Heinz Politzer (December 31, 1910, in Vienna, Austria – July 30, 1978, in Berkeley, California) was an Austrian writer, literary critic and historian of literature, particularly of Franz Kafka. He moved to Jerusalem, Israel, in 1941, and then to the United States.

He was a professor at Bryn Mawr College, Oberlin College and University of California, Berkeley.

He had an impact in the interest in Kafka in the United States and the publication of the first complete translated works of Kafka in the US, and he was a close associate to Kafka's protégé, Max Brod.

He was awarded the Key to the City of Vienna and the Austrian Cross, among many other prizes and honors. Among the highlights of his career was giving the inaugural address to the 1976 Salzburg Music Festival.

He was survived by his wife, Jane Hinman Horner Politzer, four sons (Mike, Dave, Steve and Eric) and a daughter (Maria Bettina Politzer) and her two children (Monika and Alexi Zemsky). His grave is in the Petersfriedhof in Salzburg, Austria.

Literary works

  • Fenster vor dem Firmament, Gedichte (1937)
  • Gedichte (1941)
  • Franz Kafka Parable and Paradox (Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, 1962)
  • Franz Kafka, der Künstler (1965)
  • Johannes Urzidil: Morgen fahr' ich heim. Böhmische Erzählungen (ed. and afterword by Politzer, München, Langen Müller, 1971)
  • Franz Grillparzer: Das abgrundige Biedermeier (1990, Zsolnay)
  • Freud und das Tragische (2003, Edition Gutenberg/Steirische Buchhandlung - Edition of Wilhelm W. Hemecker)
  • Das Kafka-Buch

Further Reading