Novelist: Hans Grimm

This has been one of those amazing yet frustrating finds. Having picked up on Der Ölsucher von Duala as being a World War One novel published in 1933 and slotted it into place, in researching about Hans, it materialised that he had at least three other books about the war published earlier. It’s frustrating as it throws my chronology of authors out of sync, but wonderful as more novels of the time have come to light. Now to brush up my German reading skills…

Hans Grimm had spent some time in Port Elizabeth and East London in about 1908 and then in 1910 was in German South West Africa as journalist for Tägliche Rundschau. George Danton mentions he served on the German front during the war before becoming an interpreter for the Foreign Office. He wrote numerous books based in Africa.

1875 – born in Wiesbaden, 22 March
1908 – Port Elizabeth and East London in South Africa
1910 – German South West Africa
1914 – War service in Germany
1917 – Writer for German Colonial Office
1920s – toured German South West Africa
1959 – died Lippoldsberg, 29 September

Books on World War 1

Der Gang durch den Sand (1916) – set in GSWA (summary)
Die Olewagen-Sagen (1918) – set in GSWA (summary and excerpt)
Volk ohne Raum (1926) – touches on East, West and South West Africa. For a breakdown of what is covered see Danton
Der Ölsucher von Duala. Ein afrikanisches Tagebuch (1933, although Namibiana suggests 1918 as his first commissioned book by the German Colonial Office.

Sources and other bits

Folk Dance and Safari – some thoughts on Hans Grimm’s photographs from South West Africa
Namibiana
Wikipedia

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