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German dancer and writer, second wife of Anthony van Hoboken.

Career Summary

Eva was the daughter of Carolina and the painter Conrad Hommel. She was born illegitimate in 1905, but her birth was retrospectively legitimized at her parents' marriage in 1908. At the age of 18 she worked as an "expressional dancer" (Ausdruckstänzerin) in Munich under the pseudonum "Eva Boy." Hommel having left the family some years earlier, Eva found in the German-Jewish novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger (1884‒1958) a new father figure. In 1925 Eva moved to Berlin at the same time as Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta, and there, under his tutelage, she began to contribute short feuilletons to the newspapers Berliner Tageblatt, Berliner Bösen-Courier, Tempo, and the Münchner Illustrierte Presse.

On March 30, 1933 Eva married Anthony van Hoboken, who had recently separated from and divorced his first wife, Annemarie Seidel. For a time, she now adopted Hoboken's last name, and took Dutch citizenship. Feuchtwanger having been a fierce critic of National Socialism from as early as 1920 and having been targeted by the Nazis and his works publicly burned in 1938, fled first with his wife to France and then to the USA. At this time, he produced a novel, Die Geschwister Oppermann, which portrayed the relationship between Hoboken and Boy, not entirely flatteringly, using the names "Dr. Gustav Oppermann" and "Sybil Rauch." In 1953 Eva became preoccupied with Zen Buddhism and studied in Japan.

With this, she drifted away from Feuchtwanger's influence. However, she maintained an epistolary friendship, keeping up a correspondence until his death in 1958. She died in Zurich in 1987.

Eva Boy and Schenker

Eva Boy first appears in Schenker's diary for July 30, 1932, recording a letter in which Hoboken suggests that he visit the Schenkers in Igls with Miss Boy, to which Schenker replies in welcoming fashion. The visit took place four days later, on August 3, and a second visit on August 30, on which occasion Schenker refers to them as "Hoboken and his bride" (diary). After the marriage, the two men routinely sent greetings to and from their respective wives at the ends of letters, and postcards.

The only direct surviving correspondence is one letter from Eva Boy (now van Hoboken) to Jeanette Schenker, dated December 15, 1935, OJ 11/54, [45]-[46].


  • Wikipedia, "Eva van Hoboken"
  • Lion Feuchtwanger, Briefe an Eva van Hoboken, ed. Nortrud Gomringer (Vienna: Splitter, 1996)


  • Ian Bent

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