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New Left Review I/48, March-April 1968


Ben Brewster

Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) came from a Jewish bourgeois family. Born in Berlin, he spent his childhood there, studied philosophy in Freiburg, Munich and Bern, and after the First World War worked as a literary critic and essayist in Berlin and Frankfurt. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Benjamin fled to Paris, where, apart from holidays in Spain and Italy, he lived until 1940. He was caught by Spanish police attempting to flee across the Pyrenees after the fall of France, and took his own life on September 26th, 1940.

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