Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert (1921-1947), a German author and playwright, served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. While there, a cut on his hand became infected and he contracted hepatitis, a condition that continued to worsen. In 1946, after the war ended, doctors gave him a year to live . With little time left, he wrote prose and poetry. He wrote The Man Outside in January 1947, shortly before passing away.

The Man Outside

Fiction by Wolfgang Borchert

Translated from the German by Kay Boyle

With a contribution by Wolfgang Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert died in 1947––the twenty-six-year-old victim of a malaria-like fever contracted during World War II. This was just one day after the premier of his play, The Man Outside, which caused an immediate furor throughout his native Germany with its youthful, indeed revolutionary, vision against war and the dehumanizing effects of the police state. In a very real sense, Borchert was both the moral and physical victim of the Third Reich and the Nazi war machine.…
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