A leading scholar of 19th- and 20th-century German literature, Egon Schwarz, PhD, is one of the United States’ most respected Germanists and is internationally recognized for his writing on the work of poet Rainer Maria Rilke and novelists Arthur Schnitzler, Herman Hesse and Thomas Mann, among others. Schwarz received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2008.
Sharing a firsthand perspective on Europe under Hitler’s regime
He is the author of “Verbannung” (1964), the first major study of the literary exiles who left Germany because of Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Born Aug. 8, 1922, in Vienna to Jewish parents, Schwarz was not yet 16 in March 1938 when the National Socialists assumed power in Austria, turning his life upside down. After many harrowing experiences and via circuitous routes, the Schwarz family arrived in South America. He moved to the United States in 1949 and taught at Washington University for 32 years.
He is the recipient of the Joseph von Eichendorff Medal (1986), the Austrian “Ehrenzeichen” for Science and the Arts (1990), the Alexander von Humboldt Scholarship Prize (1995), the Grand “Ehrenzeichen” for Services to the Republic of Austria (2007), the Cotta Prize for Literature of the city of Stuttgart (2008) as well as many other awards, including fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations.
His autobiography, “Keine Zeit für Eichendorff,” appeared in 1979 and was republished in 2006 as a paperback under the title “Unfreiwillige Wanderjahre.” An English translation was published in 2002 titled “Refuge: Chronicle of a Flight from Hitler.”