Andersen Nexø, Martin

Martin Andersen, who wrote under the name of Martin Andersen Nexø, was born in 1869 in an impoverished area of Copenhagen, where he lived for the first 8 years of his life. In 1877, his large family – his mother had 11 children - moved to the town of Nexø on the island of Bornholm (in 1894 he adopted the name of this town as his last name). After studying two years at the Askov Folk High School, Nexø graduated in 1897 as a teacher and worked at a school in Odense. As a young man, he spent extensive periods in southern Europe, and later in life he lived for long periods at Lake Constance in Germany (1923-30). During the Nazi occupation of Denmark in 1941 he was arrested by the Danish police for communist affiliation. He took refuge in Sweden and then moved to the Soviet Union and back to Denmark. In 1951, Nexø settled in the German Democratic Republic. Nexø died in Dresden, East Germany, on 1 June 1954.
His best known and most translated book is Pelle Erobreren (4 vols.), which appeared between 1906 and 1910. The film version of the novel by Bille August, Pelle the Conqueror, won both the Palme d'or at Cannes and an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.