, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 103–120

Widerstrebet nicht dem Bösen mit Gewalt: Die Rezeption des Tolstoischen Pazifismus bei Stefan Zweig


DOI: 10.1007/s11061-011-9274-0

Cite this article as:
Resch, S. Neophilologus (2012) 96: 103. doi:10.1007/s11061-011-9274-0


In the early twentieth century, Leo Tolstoy was regarded as one of the most influential pacifists in the world. In my paper, I will argue that Stefan Zweig’s literary development from tacitly supporting Austrian nationalism to showing active commitment to the pacifist cause owes much to the influence of Tolstoy’s writings on peace and civil disobedience. Focusing particularly on the period spanning WWI and the late 1920s, I will draw on Zweig’s works of fiction, essays and autobiographical documents to show how closely Zweig studied Tolstoy’s works and to what extent he developed the essentially religious ideas to contribute to a humanistic pacifist discourse. Drawing also on the reception of Zweig’s secularized version of Tolstoy’s pacifism, I set out to demonstrate the limitations of Zweig’s commitment to politics and social change.


Pacifism Non-violence Patriotism War Stefan Zweig Leo Tolstoy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of German and Slavonic Studies, School of European LanguagesThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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