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Guide to the Willi Bredel Papers, 1950-1976
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The papers come from Bredel's secretary, Ursula Kilian, who worked for him from 1953 to 1964. Included are Bredel's notes to Kilian, as well as some carbon copies of her letters to him; Bredel's correspondence with others including Walter Janka and Friedrich Ebert; one letter from Bredel to Walter Ulbricht complaining that the paper allotment for his magazine had been suddenly cancelled; and a few items from Maj Bredel, Willi Bredel's wife.
A socialist writer known for his depictions of proletarian life, Bredel was born in Hamburg. He joined the Communist Party at eighteen. In 1928 he became editor of HAMBURGER VOLKSZEITUNG, and two years later he was sentenced to a two-year jail term for "planning literary high treason." During this period he wrote his first novel, MASCHINENFABRIK N & K. Bredel was imprisoned by the Nazis from 1933 to 1934, and when released fled to Moscow, where he was one of the original founders of the "Nationalkomittee 'Freies Deutschland'" in 1943. After the war, Bredel settled in East Germany. He served as the editor of HEUTE UND MORGEN (1947-1954) and NEUE DEUTSCHE LITERATUR (1953-1956). From 1956 unti his death in 1964, Bredel was a member of the Central Committee of the East German Communist Party.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.