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John M. Spalek

John M. Spalek
Copyright: Goethe-Institut/Maik Schuck

For over forty years, John M. Spalek has tirelessly worked to keep the memory of German exile to the United States between 1933 and 1945 alive. He wrote a number of standard works on exile literature, thus creating the precondition for systematic research into the forced intellectual transfer from the National Socialists’ sphere of control to the United States. With a detective’s instinct, Spalek has been able to save the estates of over 200 German exiles from being lost to posterity. These include countless irreplaceable testimonies to German-language intellectual history such as the correspondences between Thomas Mann and Hedwig Rossi, George Grosz and Hermann Borchardt as well as Soma Morgenstern and Stefan Zweig and manuscripts, photographs, telegrams and sketches by luminaries such as the author Joseph Roth and the sociologists Joseph and Alice Maier.