Walter Benjamin
(1892-1940)

Died aged c. 48

Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (German: [ˈvaltɐ ˈbɛnjamiːn]; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. He was also related by law to German political theorist Hannah Arendt through her first marriage to his cousin, Günther Anders. Among Benjamin's best known works are the essays "The Task of the Translator" (1923), "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936), and "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (1940). His major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Goethe, Kafka, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Walser, and translation theory. He also made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. In 1940, at the age of 48, Benjamin committed suicide in Portbou at the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from invading Nazi forces. Though popular acclaim eluded him during his life, the decades following his death won his work posthumous renown.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

In dem früher hier stehenden Haus lebte von 1930 bis zu seiner Emigration 1933 Walter Benjamin 15.7.1892 - 27.9.1940 literaturkritiker, essayist und philsoph, schrieb hier Teile der 'Berliner Kindheit um 1900'. Freitod as der französisch-spanishen Grenze wegen drohender Auslieferung an die Gestapo.

Prinzregentenstraße 66, Wilmersdorf, Berlin, Germany where they lived (1930-1933)