The project aims to compile a biography of the Austrian communist resistance fighter, politician and author, Franz Marek (born 18 April 1913, deceased 28 June 1979). It draws on his memoirs, comprehensive writings, sources from domestic and foreign archives, as well as testimonies by contemporaries. Marek's childhood and youth in the humble Jewish milieu of Vienna's St. Leopold district, dominated by Jews from eastern Europe, formed a life soon shaped by the ideas of Marxism. His role as a leading resistance fighter, initially from 1934 in Austria and later from 1938 in France, constitutes a second focus. After 1945, Marek's political activity in the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ), first as a Stalinist, later as a critic and reformer of European standing until his expulsion from the party in 1970, are in the foreground.
Finally, the project explores his largely neglected role as chief editor of the ‘Wiener Tagebuch’ and his significance for the New Left. Franz Marek’s biography is a striking example of a communist life in the twentieth century with all its ruptures and transformations. The publication of his memoirs in 2017 already rescued Franz Marek from oblivion; the forthcoming biography will comprehensively trace and give context to his life’s path.
Dr. Maximilian Graf