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The page of Kräftner, Hertha, English biography

Image of Kräftner, Hertha
Kräftner, Hertha


Kräftner, Hertha (Vienna, 1928-51, Vienna), the daughter of a businessman who moved to Mattersburg, Burgenland, where she was brought up from the age of 8. In 1945 her father died as a result of wounds inflicted (apparently accidentally) by a Russian officer. In the following year she commenced her studies of English and German literature at Vienna University and, having produced her first poetry at the age of 17, continued to write. But bouts of depression convinced her as early as 1948 that she was suffering from a mental illness; three years later she died from an overdose of veronal. Her verse and prose had only appeared in periodicals, but she had won the wholehearted support of A. Okopenko and H. Weigel, who in ‘In memoriam’ pays tribute to her unusual talent which has been compared with that of I. Bachmann. Her taut verse forms a sharp contrast to an underlying inner tension with its relentless crescendo and unexpected climax. Some of her themes, deriving from memories of her village life, depict perennially relevant problems of women in distress, as in her terse statement, in ‘Abend’, on the subject of brute male domination in marriage.


(Editor of this page: Benő Eszter)

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