Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2009

In Osteuropa 2-3/2009

“The Literature of Which We Dreamed”
The Book and Ambivalent Outcomes of 1989

Christina Links, Katharina Raabe

Deutsche Fassung


The Cold War and the division of Germany had a strong influence on the reception of literature from Eastern Europe. In the German Democratic Republic, the publishing house Volk & Welt functioned as a hub for the placement of literature. The systematic and competence of employees were exemplary. Ideological demands and censorship put limits on their work. In the Federal Republic of Germany, there was a complementary reception. It was possible to publish there what was forbidden in the GDR. Individual enthusiasts functioned as intermediaries. The year 1989 was a watershed. While new chances opened up for the publishing houses from the West, those in the East lost their special place. Editors Christina Links and Katharina Raabe discuss bestsellers and under the counter goods, the laws of the market and the loss of expertise, various reader experiences as well as the search for good literature.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2009, pp. 251–263)