M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

GERMAN AND JEWISH INTELLECTUAL ÉMIGRÉ COLLECTION

Finding Aid for the
THOMAS OTTO BRANDT
PAPERS, 1906-1968

(GER-001)


 

For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff or (518)-437-3935

Finding Aid Compiled by
E. G. Van Tuyl
 February 17, 1994



 
 
 
 
 
 

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 1.5 cubic ft.

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Heidi Brandt (Mrs. Thomas) in October 1993.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Series Description

Box and Folder List:


Thomas Brandt, Papers
Biographical Sketch

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Thomas O. Brandt was born on November 18, 1906, in Vienna, Austria.  After completing his doctoral degree in Germanic and English languages and literatures in 1933 at the University of Vienna, he worked in Vienna as a free lance writer, editor, critic and lecturer in Vienna.  His publications included Der Ewige Kreis, an anthology of modern Austrian poetry, and Der Froehliche Gasthof, a novel.

In 1938 Brandt emigrated to the United States and found a position as a research assistant in German Literature at Harvard University. From 1939-1943, he served as Senior Master at the Lakeside Preparatory School in Seattle, Washington.  He married Esther L. Myhre (Heidi) in 1942 and became a US citizen in 1943.  The birth of sons Christopher (1943), Andrew (1946) and Peter (1947) followed.  From 1943-1944, Brandt was a German instructor at Oregon State College and then professor and department chair at William and Mary College from 1945-47.  He spent 1944-45 working for the US Office of War Information, first as a field representative and editorial assistant in London, and then as editor and chief of the German translation section in New York.

From 1947 to 1966 Brandt taught German at Colorado College where he eventually became full professor and Chair of the Department of German and Russian. There he initiated several foreign student and teaching exchange programs and founded the Max Kade Deutsches Haus.  From 1967 to 1968, the year of his death, Brandt was a professor of German at the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Brandt had a diverse and active career.  From the mid 1950s to the late 1960s he presented many lectures on topics related to germanic studies and American culture as experienced by Europeans, including a lecture series funded by the US Department of State (1957,1965) and one at the Goethe Institut in Mexico City (1966).  Both series included lectures broadcast on local radio stations.  In 1954 and 1956 he led American graduate study groups in Europe and in 1961 he was invited by the government of the Federal Republic to lead a study tour through Germany.  He spent 1956-1957 on a leave of absence from Colorado College as a visiting professor for the University of Maryland in Stuttgart, where he published several articles in the Stuttgarter Zeitung.  Brandt also taught at the Middlebury College (Vermont), Deutsche Sommerschule during the summers of 1960 and 1962.  While on sabbatical in 1963, Brandt travelled to Spain, Mallorca, France, Switzerland and Germany, where he continued his writing.  On a leave of absence in 1965, he travelled and lectured in Europe and was a participant in the Internationaler Germanisten Kongress in Amsterdam.

In addition to fulfilling his duties as a professor, Brandt held several offices in various germanic studies organizations.  He served as President of the Mountain-Plains Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (1955-57) and was a member of the National Advisory Board for Wayne State University's Junior Year Program (1966-68).  From 1963-68 he was a member of the Editorial Board for Universitas in Stuttgart and also served as Managing Editor for the German Language Quarterly, 1962-1964.[1]

Chronology

Nov. 18, 1906   Born in Vienna, Austria

1928-1933        Studied at the University of Vienna

1933                 Recieved doctorate (cum laude), Germanic and English languages and literatures

1933-1938         Freelance writer, editor, critic and educator in Vienna

1938                 Emigrated to the United States

1938-1939        Research Assistant, German Literature, Harvard University

1939-1943        Senior Master, Lakeside Preparatory, Seattle, Washington

1942                Married Esther L. Myhre (Heidi)

1943                Received U.S. citizenship

1943                Son, Christopher, born

1943-1944        Instructor (German & Sociology) Oregon State College

1944-1945        US Office of War Information, London and New York

1945-1947        Asst. Prof., William and Mary College

1946                Son, Andrew, born

1947                Son, Peter, born

1947-1967        Assoc. Prof., Prof. and Chair of German and Russian Dept., Colorado College

1956-57           Visiting Professor, Univ. of Maryland, Overseas Branch, Stuttgart, Germany

1960                Gedichte - Poems published

1960, 1962       Visiting Professor, Deutsche Sommerschule, Middlebury College, Vermont

1962-1962        Managing Editor, The German Quarterly

1963                Sabbatical to Spain, Mallorca, France, Switzerland, Germany

1967-1968        Professor of German, University of New Hampshire, Durham

Jan. 9, 1968      Died
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Notes

1. Biographical information obtained from Thomas Brandt's personal papers and from Deutsche Exilliteratur Seit 1933, vol. 3., part 2, edited by John M. Spalek and Joseph Strelka, New York: Francke Verlag, 1989.


Thomas Otto Brandt Papers
Scope and content note

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The Thomas O. Brandt papers are of interest to researchers of German exile literature, Germanistik (study of German language and literature) and academic and cultural developments in post war United States and Europe.  The collection contains some biographical information on Thomas Brandt, particularly as related to his professional activities and correspondence with students and numerous publishers.

The bulk of the collection consists of copies of Brandt's works dating from his pre-emigration days in Vienna to the time of his death in 1968.  Poems, a large number of short stories and essays, vignettes, dramas, articles and reviews, novels, lectures and two books appear in the collection.  In addition, there are some offprints of Brandt's journal articles.  Also of interest are the notes and annotations by Heidi Brandt, the author's wife, on many of the works throughout the collection.  No official documents related to Brandt's position with the Office of War Information (1944-45) appear in the collection.  But one vignette, "Civil Service Goes To War" and a few references in his correspondence deal with Brandt's attempt to gain employment with the government and his impressions of his work there.

Brandt published his work in English and German language academic journals and serials.  His articles appear in publications ranging from scholarly journals to news papers such as the Colorado Springs Free Press, Brandt's "hometown newspaper."  His publications demonstrate his active engagement in the academic arena as well as a continuous and thoughtful examination of his environment.  In addition to publishing book reviews and scholarly research about German language and literature, he wrote about the need for academics to publish, language acquisition, his observations on the American higher education system, aspects of American culture in contrast to European society, politics and travel.

Brandt was a prolific story writer as well as an essayist.  The collection contains copies of Brandt's unpublished novels, including "Stern im Nebel", which concerns the 1933-1938 period.  Brandt's short stories cover a wide range of topics from the whimsical to the satirical.  His works often stem from personal experience.  Stories such as "Schatten auf Mallorca" and "Eines Tages in Seville" draw from Brandt's impressions of Spain's cultural and political climate during his travels there.

The poetry found in this collection spans Brandt's entire writing career.  In 1960, he published a German/English volume of poetry, Gedichte - Poems, and the children's book, Andy, or When I'm Famous.  Both of these works contain lithographs by Heidi Brandt.  His poetry shows influence of the German Romantics; prominent themes are nature, the seasons, childhood, love and death.[2]

Throughout his career, Brandt remained an active and prolific writer.  The largest portion of his correspondence deals with his attempts to get his works published.  Letters to and from publishers such as Piper, Otto Walter, Carl Hanser, Claassen, Mohrbooks, Kiepenheuer und Witsch, Hoffmann & Campe, Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung date from the 1960-1967 period and chiefly discuss publication of the author's short stories, "Vignetten und Skizzen" and the story, "Schatten auf Mallorca."  Although Brandt published many of his articles, most of his novels and short stories were not published.  There is also some correspondence concerning the publication of Brandt's 1960 German/English volume of poetry (Dyva & Jeppsens Bogtrykkeri, Copenhagen).  The letters between Brandt and his former students and colleagues from the Lakeside Preparatory School exchanged during WWII show him to be a well respected and dedicated teacher.
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Notes

2. Thieberger, R. in Stuttgarter Zeitung, August 1963, and Fleissner, E. M. in Wells College Gallery Publication.  These clippings about Brandt's poerty appear in Series I: Biographical Material.


