Plievier, Theodor

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Plievier, Theodor Gender: M
Theodor Otto Richard Plievier
born on 17 February 1892 at 16:00 (= 4:00 PM )
Place Berlin, Germany, 52n29, 13e21
Timezone LMT m13e21 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 28°28' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 21°38 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 16°25'

Theodor Plievier (1946)


German author best known for his anti-war documentary novel Stalingrad, which was eventually translated into 26 languages. Stalingrad is one of the most important works of literature to emerge from the eastern front. Its pitiless descriptions of battle and the failures of the German military leadership indicts Hitler's megalomania and illustrates the senselessness of war.

During Plievier's youth, he worked as a sailor and travelled extensively throughout Europe and overseas. Through his travels he was exposed to anarchist-syndicalist philosophies that would influence his later work.

In 1914, after a fight in a quayside bar, he was forced to enlist in the Imperial Navy to escape imprisonment. During most of the war, he served on the SMS Wolf, an auxiliary cruiser which remained at sea for 451 days. He later participated in the 1918 Wilhelmshaven mutiny.

Under the Weimar Republic, he became a social critic and author. His early works sought to connect personal experience with documentary-style literature. He founded the "Publishing House of the 12" (Verlag der Zwölf) in Berlin during the 1920s. During this period he wrote and published Des Kaisers Kulis (The Kaiser's Coolies), a critical account of his experiences in the Imperial Navy.

His books were burned after Hitler took power in 1933. Plievier fled to France, and later to Sweden, before settling in the Soviet Union in 1934. After the outbreak of World War II, Plievier gained access to the front lines, where he observed the carnage wrought there and interviewed captive German soldiers. In 1943, he became a member of the Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland (National Committee for a Free Germany).

He used his experiences as the basis for his documentary novel Stalingrad. This book was subject to harsh Soviet censorship, even though it deals mainly with the German side. Plievier eventually broke with Moscow, leaving for the west in 1947. His later book Moscow presents a comprehensive picture of life in the Soviet Union.

Plievier died on 12 March 1955 in Avegno, Switzerland, aged 63.

Link to Wikipedia biography



Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Berlin archives. English Wikipedia has 12 Feb in error.


  • Vocation : Military : Military service
  • Vocation : Military : Pacifist/ Objector (Anti-war)
  • Vocation : Travel : Adventurer
  • Vocation : Writers : Critic (Social)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Documentary novels)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor