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He called himself Surava

(Er nannte sich Surava)



Documentary, Switzerland 1995. 35mm, colour, 80 min.
Distribution: Ariadnefilm

Directed by Erich Schmid. Camera: Pio Corradi. Editing: Wilma Sieber-Panke. Sound: Dieter Meyer, Andy Sigg, Pavol Jasovsky.

The biography of Peter Hirsch, alias Surava, who made history with the weekly paper «Die Nation» as a symbol of resistance dur­ing World War 11. But arrest, imprison­ment, antisemitism and an outrageous defamation plunged him into misfor­tune. It was enough that he was origi­nally called Hans Werner Hirsch – a name with a Jewish ring to it. The Federal Court refused to let him use his pseudonym Surava because of its «un‑Swiss spelling». «It was his sense of justice that was his downfall», says Oskar Reck, who knew Surava. Surava lived hidden behind his pseudonym in Oberrieden as a writer and editor for 45 years, and it was not until 1991 that he revealed the secret that surrounded him.

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