Thomas Otto Brandt Papers
Series Description

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Series I:  Biographical Material. 1906-1968.  2 file folders.  (57 leaves)

 Contains several curriculum vitae, lists of publications and works from 1944 to 1967, newspaper clippings and articles about Brandt and reviews of his publications.

Series II:  Correspondence. 1939-1967.  3 file folders.  (172 leaves)

 Contains 1 folder of correspondence from former students and colleagues from the Lakeside Academy during the WWII period (1939-1945).  This folder also includes a few letters written by Brandt and one letter about the author written by Brandt's wife after his death (German).  The bulk of the correspondence (2 folders) deals with Brandt's efforts to get his works published. (1958-66)

Series III:  Literary Works. 1933-1968.  1.3 cubic ft.  Arranged chronologically under the following subseries:

 Articles/Reviews, 1930s-1960s:  Clippings and offprints of articles on Austrian literature and culture, and literature from other German-speaking populations; and book reviews by Brandt from his Vienna days and American career.

 Essays, 1935-1966:  Forty-nine English and German essays, published and unpublished, about a variety of topics concerning cultural and political issues as well as issues in academia.  The essays span Brandt's career.  (1944-1967)

 Novels, 1939-1966:  Manuscripts of five of Brandt's unpublished novels, including the three part work, Stern im Nebel.

 Vignettes, 1940s-1967:  A series of thirty-six vignettes in German, except for "Civil Service Goes To War," an account of Brandt's Office of War Information (OWI) employment.

 Aphorisms, 1949-1967:  914 aphorisms developed by Brandt.

 Short Stories, 1951-1965:  Manuscripts of twenty-eight stories in English and German; largely unpublished.

 Dramas, 1951-1967:  Mansucripts of seven short dramas, including "Gestern Kommt Morgen."

 Poems, 1960-1968:  Numerous poems, published and unpublished, written throughout Brandt's career (51 leaves).  One German/English volume Gedichte - Poems, published in 1960 and a children's poem, Andy or When I'm Famous (1968), are cataloged into the Libraries' book collection.  Both works are illustrated with lithographs by Heidi Brandt.


Thomas Otto Brandt Papers
Box and Folder List

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Box 1:

Series 1 - Autobiographical Materials.  1906-1968.  2 file folders  (57 leaves)

 1. Vitae; lists of publications and works. (1906-1968)
  2. Clippings and reviews about Brandt and his publications. (1960-1968)

Series 2 - Correspondence.  1939-1967.  3 file folders  (172 leaves)

 3. Letters from students and colleagues, 1939-1945.  Includes 1 letter by Heidi Brandt.
 4. Letters to and from publishers, 1958-63
 5. Letters from publishers, 1966-1967.

Series 3 - Literary Works.  circa 1933-1968.  1.3 cubic ft.

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Articles/Reviews, 1930s-1960s:

  6. 1930s, Vienna
  7. Post Vienna Period, 1940-early 1950s
  8. 1950s
  9. 1960s

Essays, 1935-1966:

