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Renowned East German author Christa Wolf dies

The Local · 1 Dec 2011, 13:51

Published: 01 Dec 2011 13:51 GMT+01:00

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The critically acclaimed and award-winning author of such works as "Divided Heaven," "Cassandra" and "The Quest For Christa T." courted controversy throughout her career and had links to the hated East German secret police in the 1960s.

The revelations in 1993 that she had consorted with the despised Stasi three decades earlier forced her into exile in the United States and tarnished her image as a courageous critical voice.

Before then, she had been awarded the coveted Georg Büchner Prize in 1980 and twice scooped East Germany's national literary prize.

As a young woman at the end of World War II, Wolf decided to stay in East Germany and joined the communist party.

Although she occasionally criticised the country's authorities, she never quite gave up her attachment to "the other Germany."

But little by little, she began to break with the official party, starting with her 1968 work "The Quest For Christa T." which tells the story of a woman unable to come to terms with the East Germany of the 1950s and '60s.

After the publication of this book, she was stripped of her duties at the writers' union.

In 1976, she protested forcefully against the expulsion from East Germany of the dissident poet and composer Wolf Biermann.

And later she denounced the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl with her 1987 book "The Incident."

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Nevertheless, she remained attached to the country even as the Berlin Wall was coming down. In 1989, she was still calling for a "humane and genuinely democratic" East Germany.

A close friend of fellow literary lion Gunter Grass, she was married to fellow author Gerhard Wolf and leaves two children.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:06 December 1, 2011 by wolfer
A Communist dupe who helped the Stasi. Toll.
18:14 December 1, 2011 by vonSchwerin
Christa Wolf played the double game that so many intellectuals (but not all!) in the GDR palyed. She was able to travel abroad and was able to get away with mild criticism of the regime because she fundamentallty supported the regime. Her so-called heroism, so trumpeted in the West in the late 1970s and 1980s (and I remember it well) seemed half-baked and slightly phoney after 1990.
09:17 December 5, 2011 by rwk
One less Stasi operative to worry about.
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