Hannes Richter

Professor Egon Schwarz

Hannes Richter

Egon Schwarz, Professor Emeritus of Germanic Languages and Literatures in Arts & Sciences and Rosa May Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour of the Republic of Austria.
As an internationally recognized scholar and expert on 19th and 20th century German Literature, he taught at Washington University in St. Louis, MO for 32 years before retiring in 1993. He has made valuable contributions to the study of German literary figures, such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Herman Hesse, Arthur Schnitzler and Joseph von Eichendorff.  As literary critic and essayist for the Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) and other well-known German media publications, he established high standards for the treatment of literature.  He is a distinguished representative of the generation of ‘exile Germanists’ who made valuable contributions to German Studies in America.

Born in Vienna in 1922, his family was forced to leave Austria at the time of the Anschluß in 1938 when he was fifteen.  His book, Verbannung (1964), was the first major study of the literary exiles who left their home country after the rise of Hitler. His autobiography, Keine Zeit für Eichendorff. Chronik unfreiwilliger Wanderjahre (1979), translated into English under the title, Refuge. Chronicle of a Flight from Hitler, chronicles his family’s remarkable escape through Bratislava, Prague and Paris, across the Atlantic through the Panama Canal and finally to Bolivia and then to the United States and is considered one of the most outstanding books on exile literature.