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Short biography
Brigitte Bermann Fischer was born in to a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany. She grew up in an intellectual and musical household as the daughter of Samuel Fischer, founder of the famed publishing house S. Fischer Verlag, and his wife Hedwig. In 1924, Brigitte married Gottfried Bermann Fischer, a surgeon, with whom she had three children. The couple took over the management of Fischer Verlag on the death of her father in 1924. The following year, Brigitte and her husband decided to move the publishing house to Austria in order to continue to publish authors banned in Germany by the Nazis. In Vienna, they founded Bermann-Fischer Verlag. After the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria in 1938, the family was forced to flee through Italy and Switzerland to Sweden. There Bermann Fischer Verlag continued to publish German-language literature for German-speaking émigrés throughout the world. As a trained book designer, Brigitte handled the design and graphic advertising for many titles. In 1940, Gottfried Bermann Fischer was jailed for five weeks and then expelled from the country. The family took refuge in the USA, while the publishing company continued its work in Stockholm. In New York, the Bermann Fischers and Fritz Landshoff founded the English-language publishing house L. B. Fischer Publishing. After World War II, Brigitte and her husband returned to Germany, where they were able to re-establish a successful firm in Frankfurt. They later retired to Tuscany. She wrote her memoirs, published as My European Heritage: Life Among Great Men of Letters (1986). Together with her husband, she compiled Fischer Verlag's massive collection of correspondence with its authors into a book called Briefwechsel mit Autoren (Correspondence with Authors).
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