Young Germany and Heinrich Heine
But lords of the realm of dreams are we …
I quote William Langer in preparation for my next post: Heinrich Heine’s 1833-1836 “The Romantic School” … Ludwig Tieck.
Heine was exiled from his German home land in 1835.
“The extent to which the repression of thought could go was best shown by the fate of the Young German movement, a strictly literary movement which bore no relation to the Mazzinian organization of the same name. The Young Germans were a group of prose writers who had in common their reaction against classicism, idealism and romanticism, and their devotion to the attitude and thought of the Enlightenment. Greatly concerned with questions of the day, they aimed to reach a greater public through effective journalistic writing.
These writers reflected the ideas of French democracy in their demands not only in politics but also in social relations.
The group was greatly influenced by two expatriate writers, Ludwig Börne and Heinrich Heine. Börne, sometimes described as the father of German political journalism, was a thoroughgoing democrat, an admirer of Robespierre as the incarnation of republican virtue. He had hurried to Paris on the eve of the July Revolution, and during the years 1831-1833 sent to Germany 112 Letters from Paris in which he described French conditions in glowing terms and compared the fighting French democrats with the humble and subservient Germans.
Heine, one of the greatest of German writers and a satirist sans pareil, arrived in Paris in 1831 and in 1832 published his reports under the title French Conditions, in which, again, he rhapsodized about the land of liberty and laughed heartily over his benighted and submissive countrymen. “In France,” he declared, “even one-tenth of the sufferings borne by the Germans would have provoked thirty-six revolutions and caused thirty-six princes to lose their heads as well as their thrones.” *
*Langer, William, “The Rise of Modern Europe: Political and Social Upheaval: 1832-1852.” 1969, pp. 123,573.