Grete Berges, Return to Hamburg (July 22, 1953), p. 6

Source Description

In an article titled “Wiedersehen mit Hamburg” [Return to Hamburg], writer, translator and literary agent Grete Berges, who exiled from Germany in 1936, describes her return to the city from which she was expelled by the National Socialists. Seventeen years have passed between her escape and her return visit. In 1953 she accompanied the Swedish writer Per Olof Ekström, whose agent she was, on a business trip to Hamburg. On the occasion of this return, her short article “Wiedersehen mit Hamburg” [Return to Hamburg] was published in the Hamburger Abendblatt on July 22, 1953. In it, she describes her ambivalent feelings when visiting the city where she had grown up and where she felt she belonged until she was forcibly expelled from it because of her Jewish background. When asked whether she wanted to settle permanently in her hometown again, she found clear words. Even if she could imagine visiting Hamburg again, a permanent return was out of the question for her. Berges' article is representative of numerous exiled persons whose career and personal life had come to an abrupt end. But even after the reasons for her flight had ceased to exist, Berges' conclusion makes it clear that returning home and mending these broken threads was not easily possible. Rather, her exile continued to have an effect on her and did not end with the end of the war in 1945.
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Recommended Citation

Grete Berges, Return to Hamburg (July 22, 1953), p. 6 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [June 21, 2024].