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Die Causa Baumann: ein Nazidichter als ,Russlandversteher‘?

Walter Koschmal

Pages 391 - 405

Hans Baumann (1914 –1988) was possibly the most important poet and composer of Nazi songs such as “Today we have Germany, tomorrow we’ll have the entire world.” His lyrics served in the struggle against an indeterminate “East.” At the same time, Baumann saw himself as a mediator of Russian culture, though his conveyance of it suffers from the banality and vagueness of his style. He exemplifi es how German reception of Russian literature could hardly free itself from national-socialist infl uences in the 20th century. His aesthetically and poetically problematic translations of A. Ackmatova’s poems misrepresent her poetics and he similarly eliminates the aesthetic, motivic, and Russian specifi city of children’s literature. In spite of this, large German publishers and others made Baumann the most important translator of these works in post-war Germany. Baumann, Russia’s false friend, continues to discredit Russian culture with his unchanged style even after 1945. This has an adverse effect on the German reception of Russian literature.


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