Berlin: Gesellschaft der Freunde des neuen Russland in Deutschland, 1928-1932. First edition. Softcover. The Magazine was founded in 1924 after the death of Vladimir Lenin on January 21, 1924. The Society of the Friends of the New Russia in Germany was founded in June 1923 and organized lectures, trips to the Soviet Union and published the magazine "Das Neue Russland. The editor Erich Baron was a German lawyer, journalist, politician and resistance fighter against National Socialism. Baron was arrested the night of the Reichtagsbrand in February of 1933. He was tortured and possibly committed suicide on April 26 of the same year. He was found hanged in his prison cell.
This extraordinary collection of the magazine documents its growth and popularity on one hand and the growing pains of the influential magazine on the other. The advertisements placed in the magazine are a testament to its reach in society, e.g. Neuer Deutsche Verlag advertising Eugene Lyons' title "Sacco und Vanzetti, the magazine "Film und Volk" offering a Heinrich Mann title, the MOPR publishers offering titles on the persecution of literature and art and the Malik Verlag, however, advertisements were also placed by the I.G. Farbenindustrie Altiengesellschaft and various organizations furthering the Russian export in Europe, among many others. Text in German.
Its first issue was published in May-June 1924. The Society of the Friends of the New Russia in Germany was a German organization of intellectuals in the Weimar Republic, continuing the work of the Correspondence Series for Russian Cultural and Economic Questions (Korrespondenzfolge für russische Kultur- und Wirtschaftsfragen) and was part of the International Workers Relief, aiming to become an organ of impartial information regarding the cultural and economic currents in the new Russia, and fostering cooperation of the two countries in these fields.
Among the founding members were the Russian actress Marija Andrejewa, Alfred Paquet, and Professor Westphal, representing the Prussian Cultural Ministry. In 1924 the journalist, politician and resistance fighter Erich Baron became the General Secretary of the society and editor of the magazine. The board included Helene Stöcker, Max Osborn, Franz Hilker and Eduard Fuchs. The magazine originally was published with stiff wraps (11 1/4 x 8 1/2") in variant colors with modern typography on covers, introducing some illustrations and b/w photographs in the first issues. In 1926 the design changed to include photo-illustrated cream paper covers in the same size. In 1927 the format was reduced (9 3/8 x 7") and the red covers were illustrated with photographs, photomontages and artwork with changing modern typography from then on. Photomontages were occasionally presented in the photographic displays in the issues themselves. Starting with the August issue of 1931 some of the members of the "Gesellschaft der Freunde des Neuen Russland" are listed on the inside front cover, e.g. Albert Einstein, Ernst May, Bruno Taut, Leo Kestenberg, S. Fischer, E. Rowohlt, Adolf Behne, Ernst Toller, Otto Klemperer, Max Pechstein, among others.
The first issue with modern design and typography on covers does not contain illustrations. It introduces Lenin's successor A. J. Rykow, and includes contributions describing the tasks and actions of the Russian Institute for Children's Literature, Russian housing compared to Western societies, the Russian Red Cross, marriage and divorce in Russia, Russian theater and art, education in the Ukraine, the development of the electrical grid and the publishing industry in Russia. A section at rear "News about and from Russia" contains book reviews and a "miscellaneous" section with brief news blurbs on industry, pedagogy, art, science, etc. The issue contains six pages of advertisements for publications from German publishers at rear, including back cover.
The original format continues until the double issue 1/2 of 1925, though in variant cover colors. These issues contain a few reproductions of modernist costumes for the film "Aelitta," which, in part, takes place on Mars. It was produced by the DAFU, German-American Film-Union. There are photos from Russian theater productions, photos depicting the Leningrad flood and industrial exhibitions, all with advertisement section at rear increasing in volume.
The March-April issue of 1925 features a photograph of the set design for Ernst Toller's play "Masse Mensch" on the cover. Masthead and typography is same. It was devoted to theater in Moscow and Leningrad and includes a feature on the Meierhold Theater with photographs of their productions, an article on the Jewish State Theater as well as other theater circles, Russian art, music and literature. This issue with covers detached, rubbed, some wear along edges and pencil notes in margins is the only damaged issue in the collection.
