19 October 1891|
Līgatne, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
|Died||21 November 1979
Riga, Latvian SSR
|Occupation||actress, theatre director, writer|
In 1924 she met the German philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin in Capri, and the duo would have an intermittent affair for the next several years as he visited her in Moscow and Riga. She has been cited as a factor in Benjamin's embracing Marxism.
After being imprisoned for several years in Stalinist Russia she moved to Soviet Latvia in 1948 and spent her old age together with her husband, the German theatre critic Bernhard Reich. 1950 - 57 she was the main director of Valmiera Drama Theatre and used the leftist avantgarde technics in her stage productions. Her daughter Dagmāra Ķimele depicted Asja in her memoirs in 1996 as a selfish and unloving mother.
Lācis' granddaughter is the acclaimed Latvian theatre director Māra Ķimele.
- Mark Lilla, "The Riddle of Walter Benjamin" in The New York Review of Books, May 25, 1995
- Ingram, Susan (2002). "The Writing of Asja Lacis". New German Critique. 86 (86): 159–177. JSTOR 3115205. doi:10.2307/3115205.(via JSTOR)
- Latsis, Anna (1984). Krasnaia gvozdika: Vospominaniia (in Russian). Riga: Liesma. OCLC 13003307.(memoirs)
- Ķimele, Dagmāra and Strautmane, Gunta. Asja: režisores Annas Lāces dēkainā dzīve [Asja: The Stormy Life of the director Anna Lāce]. Riga: Likteņstāsti, 1996.
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