1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Karl O. Paetel Papers

1904-1984

Funding for the arrangement and description of this collection provided by the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.

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Abstract

Karl Otto Paetel was a political journalist, born in Berlin, forced to flee Germany in 1935 (Paetel was sentenced to death in absentia by the Nazis), and immigrated to the United States in 1940. Paetel's interests focused on the radical movements and social changes in the Twentieth Century from his youth until his death in 1975.

Summary

Creator:
Paetel, Karl O. (Karl Otto), 1906-
Date Coverage:
1904-1984
Quantity:
70 cubic ft.

Karl Otto Paetel was born on November 23, 1906 in Berlin, where he attended school from the elementary levels through university studies at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Berlin. It was during his time at the Siemens-Oberrealschule (1923-27) that Paetel first became a member of a youth group, the Kngener Bund; he later joined the group Deutsche Freischar. His early association with youth groups and the German Youth Movement (Jugendbewegung) remained one of the major interests throughout his lifetime. The German Youth Movement became popular shortly after World War I and had a major influence on that generation of German intellectuals who grew up in the first third of the Twentieth Century. Paetel became a leader of the movement and, at the age of twenty-four, co-edited with Ernst Jnger, Die Kommenden, a central periodical of the movement.

In 1930 Paetel was arrested as a participant in an anti-Versailles demonstration by Berlin students, an event which led to the loss of his stipendium for university study, the discontinuation of his studies and his turn to journalism full-time. In addition to his work on Die Kommenden, Paetel also became editor of the Handbuch der deutschen Jugendbewegung, as well as the periodicals, Die sozialistische Nation and Antifaschistische Briefe. In 1932, he also became leader of the radical group, Gruppe sozialrevolutionrer Nationalisten. His activities led to his arrest and internment on several occasions during the years 1933-1934.

In January of 1935, Paetel was forced to flee Germany to Czechoslovakia where he remained for six months, continuing to write for such periodicals as Die neue Weltbhne and Neues Tagebuch. During the period from July 1935 to March 1937, Paetel went to Sweden via Denmark, then back to Czechoslovakia, to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and finally to France. Paetel spent nearly three years in France where he continued to write and eventually edited and published a series of underground pamphlets for German youth entitled Schriften der Jungen Nation.

After being officially deprived of his German citizenship and sentenced to death in absentia in 1939, Paetel was next interned in Roland Gaross-Damigny-Bassance, a French prisoner-of-war camp (February-June 1940). After his release from the camp, he fled through France to Lisbon, Portugal, and sailed in December 1940 to the United States.

Paetel arrived in New York City on January 13, 1941. Over the next several years, he held positions for the Office of European Economic Research and the Army Service Force, Morale Services Division of the War Department. He also performed research tasks for other writers, American institutes and agencies and continued to write on his own. His publications during these years included Nazi-Deutsch: A Glossary of Contemporary German Usage (with Heinz Paechter, Bertha Hellman, Hedwig Paechter, 1944), Ernst Jnger: Die Wandlung eines deutschen Dichters und Patrioten (1946), Deutsche innere Emigration: Anti-Nationalsozialistische Zeugnisse aus Deutschland (1946), Ernst Jnger: Weg und Wirkung: Eine Erfllung (1949), and Ernst Jnger: Eine Bibliographie (1953).

Paetel's interest in the radical movements of the day continued throughout his lifetime and is reflected in his writings. These movements included National Bolshevism (Nationalbolschewismus), a movement describing a group of individuals who were nationalists in the political sense, but socialists in economic terms; in 1965 Paetel published a history of National Bolshevism in German entitled Versuchung oder Chance? His interest in individuals, who did not fit into neat political or social categories, led to his interest in the American Beat movement and especially writer, Jack Kerouac, a leading beat poet; Paetels Beat Anthologie (1962) is one of the earliest publications on the American Beat Generation. Another prominent interest in his life, especially after 1933 and his escape from Nazi Germany, was German resistance to National Socialism (Widerstand) and exile. Das Dritte Reich und seine Gegner is only one example of his many writings on the topic of resistance.

The collection contains autobiographical materials, diary, 1940, correspondence with Hannah Arendt, Manfred George, Ernst Jnger, Henry Kissinger, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, and others, 1940-1972, manuscripts of books, articles, essays, and reviews, 1940-1972, offprints and clippings, materials pertaining to five exile magazines published by Paetel, four audio recordings, 1957-1966, and photographs. The collection also includes a large collection of ephemera pertaining to the German Youth Movement, anti-Nazi resistance, refugee problems, exile writers, and postwar German politics. Paetel also retained manuscripts of and biographical materials pertaining to the German novelist Ernst Jnger and the manuscript and woodcuts for a children's book by Kte Dring.

