Paetel, Karl O. (Karl Otto), 1906-

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Karl Otto Paetel was a political journalist, born in Berlin, forced to flee Germany in 1935 (Paetel was sentenced to death in absentia by the Nazis), and immigrated to the United States in 1940. Paetel's interests focused on the radical movements and social changes in the twentieth century from his youth until his death in 1975. It was during his time at the Siemens-Oberrealschule (1923-1927) that Paetel first became a member of a youth group, the Kongener Bund. His early association with youth groups and the German Youth Movement (Jugendbewegung) remained one of the major interests throughout his lifetime. The German Youth Movement became popular shortly after World War I and had a major influence on that generation of German intellectuals. Paetel became a leader of the movement and co-edited with Ernst Junger, Die Kommenden, a central periodical of the movement. Paetel's interest in the radical movements of the day continued throughout his lifetime and is reflected in his writings. These movements included National Bolshevism (Nationalbolschewismus), a movement describing a group of individuals who were nationalists in the political sense, but socialists in economic terms; in 1965 Paetel published a history of National Bolshevism in German entitled Versuchung oder Chance? His interest in individuals, who did not fit into neat political or social categories, led to his interest in the American Beat movement and especially writer, Jack Kerouac, a leading beat poet; Paetel's Beat Anthologie (1962) is one of the earliest publications on the American Beat Generation. Another prominent interest in his life, especially after 1933 and his escape from Nazi Germany, was German resistance to National Socialism (Widerstand) and exile. Das Dritte Reich und seine Gegner is only one example of his many writings on the topic of resistance.

From the description of Karl M. Otto Paetel papers, 1907-1984. (University at Albany). WorldCat record id: 79984916

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arendt, Hannah. person
associatedWith Drexel, Joseph E, (Joseph Eduard), 1896- person
associatedWith Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars corporateBody
correspondedWith Fischer, Ruth, 1895- person
associatedWith George, Manfred, 1893-1965. person
associatedWith Kissinger, Henry, 1923- person
associatedWith Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971. person
associatedWith Paetel, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Theile, Albert. person
associatedWith Tillich, Paul, 1886-1965. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
World War, 1939-1945--Refugees
Youth movement


Birth 1906-11-23

Death 1975-05-04






Ark ID: w61n8xbc

SNAC ID: 32517460