Franz Theodor Csokor

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Memorial tablet for German and Austrian refugees in Sanary-sur-Mer, among them Franz Theodor Csokor

Franz Theodor Csokor (6 September 1885–5 January 1969) was an Austrian author and dramatist, particularly well known for his Expressionist dramas. His most successful and best-known piece is 3. November 1918, about the downfall of the Austria-Hungary monarchy. In many of his works Csokor deals with themes of antiquity and Christianity.


Csokor was born into a respectable middle-class family in Vienna. (The name Csokor is Hungarian and means bunch [of flowers]). He started on a course of art history, but did not finish it. From early on he felt a calling to be a dramatist, and composed his first pieces before World War I. He spent 1913/14 in Saint Petersburg.

During World War I he was a soldier, and was latterly employed in the War Archives

From 1922 to 1928 Csokor was the dramaturgist at the Raimundtheater and at the Deutsches Volkstheater in Vienna.

From 1933 he was already a decided opponent of National Socialism and signed a document saying so at the PEN congress in Dubrovnik. In 1938, after the annexation of Austria to Germany, he emigrated voluntarily, and after travelling via Poland, Romania and Hungary, ended up in Italy in 1944, where he lived in Rome. He worked for the BBC and returned to Vienna in 1946 in British uniform.

In 1947 Csokor became president of the Austrian PEN Club, with which he remained actively associated until well into his old age. In 1968 he also became vice-president of the International PEN.

As a convinced humanist Csokor spoke up in his dramas for peace, freedom and human rights. His creative life was also closely connected with the Labour movement.

Csokor was awarded the title of Professor.

He died in Vienna, and is buried in a grave of honour in the Zentralfriedhof.[1] The Csokorgasse, a street in Vienna, was named after him in 1975. In 1994 the Austrian Post Office published a special stamp in his honour.

Decorations and awards[edit]


Theatrical pieces[edit]

  • Die rote Straße, 1918
  • Die Stunde des Absterbens, 1919
  • Gesellschaft der Menschenrechte, 1929
  • Besetztes Gebiet, 1930
  • 3. November 1918, 1936; Ephelant 1993.[3] ISBN 3-900766-07-X.
  • Gottes General, 1939; Ephelant 1993.[4] ISBN 3-900766-07-X.
  • Kalypso, 1942
  • Der verlorene Sohn, 1943; Ephelant 1993.[5] ISBN 3-900766-07-X.
  • Cäsars Witwe, 1954
  • Pilatus, 1954
  • Hebt den Stein ab, 1957
  • Jadwiga, 1966
  • Der tausendjährige Traum, 1966
  • Alexander, 1969
  • Der Kaiser zwischen den Zeiten, 1969


  • Hildebrands Heimkehr, eine deutsche Sage, 1905
  • Schuß ins Geschäft (Der Fall Otto Eißler), 1925
  • Über die Schwelle, short stories, 1937
  • Der Schlüssel zum Abgrund, novel, 1955
  • Der zweite Hahnenschrei, short stories, 1959
  • Ein paar Schaufeln Erde, short stories, 1965
  • Auch heute noch nicht an Land. Briefe und Gedichte aus dem Exil. With Das schwarze Schiff and Zeuge einer Zeit. Ephelant 1993. ISBN 3-900766-05-3.

Lyric poetry[edit]

  • Die Gewalten, 1912
  • Der Dolch und die Wunde, 1917
  • Ewiger Aufbruch, 1926
  • Das schwarze Schiff, 1945, 1947; 1993[6]
  • Immer ist Anfang, 1952


  • Als Zivilist im polnischen Krieg, Allert de Lange, Amsterdam 1940
  • Als Zivilist im Balkankrieg, Ullstein, Vienna 1947
  • Auf fremden Straßen, Desch, Vienna 1955
  • Zeuge einer Zeit: Briefe aus dem Exil 1933–1950, Langen-Müller, Munich 1955
  • Autobiographical sketch by Franz Theodor Csokor, ca. 1914 for Franz Brümmer; In: Digital Edition of the lexicographic papers from the literary estate of Franz Brümmer


  • Lilly Adler: Die dramatischen Werke von Franz Theodor Csokor. Vienna: university dissertation 1950.
  • Joseph P. Strelka (ed.): Immer ist Anfang. Der Dichter Franz Theodor Csokor. Lang, Frankfurt am Main and elsewhere. 1990. ISBN 3-261-04254-0.
  • Eckart Früh: F. Th. Csokor, ein Frondeur. In: 3. November 1918. Der verlorene Sohn. Gottes General., Ephelant 1993, pp. 249–254. ISBN 3-900766-07-X.
  • Harald Klauhs: Franz Theodor Csokor. Leben und Werk bis 1938 im Überblick. Heinz, Akad. Verl., Stuttgart 1988. (= Stuttgarter Arbeiten zur Germanistik; 204) ISBN 3-88099-208-8.
  • Ulrich N. Schulenburg (ed.): Lebensbilder eines Humanisten. Ein Franz Theodor Csokor-Buch. Löcker, Vienna 1992. ISBN 3-85409-182-6.
  • Paul Wimmer: Der Dramatiker Franz Theodor Csokor. Wagner, Innsbruck 1981. (= Dramatiker, Stücke, Perspektiven; 4) ISBN 3-7030-0086-4.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Gruppe 32 C, Nummer 55
  2. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 178. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  3. ^ with Der verlorene Sohn and Gottes General.
  4. ^ with 3. November 1918 and Der verlorene Sohn.
  5. ^ with 3. November 1918 and Gottes General.
  6. ^ In: Auch heute noch nicht an Land. Briefe und Gedichte aus dem Exil. (see Prose).
  7. ^ Excerpt in FTC, Der 25. Juli in Zwischenwelt. Theodor Kramer Society Jg. 27 #4, February 2011 ISSN 1606-4321 pp. 46f.