Photo © Thomas Billhardt

Werner Bräunig

Werner Bräunig (1934-1976) was considered one of the rising stars of East German literature in the 1950s and 1960s. In the early 1960s he began work on a major novel, Rummelplatz, but when excerpts from it were published in 1965, they were strongly criticized by the East German Communist Party, which considered them “offensive to the workers and to our Soviet partners.” The well-known poet Anna Seghers and the young Christa Wolf spoke up courageously on Bräunig’s behalf. However, Bräunig ceased to work on the novel and left it unfinished (it was supposed to have at least one more volume), though he continued to write essays and journalism until his death from alcoholism in 1976. The manuscript of Rummelplatz was first published in its entirety in 2007, more than thirty years after the author’s death, and more than forty years after its composition. (2010)

Issue 5 - Winter 2010