further adds, "May I bother you still with something else: my daughter should like to publish her photos of Toscanini and other artists famous in U.S.A. in American magazines and we should be glad to have a help."Â In Friderike Zweig's first letter to Tennenbaum [4 pp., March 3, 1944 - NB. Full text available on request], sheÂ thanks him for sending his article [in Yiddish] about Stefan Zweig: "I shall ask somebody to read it to me, and the gratefulness for your writing will make it easy to me to understand this reach [rich] and powerful language." She writes that she is enclosing another article about her ex-husband from the magazine Menorah, which she says is full of "lies" and offensive to Zweig's memory. ThisÂ article, by a "Miss A.," is almost certainlyÂ Hannah Arendt's scathing 1943 review of Zweig'sÂ World of Yesterday, titled "Portrait of a Period," in which she attacked Zweig for remaining apolitical in the face of antisemitism.Â Friderike defends her husband passionately: "That he did not mix in politics just on opposite reason, namely his idea that he can damage the Jewish cause in speaking to [sic] loudly as a Jew... His whole work was to defend the rights of the humbles [sic] against some oppression and the devotion for greatness notÂ in sake of fame." She further criticizes the journalist:Â "This woman - in the shadow of a grave - turns the words in the mouth of the most honorable man, in making him part of that, what he himself condemned..." and goes on to ask Tennenbaum to write a letter to the editor of the magazine, as "My health is not so good, so I cannot risk to get too excited in writing to this woman." Â In her next letter [4 pp., September 21, 1944],Â Friderike thanks Tennenbaum for sending another article [in Yiddish], saying that she will ask a friend to read it and tell her what it says: "it will be a pleasure for me, to hear what you say." She goes on to ask after a Graziana, perhaps Tenenbaum's wife, and ends the letter with warm wishes. Following this, she writes again [postmarked December 6, 1944], sending Tenenbaum the program for anÂ American-European Friendship event on December 16, 1944 and writing on the verso that he should comeÂ "and bring Graciana along."Â The final note from Friderike Zweig [3 pp. on very small notepaper, December 1952]Â thanks Tennenbaum for his contribution to the festschrift for her 70th birthday. "I nearly could understand everything and will have a friend to tell me every word." Â On the verso, an autograph note to Tenenbaum from Harry Zohn, German-English translator, scholar of German literature, and editor of the festschrift, mentions he is sending Tenenbaum a copy.Friderike Zweig, who was married to Zweig from 1920 to 1938, was herself a writer and translator. After their divorce, they remained good friends and were in close contact through letters, even after Zweig fled Europe for Brazil, where, with his second wife, he committed suicide in 1942. Friderike emigrated to the United States in 1940, where she founded the Writers Service Center, an organization to aid European refugees, and also chaired the American-European Friendship Association. Throughout her life she remained a great proponent of her husband's life and work, serving as the honorary president of the International Stefan Zweig Society, and writing two books about his life."Shea (short for Joshua) Tenenbaum (1910â1989) was born in Bobrinik near Lublin, the youngest of 12 siblings. He became a typesetter at age 14 and began publishing at 16... Before coming to the U.S. in 1934 he lived in various cities in Europe... Like many Yiddish writers, he worked for some years in New York; he then spent time in Denver recovering from tuberculosis. From there he traveled to California, but he missed the cultural life of New York and returned after a year. He received the National Jewish Book Award in 1985 for From Ash and Fire Is Your Crown." (Pakn Treger, Magazine of the Yiddish Book Center, no. 60, Fall 2009.) (Inventory #: 13062)
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