  10. List, German/English, circa 1935-1951,
      List, German essays after 1958
  11. "Publish or Perish," undated
  12. "The German Study Tour," undated
  13. "Jedermann in der Weltliteratur," circa 1938
  14. "Ibsen und das Wienner Theater," circa 1938
  15. "Educational Inflation," 1946
  16. "Educational Objectives," 1948
  17. "On Insincerity in the Arts," 1948
  18. "Oesterreichische Dichtung Zwischen Zwei Kriegen," 1949
  19. "Austrian Literature Between Two Wars (1918-1938)," 1949
  20. "Bemerkungen ueber das Amerikanische Erziehungssystem," 1949
  21. "Educational Deflation," 1951
  22. "The Modern German Kurzgeschichte," 1951
  23. "Aus Den Tellurischen Provinzen und Humor," 1951
  24. "American Misconceptions About Modern German Literature," 1953
  25. "Versuch Einer Stilldiagnose Unserer Zeit," 1958
  26. "Erziehung Als Vernunftglaube," 1958
  27. "Sprachautomation in USA," 1958
  28. "Anpassung und Unabhaengigkeit in Heutigen Amerika,' 1958
  29. "Die Krise der Amerikanischen Erziehung," 1958
  30. "Cocktails," 1958
  31. "Colorado: Traumland der Amerikaner," 1958
  32. "Ad Astra," 1958
  33. "Gedanken ueber die Zeitengenoessische Deutsche Dichtung," 1959
  34. "Die Invasion des Privaten durch die Mechanisierte Sprache," ca. 1960
  35. "Parlando--Selbstentfremdung und Unverbindlichkeit," circa 1960
  36. "Elisabeth Langaesser: Gedichte," 1960
  37. "A General Statement," 1960
  38. "Der Gottesbegriff in der Neueren Deutschen Lyrik," 1960
  39. "Epistola Ad Me Ipsum," 1960
  40. "Amerikanismen," 1960
  41. "Machtspiel und Unermuedbarkeit der Amerikanischen Reklame," 1960
  42. "Amerikanische Eindruecke von einer Studienreise," 1961
  43. "Hitler Ante Portas," 1961
  44. "Brecht und die Bibel," 1962
  45. "Portugesisches Ballett," 1963
  46. "Einsamkeit in Amerika," 1963
  47. "Versuch ueber den Nordamerikanischen Humor," 1963
  48. "Freiheit in USA," 1963
  49. "Lyrik Ohne Leier," 1964
  50. "Die Amerikanische Germanistik und Ihre Zeitschriften," 1964
  51. "Rhetorik in den Vereinigten Staaten," 1964
  52. "Bertolt Brechts Amerikabild," 1964
  53. "Die Sprachfuehrung Bertolt Brechts," 1964
  54. "Service - Made in USA," 1964
  55. "Der Amerikanische Optimismus," 1965
  56. "Weltraum fahrt - Wohin?" 1965
  57. "Die Zahl als Mythos?" 1965
  58. "Die Grossen Debatten Amerikas," 1966
  59. "Staatsuniversitaeten im Goldenen Westen," 1966

Novels, 1939-1966:  (unpublished manuscripts)

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  60. "Die Liebenden," circa1935 early work from Vienna period    62. "Der Mut der Feigheit: ein Kleines Tagebuch aus Grosser Zeit, 1939
  62. "Stern im Nebel," Notes from author/Heidi Brandt re:novel
  63. "Stern im Nebel," Part I, German, 1939-1957
  64. "Stern im Nebel," Parts I-II, German, 1939-1957, with notes from the author
  65. "Stern im Nebel," Part II, German, 1939-1957
  66. "Stern im Nebel," Part III, German, 1939-1957
  67. "Stern im Nebel" (Star in the Fog), Author's Summary in English, 1939-1957
  68.  "Stern im Nebel" (Star in the Fog), Part I, English, 1939-1957
  69. "Stern im Nebel" (Star in the Fog), Part II, English, 1939-1957
  70. "Stern im Nebel" (Star in the Fog), Part III, English, 1939- 1957
  71. "Heineckes Gast," 1953
  72. "Schatten auf Mallorca," 1966

Box 2:

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Vignettes, 1940s-1967:

 1. "Civil Service Goes To War" (work at OWI), circa 1940s
  2. "Repartee," 1946
  3. "Das Schoene Maedchen," 1951
  4. "Das Schiff in der Flasche," 1951
  5. "Muede," 1951
  6. "Drei Brueder," 1951
  7. "Hilarianer Beeren," 1953
  8. "Der Krieger," 1954
  9. "Die Fliege," 1956
  10. Original Lists from Brandt
  11. "Textuellekonvergenz," circa 1960
  12. "Die Tapferkeitsmedaille," 1961
  13. "Am Fenster," 1961
  14. "Llangollen," 1961
  15. "Woroschilow," 1961
  16. "Umzug," 1961
  17. "Jumporama," 1961
  18. "MBA," 1961
  19. "Die Greisen," 1961
  20. "Hitler Ante Portas," 1961
  21. "Der Kaefig," 1961
  22. "Anstandsbesuch," 1961
  23. "Strassenkreuzung," 1961
  24. "Wahlvorgang," 1961
  25. "Von den Moeglichkeiten," 1961
  26. "Auf Besuch," 1961
  27. "Freundlicher Nachbar," undated
  28. "Zeitraumalgebra," 1964
  29. "Urlaub," 1964
  30. "Ehre," 1964
  31. "Spare in der Zeit," 1964
  32. "Ruhm," 1964
  33. "Die Rede," 1964
  34. "Ueber Schnelligkeit," 1964
  35. "Bescheidenheit Ist Eine Zier," 1964
  36. "In Der Praerie," 1964
  37. "Das Waren noch Zeiten," 1964
  38. "Beschwerliche Nacht," 1964
  39. "Nicht Umsonst," 1965
  40. "Herr und Diener," 1965
  41. "Meditationen," 1965
  42. "Zitate," 1965
  43. "Alphabetanien," 1965
  44. "Duerfen," 1965
  45. "Eine Verwirrende Begebenheit," 1965
  46. "Tante Luise," 1965
  47. "Wortverfremdung," 1966
  48. "Philologie," 1966
  49. "Shine," 1966
  50. "Schlagwoerter"
  51. "Veraenderungen," 1967
  52. "Wer Immer Strebend Sich Bemueht...," 1967
  53. "Schadenfreude," 1967
  54. "Fragebogen," 1967
  55. "Lehrsaetze," 1967

Aphorisms:

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  56. One series collected throughout Brandt's career

 Short Stories, 1951-1965:  manuscripts, largely unpublished works

  57. Notes on Stories
  58. "Der Heimkehrer," 1951
  59. "Der Trauergast," 1951
  60. "KIM," 1951
  61. "Der Held," 1951
  62. "Die Schallplatte," 1951
  63. "Die Hilarianer Beeren," 1953
  64. "Die Fliege," 1956
  65. "An Einem Fruehlingsabend," 1957
  66. "Madeleine," 1958
  67. "Seltsame Wiederkehr," 1958
  68. "Einsame Schildkroete," 1959
  69. "Giuditta," 1959
  70. "Die Beichte," 1959
  71. "Die Reise Nach Mexico," 1960
  72. "Helena in Oregon," 1960
  73. "IMA," 1961
  74. "Der Fall Oliver," 1961
  75. "Rede Aus Dem Sarg," 1963
  76. "Eines Tages in Sevilla," 1963
  77. "Kuehle Leidenschaften," 1963
  78. "Ein Altes Haus," 1963
  79. "Die Rechnung," 1965
  80. "Der Fall Oliver," circa 1965
  81. "Professor W.," undated  File includes one letter from Brandt's Professor (Vienna) and one letter by Heidi Brandt about the story
  82. "Campusbesuch," 1967
  83. "Merkwuerdiges Ende Eines Erfolgreichen Mannes," 1967
  84. "Capriccio," eighteen Italian stories," 1951-1958

Dramas, 1951-1967:

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  85. "Hochzeit und Heimkehr," undated
  86. "Getsern Kommt Morgen," various editions, 1951-1956
  87. "Gestern Kommt Morgen," various editions, 1956-1957
  88. "Die Reichen und die Armen (Las Rica Y Las Pobres), oder
      Gleich und Gleich Gestellt sich Gern," 1963
  89. "Los Caballeros Y Sas Señoras," 1963
  90. "Schwierigkeiten oder Treu Ist Alles," 1965
  91. "The Congressman," circa 1966, note from Heidi Brandt
  92. "Freedom and Authority," 1967

 Poems, 1960-1968:

  93. Early 1960s (17 leaves), includes:
    "Epitaph," Brechts Zimmer," "Ein Altes Pergament," "Ost Berlin," and others
  94. Later Years, 1965-68 (34 leaves), includes:
    "For Chris," "For My Son," "Vietnam," "Kontrast XV," "Virginische Landschaft,"    "Wind vom Mittelmeer," and others.


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Last updated September 23, 2002