The Karl O. Paetel Papers consist of 71.5 linear ft. of materials, which reflect its owner's many interests including Jugendbewegung (the German Youth Movement), Widerstand (resistance to Hitler), writer Ernst Jnger, refugees and exile topics. Although his main collection of materials pertaining to the Jugendbewegung was bequeathed to the Archiv der deutschen Jugendbewegung in Burg Ludwigstein, Germany, duplicate materials pertaining to the youth movement, as well as the remainder of his collection, is located in Albany. Paetel was an avid collector of books, pamphlets, periodicals and other materials on the subjects of his interest, many of which have been retained in his collection.

The correspondence section, dating primarily from 1940-1975, contains many original letters as well as photocopies of many original letters which were transferred to Burg Ludwigstein.

The manuscript section contains manuscripts of both Paetel's published and unpublished writings. Included are manuscripts of several of his major published works, numerous essayistic pieces, as well as several volumes in planning stages. The publications section contains originals (many as clippings) and copies of Paetel's publications, including a nearly complete set of his essayistic writings and numerous reviews in newspapers, periodicals and books.

In his capacity as editor of several periodicals, including Deutsche Bltter, Deutsche Gegenwart and Gesprchsfetzen, Paetel received manuscripts from other writers. The section containing manuscripts by others includes shorter manuscripts by such authors as Paul Amann, Heinz Gollong, Alfred Gong, Paul Hagen, Werner Kindt, Th. Kgler and Robert Koehl and longer manuscripts by Michael Wurmbrand and Frederic McLean.

Of significant interest in the collection are Paetel's collections of materials on various topics, including sizable collections on Ernst Jnger, Heinz Gollong, Widerstand and Jugendbewegung. The various topics are supplemented by the additional materials, which are located in both the pamphlet and the periodicals collections.

The collection is organized into nine topical series with further subseries.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Elizabeth Paetel (Mrs. Karl) in May 1980.1980 May

Processed by: Sandra H. Hawrylchak

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-04-14 12:35:16 -0400

Converted to collection-level EAD with older HTML container list, 2016 October

Encoded in EAD by Sandra H. Hawrylchak, 2006 October 17

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Karl Otto Paetel Papers, 1907-1984. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Paetel Papers).

Contents of Collection

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains numerous articles about Paetel or in which he is mentioned, dating from 1930-1982 and including a number of obituaries and memorial addresses (1975). Also included in this section are materials pertaining to the two Festschrifts published on the occasions of his 50th (Aufrecht zwischen den Sthlen) and his 65th (Don Quichotte en miniature) birthdays. Documents include several pertaining to Paetel's parents and grandparents, documents pertaining to emigration, numerous job applications and accompanying recommendation letters, as well as Wiedergutmachung (restitution) documents. In addition, the series includes numerous address lists (mailing lists for publications, periodicals) and membership lists.

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Contents

The correspondence files contain approximately 7800 letters in original or photocopy, arranged alphabetically within four sub-series: 1) General correspondence A-Z, 1940-1984; 2) Correspondence in response to Paetel's article in Die Zeit, 1947-1948; 3) Correspondence with publishers and re: publications, 1941-1983; and 4) Correspondence with organizations, institutions, 1941-1981.

This section contains the main body of Paetel's correspondence with fellow writers and former youth movement leaders, and includes letters to and from: Stefan Andres, Max Barth, Artur von Behr, Ludwig Blanck-Conrady, Hans Friedrich Blunck, Rudolf Daur, Jean-Pierre des Coudres, Joseph E. Drexel, Charlotte Ehrke, Manfred George, Heinz Gollong, Artur Grosse, Heinz Gruber, Walter Hammer, Pablo Hesslein, Hans Jaeger, Ernst Jnger, Erich von Kahler, Joseph Kaskell, Kurt Kersten, Werner Kindt, Werner Kleinow, Richard Lagrange, Werner Lass, Ernst Niekisch, Heinz Orth, Udo Rukser, Hermann W. Schmid, Albert Theile, Paul Tillich, Max Wehling, Johannes Welke, and Karl August Wittfogel.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically

This subseries contains letters written to Paetel in response to his article entitled "Freunde im Ausland," published in the German newspaper Die Zeit (19 June 1947), and reprinted in Union Flchtlingsdient (September 1947), in which Paetel asked readers to write to him with descriptions of conditions in post-war Germany. Paetel later published many of the responses in issues of Deutsche Gegenwart.

