Hans Natonek Papers, 1918-1964
- The Hans Natonek Papers contain drafts of his novels, short stories and poems, and correspondence with family and publishers. The bulk of the literary works in this collection, though undated, stem from the period after Natonek fled to the United States, mainly after he moved to Arizona in 1943.
- 3.25 cubic ft.
- English , German .
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Hans Natonek Papers, 1918-1964. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Natonek Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Hans Natonek Papers are of interest to researchers in German exile literature, Judaic studies, the novel and the short story, and to researchers in the field of European history. Important themes in his works are the Jewish identity, the individual in society, journalism in Germany and freedom of expression. Also of interest are the attempts of a prominent Émigré author to establish a writing career in an new language and culture.
Natonek's association with other notable figures of the period, such as Joseph Roth, Leonhard Frank, Erich Kastner, Franz Werfel, Alma Mahler-Werfel, Thomas, Golo and Heinrich Mann, Walter Mehring, Hertha Pauli and Ernst Weiss, make him an interesting subject for research. The papers contain correspondence with Kastner but, unfortunately, none with his other colleagues. The letter from Erich Kastner on behalf of Natonek's incarcerated son and Natonek's letter to Theodor Heuss are especially noteworthy. Joseph Roth was a special friend of Natonek and is the subject of several articles and stories in this collection.
The papers contain, for the most part, drafts of Natonek's novels, short stories and poems, as well as his correspondence with family and publishers. The bulk of the literary works in this collection, though undated, stem from the period after he fled to the United States, mainly after he moved to Arizona in 1943.
- Biographical / Historical:
Born of German-Jewish ancestry in Prague on October 25, 1892, Hanus (Hans) Natonek grew up in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After completion of his university studies in Prague, Vienna and Berlin, Natonek became chief editor of the Neue Leipziger Zeitung in 1917, a post he held until 1933. The author of many novels and short stories, Natonek attained official recognition in 1932 when he received the prestigious Goethe Award from the city of Leipzig for his novel Kinder Einer Stadt. In addition, Natonek was a theater critic and contributor to many magazines and journals.
His marriage to Gertrud Huther in 1918, producing two children, a son Wolfgang born in 1919 and a daughter Susanne born in 1924, ended in divorce.
With the advent of the Nazi Regime in 1933, Natonek fled Germany and returned to Prague. There he continued his advocacy of a democratic press. In 1938 he was divorced from his second wife, Erica Clara Wassermann. After Czechoslovakia collapsed in 1938, Natonek was compelled to emigrate to France, spending the next few years hiding from the Nazis. He "slept on docks, under trucks and in the cold fog of the Pyrenees Mountains" [New York Times, 63: O 25; 32: 1]. In 1941, aided by the Emergency Rescue Committee and the President's Advisory Committee, he reached New York City.
Natonek's first two years in America were very difficult. He supported himself by doing menial odd jobs while writing of his experiences in Suche Nach Mir Selbst (In Search of Myself). In 1943 he moved to Tuscon, Arizona, where he continued his literary pursuits, contributing stories and poems to newspapers and magazines in the United States and in Europe. In 1949 he married Anne Morgenstern Grunwald, a native of Frankfurt, Germany, who lived with him until his death from leukemia on Oct. 24, 1963.
- Acquisition information:
All items in the Hans Natonek Papers were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Mrs. Anne G. Natonek on 17 March 1981.
Divided into 3 topical file series.
- Processing information:
Processed in 1989 by Judith Myrth.