Lask, Berta

BORN 17 Nov 1878, Wadowice, Galicia - DIED 28 Mar 1967, Berlin (Ost)
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Gudrunstrasse, Lichtenberg (Pergolenweg)

Berta Lask was the daughter of a paper manufacturer from Galicia. The philosopher Emil Lask (1875-1915) was her elder brother. At the Lyzeum in Berlin Helene Lange was her teacher. After the Lyzeum her mother didn't allow any further study. In 1901 she married the neurologist Louis Jacobsohn (1863-1940). They had four children.

In 1912 she wrote her first play "Auf dem Hinterhof, vier Treppen links". At her husband's practice she had seen a lot of misery and she became active in the women's movement. Around 1918 he views became more radical and in 1923 she entered the KPD. In 1925 she visited the Soviet Union for the first time. She was denied to stage her plays and several times she was accused of treason. She was arrested after the nazis came to power and in June 1933 she left Germany and first went to Prague and then to Moscow. Her sister Helen Lask and one of her sons died in concentration camps.

In Moscow she published under the name of Gerhard Wieland. In 1936 her husband and his daughter-in-law Dora Diamant (1898-1952) joined her in the Soviet-Union. Dora had lived with Franz Kafka and was now the wife of Lutz Lask (1903-1973). Lutz was imprisoned in 1938.

After her husband died in 1940 Berta lived in Archangelsk from 1941 to 1944. In 1944 she moved to Moscow, where she lived until her return to Germany in 1953 after Lutz was released. In the DDR she knew Anna Seghers, Franz Carl Weiskopf and Grete Weiskopf. She died in 1967 in East Berlin.

Related persons
• knew Seghers, Anna
• knew Weiskopf, Franz Carl
• knew Weiskopf, Grete


The grave of Berta Lask at the Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (14 Nov 2004)


• Hoffmann, Joachim, Berlin Friedrichsfelde, Ein Deutscher Nationalfriedhof, Das Neue Berlin, Berlin, 2001
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Berta Lask – Wikipedia

Latour, Théodore-François Baillet, Graf

Published: 30 Sep 2018
Last update: 03 Jan 2022