Hans-Joachim Schädlich

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Censorship is the "fighting machine in the realm of the spirit," was how Hans-Joachim Schädlich, as Brothers Grimm poetics professor at the University of Kassel, answered the question of his first lecture on December 17, 1988: "On conditions of writing in the GDR and in the Federal Republic - or: What is censorship?" The fact that truth - even this truth - is concrete, as Schädlich said, was conveyed to the packed lecture hall of the GhK's art department in the equally sober and forceful self-disclosures about the experiences of an "East-West German writer" who moved from the GDR to the Federal Republic in 1977 and now lives in West Berlin. 

Image: Udoweier (Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 4.0)
Hans-Joachim Schädlich (Krefeld 2012)

Censorship in the GDR, as Schädlich made clear with his own example - but not only with this one - is still dictatorial and aims at existence. In this respect, it cannot be compared with that in the Federal Republic. The fact that it is also rampant in this country - and to an increasing extent - was also part of Schädlich's concrete truths.

Prizes and awards (selection):

  • 1989 Thomas Dehler Prize
  • 1992 Heinrich Böll Prize
  • 1995 Bamberg Poetry Professorship
  • 1996 Kleist Prize
  • 1998 Schiller Memorial Prize
  • 2003 Lessing Prize of the Free State of Saxony
  • 2004 Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize
  • 2005 Samuel Bogumil Linde Prize
  • 2007 Great Literature Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts
  • 2010 Corine International Book Prize
  • 2010 Calwer Hermann Hesse Scholarship
  • 2014 Berlin Literature Prize
  • 2014 Heiner Müller Visiting Professorship for German Language Poetics
  • 2014 Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany