Carl Zuckmayer (1896 – 1977)
Carl Zuckmayer, a German writer and playwright, was born in Nackenheim (Rhenish Hesse). When the First World War broke out he was eighteen years old and – like many other high school students – finished school with a facilitated “emergency”-Abitur (High School exam) before volunteering for military service. He served with the field artillery on the Western Front. In 1917 he published his first poems in the pacifist journal Die Aktion.
Zuckmayer’s poem 1917 is one of the tracks on my album Krieg. Its words are spoken by ‘Der neue Mensch’ (“The New Man”) that rose from the front when it became clear that politics and reality drifted further and further apart in the course of the war. Zuckmayer apparently was so ashamed of 1917 that he only released it 50 years later.