Walter Landauer (1902-1944)

Hermann Kesten and Walter Landauer (1902-1944). Copyright: International Institute of Social History.

  • Profession: Publisher
  • Residences:
  • Relation to Mahler:
  • Correspondence with Mahler:
  • Born: 31-08-1902 Berlin
  • Died: 20-12-1944 Bergen-Belsen
  • Buried: 00-00-0000

Walter Landauer was a German publisher. He studied in Frankfurt, together with Fritz Helmut Landshoff and Hermann Kesten and since 1927 worked as an employee at the Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag in Berlin, where Landshoff was previously admitted as co-director, Kesten also worked there.

After the Nazis seized power in 1933, three-quarters of the publications were banned and the three left the publishing house. Fleeing through Austria and Switzerland, Landauer was looking for work at various publishing houses. Only in Amsterdam could he work at the publishing house Allert de Lange, founded in 1880.

Gerard de Lange, the founder’s son, offered him a job as a leader of the German division of the publishing house. He had to ensure that writers who were expelled from their home countries got a new publisher. As head of the German-speaking department of Verlag Allert de Lange, Walter Landauer started his work in the autumn of 1933. He got Hermann Kesten on his side as editor. The first author to contract Landauer became Georg Hermann.

Besides the Querido Verlag, Allert de Lange was one of the most successful exil publishers, ninety German-language editions were published in the period 1933 to 1940. After the German occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940, the German-speaking section of the publishing house was closed. Thomas Mann’s attempt to help Landauer flee to the United States failed. After a period of hiding in the Netherlands, Walter Landauer was nevertheless arrested and deported in 1943. He died in December 1944 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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