Guide to the Willi Bredel Papers, 1950-1976

Processed by Patricia Mazon; machine-readable finding aid created by Bill O'Hanlon, Sean Quimby, Michael Olson.
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
© 2001
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Willi Bredel Papers, 1950-1976

Collection number: M0665

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Patricia Mazon
Date Completed:
1993 Dec.
Encoded by:
Bill O'Hanlon, Sean Quimby, Michael Olson
© 2001 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Bredel, Willi, 1901-1964. Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1950-1976
Collection number: M0665
Creator: Bredel, Willi, 1901-1964
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions


Publication Rights

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.


Purchased from Antiquariat Magister Tinius, Berlin, 1993.

Preferred Citation:

Willi Bredel Papers. M0665. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


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.

Scope and Content

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.

Access Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
. 10$aBredel, Maj.
. 10$aEbert, Friedrich, 1894-1979.
. 10$aJanka, Walter, 1914-
. 10$aKilian, Ursula.
. 10$aUlbricht, Walter, 1893-1973.
. 0$aEast European literature.
. 0$aGerman literature--20th century.
. 0$aRevolutionary literature, German.
. 0$aSocialism in literature.


Willi Bredel, Gesammelte Werke (Berlin, 1962-76).
L. Bock, Willi Bredel. Leben und Werk (Berlin, 1990).

Collection Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1953

Box 1, Folder 2

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1954

Box 1, Folder 3

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1955

Box 1, Folder 4

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1956

Box 1, Folder 5

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1957

Box 1, Folder 6

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1958

Box 1, Folder 7

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1959

Box 1, Folder 8

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1960

Box 1, Folder 9

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1961

Box 1, Folder 10

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1962

Box 1, Folder 11

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1963

Box 1, Folder 12

Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1964 and exhibition invitation, 1976

Box 1, Folder 13

Maj Bredel-Killian correspondence, 1967

Box 1, Folder 14

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1955

Box 1, Folder 15

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1956

Box 1, Folder 16

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1957

Box 1, Folder 17

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1958

Box 1, Folder 18

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1959

Box 1, Folder 19

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1960

Box 1, Folder 20

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1961

Box 1, Folder 21

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1962

Box 1, Folder 22

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1963

Box 1, Folder 23

Bredel-Killian correspondence-- cards, 1964

Box 1, Folder 24

Bredel-Killian correspondence, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 25

Bredel correspondence, 1950

Box 1, Folder 26

Bredel correspondence, 1951

Box 1, Folder 27

Bredel correspondence, 1952

Box 1, Folder 28

Bredel correspondence, 1953

Scope and Content Note

(includes one 3-page manuscript, "Zum internationalen Befreiungstag. Klaren Verstand- standhaften Charakter- Geduld.")
Box 1, Folder 29

Bredel correspondence, 1954

Box 1, Folder 30

Bredel correspondence, 1955