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Simon Menzel founded the Humanitas Verlag in Zürich in 1934, although operations did not being until March 1935. He and his wife managed the company from their apartment. Their goal was to publish important writers who had been banned in Germany. In 1942, he lost the management authorization.

After World War II, Menzel and his wife founded the Diana Verlag in Zürich. The Diana Verlag partly revived the tradition of the Humanitas Verlag, although it shifted its focus to English literature. Today, the Diana Verlag is a subsidiary of Random House.


Fischer, Ernst. Verleger, Buchhändler und Antiquare aus Deutschland und Österreich in der Emigration nach 1933. Stuttgart: Verband Deutscher Antiquare, 2011.

Roth, Joseph. Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012.

Schulz, Kristina. Die Schweiz und die literarischen Flüchtlinge (1933-1945). Berlin: Akademie Verlag GmbH, 2012.

Wallace, Ian, ed. Aliens - Uneingebürgerte: German and Austrian Writers in Exile. Amsterdam: Rodopi B.V., 1994.

Humanitas Verlag
  • Location: Zürich
  • Period: 1934-1942
  • Publisher(s): Simon Menzel (July 17, 1899, Storojinet/Bukovina (Romania) - 1978, Switzerland)
  • Main Focus: Exile literature
  • Author(s): Alice Berend, Lothar Bickel, Constantin Brunner, Ernst Glaeser, Heinrich Eduard Jacob, Erich von Kahler, Robert Musil, Robert Neumann, Alfred Polgar, Friedrich Torberg, Ernst Weiß, Ludwig Winder, Otto Zarek
  • Number of Titles Published: unknown
  • Browse this publisher’s works in our catalog