Gerhart Hauptmann (15 November, 1862 – 6 June 1946) was a German novelist and Nobel Prize laureate.
- Born as Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann in Lower Silesla, which was part of Prussia, but now is considered to be part of Poland.
- The author had barley passed the qualifying exams to the Realschule in Breslau. He disliked the school because the teachers were very strict and students of noble birth were treated better
- Mr. Hauptmann left the Realschule to be in his uncle’s form and learn agriculture. However, the physically demanding occupation and a life threatening lung disease put an end to that career within 18 months.
- In 1885 Mr. Hauptmann married Marie Theienemann, the couple fell in love with the island of Hiddensee. During this period Mr. Hauptmann began to write novels and plays. The couple had three sons, all born when the lived in the town of Erkner for four years. The marriage lasted until 1904, before that Mr. Hauptmann already had a mistress, and Mrs. Hauptmann has moved to the US with their three sons.
- Mr. Hauptmann’s first novel, The Fool in Christ, Emanuel Quint, was published in 1910. In 1912 he published the fictional book Atlantis which became a 1913 Danish silent film. The novel told of a romance aboard a doomed ocean liner and was coincidentally written one month before the RMS Titanic sank, but released about a year later. Perceived as insensitive, the film was banned in Norway.
- In 1912 Mr. Hauptmann received the Nobel Prize for Literature “primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art”.
- He was the first recipient of the Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches (The Eagle Shield of the German Reich). The award is for scholarly or artistic achievements, even though his popularity has started to decline.
- Mr. Hauptmann toured the US lecturing about Goethe, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Columbia University.
- Mr. Hauptmann applied for membership in the Nazi party, after they came to power, but was denied by the regional party office. The author did not agree with their political philosophy, and anyway regarded himself a poet and above politics. He was a believer in eugenics (like George Bernard Shaw – they were both wrong), however, and was a founding member of the German Society for Racial Hygiene in 1905.
- The Nazis leadership, however, did everything to keep him from leaving Germany due to his popularity with the German people. The Propaganda Minister, Goebbels, personally kept an eye on his works and censored some of it
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