was born in Hamburg in 1901, the son of a cigar worker. He attended public school until World War I when, in conditions of labor shortage, he became a metal worker. As an organizer of the metal workers, he was sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a demonstration in Hamburg during the inflation. After being pardoned and released in 1924 he worked on a labor paper, became a merchant seaman for a time, and then returned to the metal trades. In 1928 he was appointed editor of the Hamburger Volkszeitung. Articles published in this paper led to his conviction for 'high treason' by the Reich Supreme Court and a sentence of two years' fortress arrest. While a prisoner he completed a novel, Machine Shop N & K, the story of a Hamburg strike and its consequences. His writings resulted in a third prison sentence in 1932. He was still behind bars when Hitler came to power and upon completion of his sentence was transferred to Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp near Hamburg. He escaped from this camp in 1934 and reached Prague, where he lived until the outbreak of the Franco rebellion in Spain. While in Czechoslovakia he wrote The Inquisition, a novel of concentration camp life which was published throughout free Europe. Bredel fought on the side of the Spanish Republic as a member of the International Brigades. After the Franco victory he lived in France. When the Daladier government started to intern anti-Nazi refugees, Bredel escaped to Sweden by air and then went to the Soviet Union. He makes frequent broadcasts to German troops over the Russian radio, visits camps of German war prisoners, and is a member of the National Committee of Free Germany, which was organized in Moscow in July 1943.
by WILLI BREDEL.
Moscow, March-April 1942.
MY DEAR FRIENDS: After long silence, I send you my joyful greetings. So much has happened since we were together in Paris! We
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Publication information: Book title: Germany: a Self-Portrait:A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943. Contributors: Harlan R. Crippen - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1944. Page number: 433.
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