As a communist, Anna Seghers was arrested by the Gestapo shortly after the Nazi seizure of power. The Jewish writer from Mainz consequently left Germany. At first, she fled, without her husband and children, to Switzerland. Her aim was Paris, which was known as the “capital of emigrants”. Here, Anna Seghers wrote the The Seventh Cross, a novel shaped by her own experiences that depicted the escape from a concentration camp. In 1941/42, she wrote Transit which was inspired by her experiences of fleeing to Mexico.