Three East German authors named for National Prize

Three East German authors named for National Prize
Photo: DPA
Three authors from formerly communist East Germany have been named to receive the German National Prize in 2009, which marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The three writers from three successive generations symbolise Germany’s fractured history both personally and with their literary achievements, the Deutsche Nationalstiftung (National Foundation) said on Wednesday in Hamburg.

Erich Loest, 83 (Nikolaikirche, or “St. Nicholas Church”), Monika Maron, 68 (Flugasche, or “Flight of Ashes”), and Uwe Tellkamp, 40 (Der Turm, or “The Tower”), will receive an award of €60,000 at a ceremony on June 16.

“These personal witnesses of Germany’s separation work against forgetting as much as against a nostalgic glorification of the failed German Democratic Republic,” the foundation said.

The National Foundation was founded in 1993 to further a collective German identity and promote German and European political culture after the reunification.

“We realise that even 20 years after the wall fell, the inner unity of Germany still requires effort,” foundation boardmember Kurt Biedenkopf said.