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Put the name of the Czech writer Hermann Unger (rendered Ungar by his UK publishers Dedalus) into Google and the second entry you get is for the The Hermann Unger Literary Teahouse (Literární Cajovna Hermanna Ungera)! How fine is that!?


Winningly, the Teahouse gives a nice gloss on Unger's life:


The teahouse is named after a native of Boskovice whose writing was sometimes compared to that of Kafka. Hermann Unger was born in Boskovice in 1893 and grew up speaking German and Czech. While at school in Brno he became active in Jewish politics, and went on to study Hebrew, Arabic and law at university. The studies were interrupted by war and Hermann was dispatched to the Russian front from where he eventually returned wounded and with a silver medal for valour. His writing career began in 1920 with Boys and Murderers, and continued with The Maimed (1922) and The Class (1927). Unger became friends with some of Prague’s most famous Jewish-German writers: Paul Kornfeld, Ernst Weiss, and Franz Werfel, and was a contemporary of Franz Kafka and Max Brod.

He died of acute appendicitis at the age of 36 in December 1929, but has not been forgotten by the tea-connoisseurs of his hometown.

Readers Comments

  1. Mike Mitchell Thursday 18 June 2009

    All the German publishers of and authors of secondary literature on the Czech/German writer Unger/Ungar 'render' his name as Ungar

  2. Mike Mitchell Thursday 18 June 2009

    PS His granddaughter calls him Ungar

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