Pantheon Books


Verlag der Johannespresse

L. B. Fischer Corp.
L.B. Fischer Corp.
Gottfried Bermann Fischer
Son of a doctor from Upper Silesia, Gottfried Bermann became a doctor himself after serving in World War I, but bit by bit he drifted from medicine toward literature. Engaged to Brigitte Fischer, he was invited by her father, Samuel FIscher, to join S. Fischer Verlag, which he did in 1925. Bermann FIscher, who had taken his wife's name, as she had his, took over the press' general operations after his father-in-law's retirement and soon became a successful publisher in his own right. His path after the Nazi takeover is complicated. After making a go of it as long as he could in Berlin, he left the firm in the hands of a colleague, Peter Suhrkamp, and feld to Austria in 1936. In Vienna until 1938, Bermann Fischer continued to publish some of Germany and Austria's most renowned writers - including Döblin, Hesse, von Hofmannsthal, and Schnitzler - under the imprint of Bermann-Fischer Verlag. After the Anschluss he transplanted to Stockholm and published there as well for almost two years. Ending up in New York in 1940, he first passed almost two months under arrest, traveled through Russia on a Transsiberian train, from Japan to Hawaii by ship and then to California, before settling in Connecticut.

Photograph of Gottfried Bermann Fischer in Stockholm, 1938. Courtesy of the Deutsches LIteraturarchiv Marbach.