Carl Amery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Carl Amery (9 April 1922 – 24 May 2005), the pen name of Christian Anton Mayer, was a German writer and environmental activist. Born in Munich, he studied at the University of Munich. He was a participant of Gruppe 47. He died in Munich.

Personal life[edit]

Son of art historian Anton Mayer-Pfannholz, in his childhood he predominantly lived in Passau and Freising. At Passau he attended the Humanistisches Gymnasium Passau, at Freising the Dom-Gymnasium. Both cities left traces in his work. Passau appears in his novels Der Wettbewerb and Der Untergang der Stadt Passau. Freising appears in the novel Das Geheimnis der Krypta. He was scholarship student of Stiftung Maximilianeum and studied Philology at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at Catholic University of America.

In 1943 he got POW in the Tunisian campaign. He returned to Munich in 1946 and resumed his studies in linguistics and literary criticism. He began to write, first under the name Chris Mayer. Then he choose the pseudonymous Carl Amery. Amery is an anagram of Mayer.

He died of an Emphysema and was buried at Ostfriedhof (Munich) May 30, 2005.


In 1954 his first novel Der Wettbewerb was published. In 1958, now member of Gruppe 47, his novel Die große Deutschlandtour established his reputation as satirist.

In 1963 his publications Die Kapitulation oder Deutscher Katholizismus heute and Das Ende der Vorsehung. Die gnadenlosen Folgen des Christentums revealed another side of his work. He allotted the global ecocide to Christianity and that predestined him as thought leader of political ecology. Further publications, particularly Die ökologische Chance, and his personal engagement emphasised this leadership. He was an early member of Alliance 90/The Greens and in 1980 founded the independent E. F. Schumacher society.

From 1967 to 1971 he was director of Münchner Stadtbibliothek. In this time he didn't publish anything.

In 1974 he turned over to science fiction and fantasy. For a "high literature" author an anusual step. In particular G. K. Chesterton influenced him to that step. He later published Chesterton's Sci-Fi novels in a revised German version. Especially three novels belong to the sci-fi sector: Das Königsprojekt (1974), Der Untergang der Stadt Passau (1975) and An den Feuern der Leyermark (1979). Two further novels address fantasy and bavarian spirituality: Die Wallfahrer (1986) and Geheimnis der Krypta (1990). In the latter, same as in An den Feuern der Leyermark or Das Königsprojekt, he, like e.g. L. Neil Smith, discussed the influence of minor changes in special historic circumstances for changing the whole history.

From 1985 onwards his collected works were published as single releases by Paul-List Verlag Munich. In 2001 Amery stated in an interview that he would not publish any novels for health reasons. After his death the rights to his publications were held by his widow Marijane Mayer, until her death in 2019.

Novels and short stories[edit]

Title Year
Der Wettbewerb 1954
Die große deutsche Tour 1958
Das Königsprojekt
(Czech: Kralovsky projekt)
(Czech: 1997)
Der Untergang der Stadt Passau 1975
An den Feuern der Leyermark 1979
Im Namen Allahs des Allbarmherzigen 1981
Nur einen Sommer gönnt Ihr Gewaltigen 1985
Die starke Position oder Ganz normale MAMUS 1985
Die Wallfahrer 1986
Das Geheimnis der Krypta 1990


Title Year
Die Kapitulation; oder, Deutscher Katholizismus heute
(English: Capitulation: an Analysis of Contemporary Catholicism)
(English: 1967)
Fragen an Welt und Kirche. 12 Essays 1967
Das Ende der Vorsehung. Die gnadenlosen Folgen des Christentums 1972
Natur als Politik. Die ökologische Chance des Menschen. 1976
G. K. Chesterton oder der Kampf gegen die Kälte 1981
Leb wohl, geliebtes Volk der Bayern 1982
Die ökologische Chance 1985
Das ökologische Problem als Kulturauftrag 1988
Hitler als Vorläufer. Auschwitz – der Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts? 1998


  • Furness, Raymond and Malcolm Humble (1991). A Companion to Twentieth Century German Literature. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-01987-7.