J Hellmut Freund
- Category : 1919-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
German journalist, literary editor and writer, who co-founded the literary program of the Fischer publishing house.
Born into a Jewish family, under National Socialism (the Nazis), he had to flee Germany, emigrating to Montevideo, Uruguay at the end of January 1939 with his parents, his maternal grandfather and his uncle, a pediatrician.
In Montevideo, he first worked as a private tutor of the German language, sometimes writing theatre and music reviews for newspapers, and even had his own music show on a private radio station, La Voz del Día. His work was published in Susana Soca's literary magazine Entregas de la Licorne. He also translated German authors like Thomas Mann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Rudolf Pannwitz into Spanish. He met the writer Jorge Luis Borges, the journalist Dolf Sternberger and had friendships with numerous musicians, including the conductor Fritz Busch, whom he admired, and for whom he occasionally worked as a secretary, when Busch, who lived in Argentina at that time, gave concerts in Montevideo. One of his mentors was the writer Charles Leopold Mayer (1880-1965), a lawyer, who had also escaped from Berlin.
As a press reporter he was a passenger on the first flight by Lufthansa from Montevideo to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957, returning for the first time to his homeland since the end of the war. At the opening ceremony, state secretary Hans Globke, who was under discussion for his Nazi past, was to lead the German delegation, but this was cancelled after the intervention of Freund.
In 1960, J. Hellmut Freund finally returned to Germany and shortly after, his parents followed suit. Gottfried Bermann Fischer had successfully recruited him as an employee for the S. Fischer publishing house. Freund was a lecturer in literary texts of classical modernity, including the diaries of Thomas Mann. The authors whose books he supervised included Annette Kolb and Joseph Conrad. Along with Rudolf Hirsch (1905-1996) and Günther Busch (1929-1925) he founded the literary program of Fischer Verlag where he worked until his death.
J. Hellmut Freund died on 29 February 2004 in Frankfurt am Main at age 84. His memoirs were published in 2005. His story of persecution, he said, was atypical. His Jewish family was spared the Holocaust. His father reached old age, and his mother died just before her 100th birthday.