Pinthus, Kurt (1886–1975) By Rock, Lene
Kurt Pinthus—pen name Paulus Potter—was a German-Jewish publicist, editor, and critic, who is considered as one of the most important mediators of literary expressionism in Germany. He was born in Erfurt, studied literary history, philosophy, and history and obtained his doctoral degree in 1910. As a proofreader and literary advisor at the Kurt Wolff and Rowohlt publishing houses, he contributed to the publication of authors like Franz Kafka, Else Lasker-Schüler, Georg Heym, and Gottfried Benn. His anthology of expressionist poetry Menschheitsdämmerung (Dawn of Humanity, 1919/20) became an influential standard reference of literary expressionism. In 1933, Pinthus’ name appeared on the National Socialists’ list of banned literature. He fled to New York in 1937, eventually returning in 1967. Up until the 1970s, his articles addressed the life and work of writers persecuted by National Socialism.