Fun Facts Friday: Joseph Roth

September 2, 2022

Joseph Roth (2 September, 1894 – 27 May, 1939) was an Austrian novelist and journalist. He is known for Radetzky March, a family saga about the decline, and eventual fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as his novels and essays on Jewish life.

Books by Joseph Roth*
Books by Joseph Roth*

Fun Facts about Joseph Roth:

  1. Moses Joseph Roth was born in Brody (in what is now Ukraine), to a Jewish family.
  2. Roth grew up with his mother and her family. His father disappeared before he was born, and the two never met.
  3. After secondary school, Mr. Roth studied philosophy and German literature at the University of Vienna. However, he stopped before graduating to volunteer for the Austro-Hungarian Army on the Eastern front.
  4. After the war, Mr. Roth had a distinguished, and profitable, career as a journalist in Germany, reporting widely from parts of Europe.
  5. In 1922, Joseph Roth married Friderike Reichler. In the late 1920s Mrs. Roth discovered she had schizophrenia which caused the couple an emotional crisis, as well as a financial burden. Mrs. Roth lived in an asylum for several years until she was murdered by the Nazis.
  6. The author published his first novel, The Spider’s Web, in serialized form in an Austrian newspaper. He achieved modest success with other novels, but the publication of Job and Radetzky March made him more known for his novels than for journalism.
  7. In 1933, when Hitler became Reich Chancellor, Mr. Roth had the good sense to leave Germany. He spent the next six years in Paris.
  8. In the mid-1930s, Joseph Roth had a romantic relationship with fellow German Irmgard Keun. The couple worked and traveled together.
  9. The last years of Joseph Roth’s life were full of turmoil. He was an alcoholic, living I hotels, anxious about money and the future.
  10. Michael Hofmann, Roth’s biographer, said that the author might have converted to Catholicism before he died. It was said that Mr. Roth had a Jewish funeral, as well as a Catholic one.

Books by Joseph Roth*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Joseph Roth
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Fun Facts Friday: Joseph Roth
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Joseph Roth (2 September, 1894 – 27 May, 1939) was an Austrian novelist and journalist. He is known for Radetzky March, a family saga bout the decline, and eventual fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as his novels and essays on Jewish life.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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