Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen was born in Germany on the 21st of July 1893. His father was a well-noted man soon to be made a Supreme Court Judge whilst his mother was a well-endowed woman of respectable background. During the early years of his life, Rudolf Ditzen was surrounded by music, politics and literature, as both his parents were fond of politics and the arts. In fact, it was known that at a very early age Rudolf was already enamored with books. A few of his early conquests in literature were books by Flaubet, Dickens and Grimm. And it was from the latter author that Rudolf Ditzen was able to come up with his pen name, Hans Fallada.
Despite the fact that Hans Fallada was born in a family of means, his childhood was most definitely an idyllic one. At the age of 6 years old, due to his father’s continuous promotions, Hans Fallada transferred to Berlin. Yet, Hans had a difficult time adjusting to his new environment. Due to this, he immersed himself even more into books of his choice. Ten years after transferring to Berlin, Hans Fallada had an alarming accident where he was run over by a horse carriage. A few months after, he contracted typhoid fever, and this marked the change in Hans Fallada.
It has been said that writers draw their creativity from their own pain and experiences. In the case of Hans Fallada, this may well be true. After being deeply affected by the changes in his life, pain was still to come. During 1910, when Hans Fallada contracted typhoid, he somehow decided that this life was not for him. So, in boarding school, he was able to find a friend whose thoughts were along the same lines as Hans Fallada. In an attempt to disguise their suicides, both boys decided to on a duel. Unfortunately, like most duels, only one person falls down. This person was in the person of Hanns Dietrich, Hans Fallada’s friend and boarding schoolmate.
Hans Fallada went through a lot of tragedies and heartaches. After shooting his friend, he decided to take the gun into his own hands and extinguish his life. However, this plan did not go according to his plans. After surviving the shot he himself instigated, Hans Fallada was sent to trial. Yet again, he was able to avoid a bleak future. Unfortunately, the story does not end here. Because after Hans Fallada was declared innocent of all charges due to insanity, the mental institution he was sent to was just the beginning of a long string of failures, addiction, theft, political fears and fascism.