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Heinrich Böll

1917 - 1985

Literature - Nobel Prize 1972

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Heinrich Theodor Böll ( Cologne , 21 December 1917 - Kreuzau , 16 July 1985 ) was one of Germany's most important writers of the post World War II.

Böll was born the son of a cabinetmaker of mainly church furniture and grew up in a liberal, Catholic and pacifist family. He successfully resisted the temptation to join the Hitler Youth during the thirties. The Nazi 's were in power and Böll is repeatedly startled by the radical way in which artists and writers are persecuted and silenced. The shocking scenes of inquisitionele book burnings will stay with him throughout his life and his commitment to free speech constantly feeding.

He first worked in a bookstore and then studied German at the University of Cologne. He served for the Wehrmacht and fought in the Netherlands.  France , Romania , Hungary and the Soviet Union . He was wounded four times and was eventually captured by American troops in April 1945 . He was sent to a prison camp. Böll was still regularly for his injuries (he had lost his toes include all the cold) in the hospital.

After the war he returned to Cologne, went Germanic studying - Meanwhile he made a living as a carpenter - and became official. And he began to write. From 1951 Böll was really his pen life, as author and translator. He will continue to live in his hometown, a relatively short stay in Ireland not been reflected (Irisches Tagebuch - 1957).

His first novel, Der Zug war pünktlich , was published in 1949. It is highly visionary story of the young soldier, who daily trainload cannon fodder from the Ruhr to the eastern front leaves in the clammy certainty that he was certain death accommodate treint. Many novels, short stories, plays and essays followed. In 1972 Böll was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature , making him the first German since Nelly Sachs in 1966 , was that this award could take. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages ​​and is one of Germany's most widely read authors.

His most famous works are the unmistakable hopeless Billard um halb zehn , subsequently Ansichten eines Clowns from '63 which he, through a rebellious protagonist, thoroughly avenges all forms of bourgeois pose with conservative values ​​such as family, state and church. Bolls relationship with the Catholic Church has always been very problematic. Although he was a believer, he rejected the infallibility of the pope. Moreover, he was very suspicious of the official church and its authorities, he blamed no resistance to have provided against the (Nazi) regime, on the contrary, and thus partly responsible to consider the human problems in a miserable German society and finally Gruppenbild mit Dame , where he many ambitious Characters, notable citizens males and lucky ones to expose themselves move.

Immediately after the war, Böll was busy processing the memories of that time. He wrote about the effect material and psychological-that it had had on the lives of ordinary people. They were in his work the heroes of the story. The bad guys were authority figures, such as the government, the business community and the Church. He made ​​them ridiculous, sometimes humorous tone, sometimes very morbid way. His subjects were mainly the lack of courage, the egocentric mentality and the abuse of power by those authorities. Its accessible style made ​​him a favorite for the German textbooks. His work is " Trümmerliteratur "called.

Böll was heavily influenced by the Nazi -entry into his city: Cologne, where she also banned. He was also very shocked by the destruction of the city by Allied bombing. In his life, and he maintained numerous relationships with the citizens of Cologne, rich or poor. When he was again in hospital, the nurses complained about the "low finishers" that their friend Heinrich Böll came to visit.

He was once president of the International PEN He traveled widely as a representative of a new non-Nazi Germany. His appearance and attitude were a huge contrast to the domineering and aggressive type of German during the Third Reich. Böll was particularly successful in Eastern Europe, the alleged dark side of capitalism in his books. Alone in the Soviet Union were millions of his books sold. [2] In 1967 he received the Georg-Büchner-Preis . Boll can be counted among the greatest German writer since 1945. His novels are among the world literature.
Heinrich Böll died in 1985. His memory still lives, including in the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the special Heinrich Böll Archive in the library of Cologne. Much of this work is damaged, when the building collapsed in March 2009.


1949: Der Zug war pünktlich
1950: Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa
1951: Die schwarzen Schafe
1951: Nicht nur zur Weihnachtszeit
1951: Wed warst du, Adam?
1952: Die Waage of Baleks
1953: Und sagte Einziges kein Wort
1954: Haus ohne Huter
1955: Das Brot der Jahre frühen
1957: Irisches Tagebuch
1957: The Spurlosen
1958: Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweigen
1959: Billard um halb zehn
1962: Ein Schluck Erde
1963: Ansichten eines Clowns
1963: Anecdote Senkung zur Arbeit der Moral
1964: Entfernung von der Truppe
1966: Ende einer Dienstfahrt
1971: Gruppenbild mit Dame
1974: Die Ehre der Katharina Blum lost
1979: Du fährst zu oft Heidelberg und nach other Erzählungen
1979: Fürsorgliche Belagerung
1981: Was soll aus dem Jungen bloß were?
1982: Vermintes Gelände
1982: Das Vermächtnis
1983: The Verwundung und other frühe Erzählungen

Appeared after death

1985: Frauen vor Flusslandschaft
1986: The Stories of Heinrich Böll (American edition)
1992: Der Engel schwieg
1995: Der Hund blasse (unpublished stories from 1937 and 1946 to 1952)
2002: Kreuz ohne Liebe (written in 1946-1947)


2011: The Collected Stories (reprints of translations)

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