Arnold Zweig

Arnold Zweig (10 November 1887 - 26 November 1968) was a German writer and anti-war activist. He is best known for his World War I tetralogy of which Outside Verdun is part. Zweig volunteered for the German army in World War I and saw action as a private in France, Hungary and Serbia. He was stationed in the Western Front at the time when Judenzahlung (the Jewish census) was undertaken. After World War I he was an active socialistic Zionist in Germany. Following Hitler's attempted coup in 1923 Zweig went to Berlin and worked as an editor of a newspaper, the Judische Rundschau. Zweig would later witness the burning of his books by the Nazis. When the Nazis took power in 1933, Zweig was one of many Jews to go into voluntary exile, first to Czechoslovakia, then Switzerland and France and finally Palestine. In 1948, after a formal invitation from the East German authorities, Zweig decided to return to the Soviet occupation zone in Germany where he became a member of parliament. He was President of the German Academy of the Arts from 1950-53.