Issue 5/6 reverts back to the modern design of the first cover though issue 7/9, Vol. 2, features a b/w photograph of the rally Leningrad-Tiflis pasted to the cover, retaining the modern masthead and typography, and with issue 1/2 of Vol. 3 the cover design includes a b/w photograph, as in Vol 3/4 of this volume, with a photo of a German farm at the Volga on cover. Issue 3/4 then reverts to the original cover design. The contributions in this stretch include Ernst Toller from his manuscript "Russian Travel Letters), a photo-illustrated article on Russian architecture by Bruno Taut, a contribution by the outstanding character actor Konstantin Stanislawski, Leo Trotzki, the Meyerhold theater among many others though despite the obvious accentuation of the arts, generally the magazine portrayed the Russian nation as a whole, including political and economic issues.
With issue 5/6 of Vol. 3 the photographic cover, with original masthead, was adapted as a regular feature, printed on cream color covers through the end of the year. Issue 5/6 features a photograph of Panzerkreuzer Potemkin, a film by Sergej Eisenstein, on the cover and various reproductions of Heinrich Vogeler drawings in the issue. The following issue features a photograph depicting a scene of the play "Das heiße Herz" by Alexander Nikolajewitsch Ostrowski, while the following two issues feature Russian country folk on their covers. (1926 complete, six double issues)
Starting with the first issue of volume 4, 1927, now in reduced seize, new masthead, typography and photo-illustrated covers, the issues contain more b/w photographs (ca. 40) than previous issues. The first two issues in the new format feature photographic covers designed by John Heartfield, an extended illustrated contribution by S. M. Eisenstein: The Triumphal March of Russian Film and other contributions on Russian film, the development of Russian film by G. Boltjanski, both illustrated with photomontages, and an article on the production of "Cultural Films" in Russia.
The May 1927 issue, cover design by Paul Urban (now responsible for the cover design on a regular basis, with exceptions, including occasional John Heartfield designs), includes Leo Trotsky's contribution on culture and socialism, Bruno Walter on music in Soviet Russia and Egon Erwin Kisch's contribution "All of Russia in Coach." Generally the magazine attracted more and more notable contributors, e.g. Bruno Taut, Adolf Behne, J. M. Eisenstein, Erwin Piscator, Magnus Hirschfeld (The Adjustment of Sexual Life in the Soviet Union), Maxim Gorki, Upton Sinclair, M. B. Wolfson, Leo Tolstoi, Stefan Zweig, Ernst May, Ernst Toller, Romain Rolland, Bernhard Shaw, Walter Gropius, Anna Seghers, Hans Eisler, Hannes Meyer, Alfred Kerr, Alfred Döblin, and many others, as well as more prestigious advertisers, e.g. the Malik Verlag, Berlin.
In 1928 the second issue features a drawing by Käthe Kollwitz on the cover, issue 5 of 1928 a drawing by Max Oppenheimer and issue 6 a cover design by Viktor Triwas. (1928 complete, nine issues, three of them double issues). The May issue 1929 with a cover drawing by A. Misin and typography by Paul Urban, the April and July issues in 1930 photomontages by Gerhard Moser and the special issue of January 1931 and the regular 1931 and 1932 issues with cover designs and typography by Georg Kepes. The Society was under surveillance since its inception in 1923 and was banned by the Nazis in 1933.
1. Jahrgang, 1924, Heft 1/2 (May-June); 5/6; 7/8 (3 issues of 4, 11 1/4 x 8 1/2" through 1926);
2. Jahrgang, 1925, Heft 1-2; 3/4; 5-6; 7-8; 9-10; (6 issues complete)
3. Jahrgang, 1926, Heft 1/2; 3/4; 5/6; 7/8; 9/10; 11/12; (6 issues complete)
4, Jahrgang, 1927, Heft 1/2; 3/4; 5/6; 7/8; 9/10; 11/12 (6 issues complete, reduced size);
5. Jahrgang, 1928, Heft 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7/8; 9/10; 11/12; (9 issues complete)
6. Jahrgang, 1929, Heft 1-2; 3/4; 5/6; 7/8; (4 issues)
7. Jahrgang, 1930, Heft 1/2; 3/4; 5/6; 7/8; (4 issues)
8. Jahrgang, 1931, Heft 1 (Sonderheft); 2/3 (Volume/Jahrgang misprint) 4/5; 6/7; 8/9; (5 issues)
9. Jahrgang, 1932, Heft 1/2; 3/4; 5/6; 7/8. (4 issues complete). Very good condition. Item #48453