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Zuckmayer, Carl.

Zuckmayer, Carl (b. Dec. 27, 1896, Nackenheim, Ger.--d. Jan. 18, 1977, Visp, Switz.)

German playwright whose works deal critically with many of the contemporary problems engendered by two world wars.


first notable dramatic success was the earthy comedy Der frohliche Weinberg (1925; "The Happy Vineyard"). Der Hauptmann von Kopenick (1931; The Captain of Kopenick), one of his most highly regarded works, is a satire on Prussian militarism. In 1933 political pressure forced him to immigrate to Austria, where he wrote Der Schelm von Bergen (1934; "The Villain of Bergen").

Zuckmayer fled to the United States in 1939 and became a U.S. citizen. There he wrote one of his best-known dramas, Des Teufels General (1946; The Devil's General). With this play, which dramatizes the plight of men torn between loyalty to country and the demands of conscience, Zuckmayer's dramatic career entered a new phase. The zestful, life-affirming spirit of his earlier works was thereafter tempered with critical moral evaluation. In this spirit he wrote Barbara Blomberg (1949), Der Gesang im Feuerofen (1950; "The Song in the Fiery Furnace"), and Das kalte Licht (1955; "The Cold Light"), based on the treason case of the atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.

Among his other works are essays, dramatic adaptations, motion-picture scenarios, novels (Salware; oder, die Magdalena von Bozen, 1936; The Moons Ride Over, 1937), and two autobiographical works, Second Wind (1940; only an English version was published) and Als war's ein Stuck von mir (1966; abridged English version, A Part of Myself).

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Publication:Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
Article Type:Brief biography
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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