Mein TierparadiesB. Schönlank
My Animal Gardentrans. R. L. Hewitt
The White Hare and Marmots are penultimate in My Animal Garden.
Verse von Bruno Schönlank
Mit Bildern von Pia Roshardt
It is gratifying to note that Bruno Schönlank’s Animal Garden encompasses not only the Alps (The White Hare, Marmots) but also Africa (The Chameleon, The Ostrich, The Crocodile).
Herr Schönlank (1891 – 1965) has left some biography. He was the scion of an old German Jewish family: his grandfather, born in the same year as Eugène Rambert, was Moritz (1830 – 1920), who served as cantor in the Thuringian town of Sondershausen; his father, also Bruno (1859 – 1901), was a prominent social democrat, whose Nachlass is considerable. There is report of an exhibition (“Sozialdemokraten in Thüringen”) in the family’s honour in Kyffhäuser Nachrichten: 3rd September 2013 (.pdf).
Herr Schönlank (Jr.) arrived in Zürich in 1933 and made Switzerland his home. He is remembered in the exhibition, not only as social democrat and journalist, poet and dramatist, but also as “der Arbeiterdichter” (the workers’ author). The announcement of his death in The Swiss Observer contributes the detail that his books had been burned under the National Socialist regime: 14th May 1965 (.pdf). Although it is unlikely that he would have considered either The White Hare or Marmots his monument, it is an attractive question, under present circumstance, to ask whether My Animal Garden might have proved his solace amidst exile and closed borders, perhaps also his gift to the children of the country that extended refuge.