Gottfried Bermann Fischer, son-in-law of Samuel Fischer, was threatened by the Nazi regime from the very start. The S. Fischer Verlag stayed in Germany, because Samuel Fischer did not want to leave his country. After Samuel Fischer’s death in October 1934, Bermann Fischer could consider leaving Germany for the first time, but now, as the new director of the S. Fischer Verlag, he had to think about the publishing house as well.
During the remaining time in Germany, he had the chance to publish books of Heinrich Hauser, Annette Kolb, Thomas Mann and Rene Schickele. Other émigrés condemned him, because he did not adopt a clear position. The exile press even called him a traitor.
In 1936, the publishing house was finally divided in two parts. Bermann Fischer left for Vienna, where he established the Bermann-Fischer Verlag (with the rights of publication of Thomas Mann, Alfred Doeblin, Carl Zuckmayer and many more). For the other part of the publishing house, management changed over to Peter Suhrkamp.
One benefit of the Bermann-Fischer Verlag was that it was still possible to deliver books to Germany, uncommon for exile publishers. But with the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, this era in Vienna came to an abrupt end. The warehouse was confiscated by the Nazis immediately and the books were sold in Germany at a loss. Furthermore, it was not possible to sell books to the Third Reich anymore, so the main distribution area disappeared. Now, Bermann Fischer could be classified as a real exile publisher.
Nevertheless, Bermann Fischer did not give up. He started all over again in Stockholm (May 1938). He was supported by the Bonnier family, who bought 51% shares of the business. Some of the books were published in cooperation with the Querido Verlag in Amsterdam.
In 1940, Bermann Fischer left Sweden and went to the USA. His company in Stockholm still continued under Alfred Harcourt, who distributed the books. Bermann Fischer established the L. B. Fischer Publishing Corporation in New York along with Fritz H. Landshoff.
Between 1936 and 1940 the Bermann-Fischer Verlag published 75 books , 40 of them from exile authors. The Swedish part of the company published more than 130 books from 1938 to 1948 all of them from authors who were already famous.
After the end of the war, the situation of the divided publishing house is unclear. The Suhrkamp Verlag was re-established in Berlin in 1945. One year later the Suhrkamp Verlag vormals S. Fischer was re-established in Frankfurt am Main. The parent company, managed by Bermann Fischer, remained in Stockholm. In 1948, the publishing house moved to Amsterdam and merged with Querido to Bermann-Fischer/ Querido Verlag. Landshoff was co-owner again.
- Fischer, Ernst: Verleger, Buchhaendler und Antiquare aus Deutschland und Oesterreich in der Emigration nach 1933: ein biographisches Handbuch / von Ernst Fischer. - Stuttgart : Verband Deutscher Antiquare, 2011
- Exilforschung: ein internationales Jahrbuch / hrsg. von Claus-Dieter Krohn, Erwin Rotermund, Lutz Winckler… - Muenchen: edition text + kritik, 2004. Bd. 22, Buecher, Verlage, Medien
- Verlagsgeschichte S. Fischer Verlag (2010) http://www.fischer125.de/verlagsgeschichte.html