Talk:Ernst Toller

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  • Does anybody know more information about Ernst Toller - could you help expand this page? Vino s 16:23, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm gonna guess that the German page would be a great deal more informative, especially as it seems to contain serious errors. Now if only we could get someone to translate it. I'm sure someone would happily clean up the grammar and syntax if a native German speaker took this on.

That previous comment is from 1 September 2005, when the article consisted of about five sentences. It's a lot bigger now, but if anyone wants more info from the German article I can do it--just let me knowHohenloh 01:03, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


Ernst Toller (back) and Max Weber (front) in May 1917 at the Lauensteiner Tagung

The article's entry, "German Communist playwright" does not exactly sound right. Neither is the categorisation of Ernst Toller as a "German communist" a particularly fortunate one (perhaps in contrast to Johannes R. Becher, Anna Seghers and others). As a member of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic (which was deliberately called a "Councils' Republic" in Germany instead of using the Russian term), Toller has been a "revolutionary", and in his writings he has partly propagated 'socialist' ideals. Nevertheless, Toller has never been a party member, and is most notably known as an expressionist and New Objectivity playwright. Therefore I propose a change to a less catchy attribution such as "German poet, playwright, and revolutionary" or similar (cf. the articles on Bertolt Brecht and other left-wing authors of the Weimar era).

Another suggestion: How about adding that picture of Ernst Toller from the Commons? It shows Max Weber and Ernst Toller, two major opponents of the 1917 congress Lauensteiner Tagung of artists and scientists of the Weimar Republic who wanted to explore shared positions on a possible end of WWI. -- Diggindeeper (talk) 14:13, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


I am a German student of Germanistik and recently wrote an academic paper about him. I strongly disagree with the proposed fact that Toller was "disdained" by the Nazis in 1933. Fotunately he happened to be in Switzerland at the day of the Reichstags fire and thereby escaped the arrests by the SA. He never returned to Germany and never was in a KZ. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 25 May 2008 (UTC) For further information I recommend Richard Dove's bibliography "He was a German". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, why don't you just change it according to the research literature that you mention (and add the reference)? --Diggindeeper (talk) 15:24, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

As I am no native speaker I would not suggest that I'm the one to change the site - and possibly make mistakes then. I read the English article by accident and just noticed the wrong information. greets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm guessing "disdained" means "detained" in your comment? Anyways, I seem to recall the "feeding him his book" as an anecdote about some poor author. Perhaps it was someone other than toller?

The French Wikipedia article on Toller contains a quote from Toller in which he says that this thing did happen to him (unfortunately without a detailed source). The German article skips a lot of information and doesn't refer specifically to him being held in 1933 (which doesn't mean it didn't happen!). The Italian article (which is quite short) just says he was persecuted for his religion and political views. The Dutch article doesn't say anything specific. I think I have a book with some information about him (in German) and will check it out. (please use your sig) Hohenloh 00:57, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Other on-line sources on Toller, e.g. Spartacus Schoolnet, say he avoided detention in 1933, so I think the anecdote about him being forced to eat his own book is apocryphal. I am removing it and pasting it here. If there is enough evidence for this, put it back, but it won't be long before some idiot journalist quotes this and makes it "true".

In 1933, while in Germany, he was detained by the Nazis. Whilst in the concentration camp he was tortured by the guards who made him eat a complete volume of one his novels and force fed him castor oil.[1] After this incident, he was exiled from Germany.

BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:47, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
P.S. The (longer and well sourced) German article says nothing about this or his detention. I am not even sure that the Nazis had this sort of power as early as 1933.
P.P.S. I changed the French article too, although not being signed up there and not able to explain the change means it might be reverted. There is still no source though, after over a year.BobFromBrockley (talk) 10:56, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ Blumenthal, Walter Hart (1969). Bookmen's Bedlam: An Olio of Literary Oddities. Ayer Company Publishers. p. 154. ISBN 0836910222. More than one of |author= and |last= specified (help)


Toller has not been a communist, he decided very carefully not to join the communist but the social-democratic party. I'm writing this as student of the german language and I'm currently sitting in a seminar about Toller. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:37, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I checked this and also read the German-language article and tend to agree, and there is no reference provided for his membership, so I have changed this reference in the intro.Hohenloh + 17:34, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

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