to follow there was not to be a minute in which Adolf Hitler, his masters, and his minions could forget that.
was born on 22 July 1894 at Berg, Bavaria. His father was a baker, his mother of peasant stock. He served an apprenticeship in his father's bakery, and at the age of sixteen went to Munich to make his own way. He worked at many jobs but decided that he wanted to be a writer. His first poetry was published shortly before he was called up by the draft. From 1914 to 1917 he served with the German army on the Russian front. In 1918 he participated in the republican revolution in Bavaria and witnessed its defeat. He opposed Nazism from the beginning and left Germany when Hitler came to power in 1933. The Nazis offered to forget his opposition and promised to recommend his books as 'blood and soil' literature if he would return. Graf's answer was contained in a statement Verbrennt mich (Burn my books too!), which was published in newspapers all over the world. Graf's books were then banned in Germany and he was one of the first to be deprived of citizenship. In 1934 Graf emigrated from Austria to Brünn, Czechoslovakia, where he remained until 1938. In that year he came to the United States and has since made his home in New York. His autobiographical novel The Life of My Mother was written in exile.
from The Life of My Mother by OSKAR MARIA GRAF
AS USUAL on All Soul's Day, I went to Berg to go with mother to our family grave in the parish cemetery. If I did not appear at Christmas time, or on other important holidays, she did not take it amiss. But I had to be there when we visited the grave.
The November day was warm, and the sun shone mildly. The rolling fields stretched out in the distance to unite with the pale blue of the sky. The gently ruffled waters of the lake smelled of fish, and the forest trees, to which the last remaining leaves still