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“Eric Fried was a great humane”

“Eric Fried was a great humane”

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Author Joseph Haslinger talks about political activist and “poet of love” Eric Fried, who will celebrate his 100th birthday on Thursday 6 May.

to Bernd Millichar | 07.04, 05. May 2021

Eric Fried (1921-1988) would turn 100 on May 6th © (c) Imago Pictures

Do you still know Eric Fried personally or did you only gain access to him through his work?
Joseph Hasslinger:
Yes, I still know him personally. In the mid seventies I was associate editor of the literary magazine “Wespennest” and Eric Fried was so friendly that he let us use his name as a permanent employee. He wasn’t, but he texts us a lot. At the time, Eric Fried was a role model for me as a committed author. He was someone involved. Less in Austria, especially in Germany. Of course there was the whole RAF story in the 1970s, and sometimes it was a little wrong because it questioned member suicides for a while. He was involved in the peace movement. As an Austrian writer-in-exile, he was primarily involved in German politics. In Germany, he was almost seen as a German writer – and as a committed author, he was mentioned at the same time as Günter Grass or Heinrich Böll.

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