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01/2010 GDR

There has never been as much GDR children’s literature as today,“ Lutz Rathenow writes in Börsenblatt as early as 2007, and he is right. After a period of silence and neglect, the GDR and its children’s literature are moving into the public eye once again – as well as into the centre of commercial interest. The literature from – depending on one’s perspective – the other side, former times, or home has been pushing

back onto the market and is enthusiastically received not only by readers in the East but recently also the West. For twenty years now the Germans have been living without a wall – topographically speaking. Along with the GDR, an entire world collapsed, which especially children and young people can only experience indirectly through other people’s accounts now. During times of “Ostalgie”(nostalgic feelings toward former East Germany) on the one and skepticism toward the East on the other hand, it is therefore all the more important to carry out a little bit of awareness training and research: What was characteristic of GDR children’s literature? How strongly was it ideologically charged? And how are things for current children’s literature from and about what used to be the GDR?

 

Various articles pertaining to our theme address these questions in interjuli 01/10. Sebastian Schmideler examines the images of knights in historical GDR children’s literature using the examples of Götz Gode, Helga Talke, and Herbert Mühlstädt. Heidi Strobel compares the literatures of the Soviet Occupation

Zone and the GDR with regard to emotional collectivisation to the children’s literature under National Socialism, while Sylvia Warnecke contributes an English-language article studying the re-adaptation of legends and epics in the GDR. Maria Becker, using the example of Benno Pludra, questions current reprints of GDR children’s books and analyses their attachment to ideology. Sabine Berthold searches for, and finds, similarities and common features in young adult’s literature of 1990 dealing with the reunification of Germany.

 


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