Richard Plant (writer)

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Richard Plant (July 22, 1910 – March 3, 1998) was a German-American writer. He is said to have written, in addition to the works published under his own name, several detective novels or Kriminalromane, on which he collaborated with Dieter Cunz and Oskar Seidlin, and which were published under the collective pen-name of Stefan Brockhoff.[1]

Richard Plant was born Richard Plaut in Frankfurt am Main to the family of the town councillor Theodor Plaut. His grandfather had been the Chief Rabbi of that city. His father was secular, no-religious, and a socialist medical doctor. Upon the accession of the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933 and the zealous enforcement of the provisions of Paragraph 175 of the criminal code against homosexuality, he was obliged to leave Germany for Switzerland in concert with his partner, Oskar Seidlin[citation needed]. His immediate family did not leave, for "It won't be so bad," was their feeling. Here he obtained a doctorate from the University of Basel (Universität Basel) in 1935 with a dissertation on Arthur Schnitzler, written under the supervision of Franz Zinkernagel (1878–1935) and Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer (1864–1937).[2] Meanwhile, his dad and stepmother left Germany for California. Could an excellent physician begin again, pass exams in the US, in a new language? Some of his patients in Germany were high officials. They returned to the Reich. Shortly after Kristall Nacht, they committed suicide.

His first non-academic book seems to have been a children’s tale, Die Kiste mit dem großen S., published in 1936.[3] This was followed in 1938 by his Taschenbuch des Films.[4] In the same year, Richard Plaut arrived in the United States, where he eventually adopted the name Richard Plant. Here another children’s book, S.O.S. Geneva, co-authored with Oskar Seidlin, was published in October 1939.[5] His next book had to await the end of the Second World War, when The Dragon in the Forest appeared in 1948.[6] After Richard Plant made it to the US, he also worked for Klaus Mann, son of Thomas, and he did some work for Siegfried Kracauer. He also did some broadcasts for NBC that were related to work for the OSS, the predecessor to the American CIA.

From 1947 to 1973, Plant taught at the City University of New York, and discontinuously also at the New School for Social Research.

Plant, who was gay,[7] is the author of The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals (1986; German translation, 1991).[8]

Plant died in New York City on March 3, 1998.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cf. Stefan Brockhoff, Schuß auf die Bühne (Leipzig, Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, 1935); id., Musik im Totengässlein (Bern, etc., Goldmann, 1936); id., Drei Kioske am See (Leipzig, Goldmann, 1937); id., Begegnung in Zermatt (Munich, Goldmann, 1955). Another novel, entitled ‘Verwirrung um Veronika’, is said to have been serialized in the Zürcher Illustrierte in 1938. Cf. Angelika Jockers and Reinhard Jahn, eds., Lexikon der deutschsprachigen Krimi-Autoren (2nd ed., rev.; Munich, Verlag der Criminale, 2005). The present writer is unable independently to corroborate the attribution in question.
  2. ^ Published as: Richard Plaut, Arthur Schnitzler als Erzähler (Frankfurt am Main, Kornsand, 1935).
  3. ^ Richard Plaut, Die Kiste mit dem großen S.: Eine Geschichte für die Jugend, with illustrations by Lucy Sandreuter (Aarau, Sauerländer, 1936). This was issued in a Dutch translation the following year.
  4. ^ Richard Plaut, Taschenbuch des Films (Zurich, Albert Züst, 1938).
  5. ^ S.O.S. Geneva, by Richard Plant and Oskar Seidlin, with drawings by William Pène du Bois (New York, Viking Press, 1939). This was issued in Switzerland as: S.O.S. Genf: Ein Friedensbuch für Kinder, with illustrations and dust-jacket design by Susel Bischoff (Zurich, Humanitas Verlag, 1940).
  6. ^ Richard Plant, The Dragon in the Forest (Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1948).
  7. ^ Kennedy, Hubert C. (1999), The Ideal Gay Man: The Story of Der Kreis, Haworth Press, p. 39, ISBN 0-7890-0689-8 
  8. ^ Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War against Homosexuals (New York, H. Holt, 1986); id., Rosa Winkel: Der Krieg der Nazis gegen die Homosexuellen, translated from the English by Danny Lee Lewis and Thomas Plaichinger (Frankfurt am Main, Campus-Verlag, 1991).