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Contents

Arranged alphabetically

Included in this subseries are correspondences pertaining to book publications (Beat. Eine Anthologie), edited periodicals (Deutsche Bltter, Deutsche Gegenwart, Deutschsprachiges Forum, Gesprchsfetzen), as well as correspondence with editors and publishers of newspapers for whom Paetel wrote.

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Arranged alphabetically

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This series contains manuscript versions of Paetel's autobiographies, Ein Deutsches Tagebuch and Reise ohne Uhrzeit, both of which were published posthumously. Also included in this series are texts of several autobiographical essays.

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Contents

Arranged alphabetically

The series includes among others, manuscript materials to: Beat. Eine Anthologie, Das Bild vom Menschen in der deutsche Jugendfhrung, Jugendbewegung und Politik, Jugend in der Entscheidung, Versuchung oder Chance?, as well as Paetel's works concerning Ernst Jnger.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by draft manuscript title.

Included in this section are also early versions of works which later evolved into published works.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically.

This series includes manuscripts of Paetel's poetry, short stories and epigrams, and essayistic writings, and consists of both published and unpublished pieces. The titles listed are working titles and may differ from later published titles.

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arranged alphabetically by the author of the work being reviewed.

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Contents

This subseries includes duplicate copies of Paetel's Jnger book, clippings of short stories and autobiographical writings.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by title.

This subseries contains primarily clippings of essayistic writings, some photocopies of articles, as well as a number of magazine issues containing articles. In the case of multiple publications of the same essay, the essay is listed by the first title under which it appeared.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by the author of the work reviewed.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by title of work reviewed.

Paetel was either the main editor or assistant editor of a number of periodical publications. This series contains copies of periodical issues, address lists, and supporting manuscript materials.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by title of work reviewed.

Included in this series are also reviews or reactions to articles written by Paetel.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically by author

Included in this series are full-length manuscripts of plays by Paul Amann, novels by Michael Wurmbrand and Frederic McLean, uncorrected proofs of novels by Lion Feuchtwanger, Heinrich Hauser, and Gnther Weisenborn, and a monograph by Mario Domandi. Also included are numerous shorter manuscripts on subjects ranging including youth topics (Jugendbewegung), resistance (Widerstand), and post-war Germany.

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arranged alphabetically by name of individual.

These files consist primarily of clippings and reprints.

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Contents

arranged alphabetically.

Topics heavily represented in the subject files include American Indians, the Beat generation, civil rights and Black issues, Germany, John F. Kennedy, labor unions and labor issues, literary topics, neo-fascism and neo-Nazis, radical youth, refugees and expellees (especially post-war Germany), and World War II.

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The scrapbooks were compiled by Heinz Gollong and contain materials pertaining to the German youth group, Jungsturm, and other youth movement issues.

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This subseries consists primarily of clippings of articles from periodicals and includes numerous excerpts from the full-length novels of Jnger, as well as clippings of essayistic writings.

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Contents

This section contains manuscripts of articles on Jnger, as well as clippings of published articles about Jnger in general, as well as reviews of individual works.

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Contents

divided into groups, individuals, and subjects and arranged alphabetically within.

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arranged alphabetically and by topic.

The series contains files on individuals associated with the resistance movement, as well as numerous articles on the uprising of July 20, 1944 and the resistance movement in general.

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The series is arranged with unauthored pamphlets first, followed by authored items: 1) Jugendbewegung / Youth; 2) Refugees / Expellees; 3) Widerstand; and 4) Miscellaneous topics

The pamphlet collection contains many rare and unique publications which will eventually be individually catalogued.

arranged alphabetically.

A large portion of the pamphlets date from the 1920s.

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arranged alphabetically.

These pamphlets deal predominately with conditions in post-war Germany and problems of refugees displaced during and immediately following World War II.

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arranged alphabetically.

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arranged alphabetically.

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The periodicals range from single issues to longer runs and will eventually be catalogued.

arranged alphabetically

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arranged alphabetically.

including Hitler-Jugend Periodicals

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arranged alphabetically.

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Contents
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arranged alphabetically.

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Contents