This image is the cover for the book Comrade Huppert

Comrade Huppert

This biography of a twentieth-century poet “deftly trac[es] Hugo Huppert’s improbable path from Jewish Galicia to Soviet Moscow to postwar Vienna” (Choice).

After discovering the autobiography of the Austrian communist and writer Hugo Huppert (1902–1982), historian George Huppert became absorbed in the life and work of this man, a Jew, perhaps a relative, who was born a few months after George’s father and grew up just miles away. Hugo seemed to embody a distinctly central European experience of his time, of people trapped between Hitler and Stalin.

Using the unvarnished account found in Hugo’s notebooks, George Huppert takes the reader on a tour of the writer’s life from his provincial youth to his education and radicalization in Vienna; to Moscow, where he meets Mayakovski and is imprisoned during Stalin’s purges; through the difficult war years and return to Vienna; to his further struggles with the communist party and his blossoming as a writer in the 1950s.

Through all the twists and turns of this story, George remains a faithful presence, guiding the way and placing Hugo’s remarkable life in context. Comrade Huppert is a story of displacement and exile, the price of party loyalty, and the toll of war and terror on the mind of this emblematic figure.

George Huppert

George Huppert is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of several books, including The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Renaissance France; The Style of Paris: Renaissance Origins of the French Enlightenment (IUP, 1999); After the Black Death: A Social History of Early Modern Europe (IUP, 1986); and Les Bourgeois Gentilshommes: An Essay on the Definition of Elites in Renaissance France.

Indiana University Press