Annemarie Schwarzenbach in the SLA

Half-length portrait of Annemarie Schwarzenbach sitting on the beach
Annemarie Schwarzenbach on the beach in Barcelona, summer 1933
© Photo: Marianne Breslauer. Fotostiftung Schweiz. By kind permission of the Fotostiftung Schweiz

Annemarie Schwarzenbach was born in Zurich in 1908. She grew up on a country estate near Horgen on Lake Zurich and attended private school in Zurich and a girls’ school in the Engadin. She studied history in Zurich and Paris, completing her doctorate in 1931.

She was a close friend of Erika and Klaus Mann from 1930 onwards. Working as a freelance writer between 1931 and 1933 she spent time in Berlin, where she experimented with morphine for the first time. In 1933 and 1934 she travelled around the Near East, before marrying the French diplomat Claude Clarac in Persia in 1935. Further travels followed: from 1936 to 1938 she worked on reportages and photo reportages in the US and in Danzig, Moscow, Vienna and Prague.

She underwent various treatments in Switzerland in an effort to overcome her morphine addiction. In 1939 she journeyed with Ella Maillart to Afghanistan. She travelled to the US in 1940 and the Belgian Congo from 1941 to 1942. Annemarie Schwarzenbach died in Sils in 1942 as a result of injuries sustained in a cycling accident.

Last modification 24.10.2023

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