Lew Nussimbaum aka Essad Bey aka Kurban Said - Wanderer Between Worlds.

Lew Nussimbaum

Lew Nussimbaum, © Viking Press 1931

03.03.2020 - Article

During his short life, the writer Lew Nussimbaum came in contact with all the important movements of the early 20th century. Explore the literary collage from his fantastic Oeuvre at the Leo Baeck Institute.

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During his short life the writer Lew Nussimbaum (1905 – 1942) came in contact with all the important movements of the early 20th century: Communism, fascism and national socialism.

When the October revolution and the Russian civil war reached his hometown of Baku / Azerbaijan, he and his father Abraham fled to Berlin, where Lew first attended the secondary school for Russian exiles and then studied Arabic and Turkish literature at the Humboldt-University. In 1922 he converts from Judaism to Islam and changes his name to Essad Bey. Soon he starts to write, especially for the weekly journal “Die literarische Welt” founded by Willy Haas. His first book “Blood and Oil in the Orient” immediately became a bestseller. In quick succession he publishes 13 more books, among them biographies on the prophet Mohammed, on Stalin and the last tsar Nicholas II. In 1936, under the penname Kurban Said he publishes the novel “Ali and Nino,” a Romeo and Juliet story located at the intersection of Islam and Christianity. Eventually he escaped from Berlin to Vienna. After the “Anschluss” he fled to Italy, where he died of a rare disease in 1942 in Positano. His father Abraham remained in Vienna and was killed in the concentration camp Belzec.

Narrator: Gregorij von Leitis

Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr

Location & time:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History,
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 6:30 p.m.– 8 p.m.
General Admission: $ 10; LBI / CJH / Partner Members, Students, Seniors: $5

For more information & tickets: https://www.lbi.org/events/Wanderer-Between-Worlds/

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