Born in 1887, Arnold Zweig was a German writer and pacifist who is best known for writing about the cruelties and atrocities of war.
After being educated in literature and history at university, Zweig volunteered for the German army during WWI. He was stationed on the western front when the German army began to take a census of its Jewish soldiers. Shaken by this anti-Semitism, and by the many cruelties of war which he witnessed, Zweig became a pacifist.
This new attitude quickly appeared in his work.He published Das Ostjüdische Antlitz (1920), attempting to create sympathy among German Jews for Eastern European Jews.
In the 1920s, Zweig learned about Socialism and also began a long-term dialogue with Sigmund Freud, whose work greatly influenced his personal development. In a letter to Freud dated March 1927, Zweig wrote, “I personally owe to your psychological therapy the restoration of my whole personality, the discovery that I was suffering from a neurosis, and finally the curing of this neurosis by your method of treatment.” Their correspondence continued for over a dozen years, until Freud's death in 1939, and was compelling enough to later be published. You can learn more about Freud in prompt 161.
Zweig's greatest triumph came in 1927, with the publishing of his anti-war novel The Case of Sargeant Grischa. The story follows the trials of a Russian prisoner who is abused by Germans during WWI. It made him an internationally known literary figure.
Zweig immediately went into exile when the Nazis took power in 1933. Initially he lived in Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and France, where he spent time with Leon Feuchtwanger, who you can hear about in prompt 143, Thomas Mann, and Bertolt Brecht. Eventually he settled in Palestine where his disillusionment with Zionism eventually took him back to his interest socialism. In 1948, Zweig was invited to live in East Berlin, and eventually died there in 1968.