Events Calendar

Ina Wudtke Exhibition and Welcome Back Party
Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 12:00pm - 02:00pm

Ina Wudtke

THE RED 1 MARK NOVELS

EXHIBITION: January 24 - April 24, 2024

OPENING: Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 12noon FINISSAGE: Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 12noon

OPENING HOURS: Mo - Fri 9 am - 4:30 pm

In the course of her research on the tradition of worker writers, Ina Wudtke came across the Rote 1 Mark Romane (Red 1 Mark Novels). They were conceived as the antithesis to the penny dreadfuls that bourgeois publishers produced for the proletariat. Marxist newspapers of the 1920s launched the workers' correspondence movement. Workers were invited to

submit texts about their living and working conditions. These were initially printed in serialized form. Between 1930 and 1933, they were also published as paperbacks in the series Der Rote 1 Mark-Roman in Germany. Book covers in this series today are difficult to find as these books were illegal in the Nazi area from 1933 on and could cause serious problems for their owners (in order to be able to keep the books, the covers would often be replaced by an unsuspicious book title). Only after extensive research in various stores, public and private archives was it possible to reconstruct the covers of the complete series of Rote 1 Mark novels as Risograph prints. For her exhibition THE RED 1 MARK NOVELS at Rutgers, Ina Wudtke combined the series of covers with a video made in 2018 in cooperation with Hamburg rapper Captain Gips about one of the authors of the Rote 1 Mark novels: Willi Bredel. Captain Gips plays metalworker Willi Bredel, who was born in Hamburg in 1901. Bredel was one of the best-known worker writers of his time and his books were translated into 17 languages. His book The Ordeal, published in London in 1934, was the first written account of conditions in a concentration camp. Bredel lived in exile for the rest of the Nazi era. Along with Bertolt Brecht and Lion Feuchtwanger, he edited the literary journal Das Wort, published in Moscow from 1936 to 1939. However, today Willi Bredel has been forgotten. It is time to put his name back on the map and honor him as an antifascist resistance fighter.

The free magazine PIRATE JENNY features texts by the German worker writer Margarete Steffin (1908-1941) translated to English. Margarete Steffin is best known as the unknown collaborator of Bertolt Brecht. Brecht, the son of a factory owner, initially hired Steffin who was born into a workers family to rework his texts into a language understandable to workers. In the course of their collaboration, they developed a collective writing style. Even after fleeing into exile in Denmark in 1933 alongside Brecht, Weigel, and their two children, and before her untimely death in Moscow in 1941, Steffin worked intensely with Brecht on the works Mother Courage and Her Children, Round Heads and Pointed Heads, The Horatians and the Curiations, Señora Carrar’s Rifles, The Trial of Lucullus, The Good Person of Szechwan, Galileo, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. All of these works were published solely under Brecht's name after Margarete Steffin's death. In PIRATE JENNY Ina Wudtke introduces a selection of Steffins own short novels and poems to an English speaking audience for the first time.