Anna Seghers: Transit

(1159 words)

In 1940, the prolific writer Anna Seghers (born Netty Reiling, 1900-1983) was in exile with her two young children in France, while her husband, Laszlo Radvanyi, was interned in a prison camp in Le Vernet. During this turbulent time, Anna Seghers began writing the partially autobiographical novel Transit. Like Seghers herself, the novel’s protagonist travels from Paris after the German invasion to the still unoccupied Marseilles, in order to obtain the necessary visas and paperwork for fleeing Europe altogether. To this end, the concentration-camp escapee, who had assumed the name Seidler but whose real name is never revealed to the reader, now takes on yet another identity. On paper he is a writer named Weidel, who, like h…

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Marston William, Jennifer. "Transit". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005
[, accessed 08 July 2015.]